Let me start off by saying that I am not typically a person that relaxes easily or well. My idea of me time is pinteresting gluten free recipes for my kids while watching TV and folding clothes. When I found out that I was going to do a one hour float therapy session at Vitality Float Spa, I was actually stressed out by the thought of sitting completely still for one hour- who would do all the things??? Then, I started googling and read that some people hallucinate during the experience... Great. I'll be floating naked and seeing/hearing things that aren't there.
With all of that being said, I did go and instantly felt relaxed as soon as I walked in. The first thing that I saw was a giant, beautiful living wall and then I was greeted by two of the kindest, most calming women, who put up with this nervous nelly asking them about hallucinating in an Epsom salt bath. Spoiler alert, do not worry about it- they explained that the "hallucinations" that some people experience are more like lucid dreams that happen right before falling asleep. I was given this wonderful chamomile tea and led back to my room where they instructed me to put Vaseline on any cuts or scrapes that I might have(to prevent stinging) and gave me ear plugs to protect my ears. I had envisioned sitting in a very small, dark pod with absolutely no sounds in the background, but was so pleasantly surprised to find out that this can be completely what you want/need it to be. Want lights and gentle music in the background? No problem. Want complete darkness and silence? Also no problem. After I had asked pretty much every question I could think, it was time to do or die ….not really, it was just time to get into the freaking water. I sat down in the warm water and instantly starting floating. I realized that I was so nervous that I was tensing up and pulling my shoulders to my ears so I had to talk myself down and remind myself to just breathe and relax. And I did. I occasionally would find my mind wondering to appointments or kids or food and I would stop myself and try to clear my mind. The hour honestly flew by and I reluctantly got out. I felt so completely relaxed and a little glowy when I left. I had some emails to send and errands to run and I realized that as the afternoon went on, I felt very clear minded and a little less tense than usual. I didn't have some insane zen experience where I saw visions or transcended to some other worldly level (thank God), but I did finally take an hour to completely quiet my mind and let go of everything and just float and it really made me realize how important it is to take more time to do that.
So what exactly is float therapy?
A large bath tub or "pod" that is filled with water that is heated to skin temperature and filled with 1000 lbs of Epsom salt, allowing you to float gently on top.
How does floating benefit you?
I can say from experience that being in this space of no distractions allowed my mind to just kind of quiet itself for a bit and have a break, which NEVER happens otherwise. While floating, around 80-90% of neuromuscular activity is decreased- isn't that crazy?!?. It has also been shown to help with chronic pain, anxiety and depression, PTSD, and athletic recovery.
What should you do before your session?
I was told to avoid caffeine for about 3 hours prior to floating. I would also suggest not eating a very heavy meal right before your session.
How often should you do it?
I was told to continue reaping the benefits, you should go at least three times a month.
Although I was a little apprehensive, I thoroughly enjoyed floating and I definitely will be adding this more frequently to my schedule. Vitality Float Spa also offers massage, cupping, Reiki, yoga, and acupuncture- pretty much your one stop shop for relaxation. You can check them out for yourself and make an appointment at www.vitalityfloatspa.com.
Hi there! I'm Courtney . I am a mom of three ,a group fitness instructor, and a blogger. My favorite thing to do is to explore new fun things in the Richmond area with my family. I look forward to connecting with you through our Girl's Night Out events and social media.