Last week I was invited to Infinity Float Center in Webster to experience float therapy. What is Float Therapy you may ask? I'll admit - I was a little nervous at first. Float Therapy involves getting into a tub of 10 inches of water that is filled with 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt. This makes you float with zero effort so you are in near zero gravity. Then the lights are turned off and the room becomes completely quiet. There is no external stimuli. You are just alone with yourself and your brain actually reaches a Theta state (if you let it) which is the state you are in just before you fall asleep or when you are in deep meditation. You can float for 60 minutes or 90 minutes (but the recommendation is 90 minutes).
So why float?
SO MANY reasons, but my reason was to help with anxiety and stress. I find as I am getting older and managing more and more - I also am having some anxiety issues. Studies have shown that float therapy actually lessens anxiety because when you are in the float tank your body lowers its levels of cortisol - the main chemical component of stress. Floating is also great for pain management and just to have some creative thought.
Now I know you are wondering - what if I freak out? What if I am claustrophobic? Well let me tell you about my experience at Infinity Float Center. First the owner, Jennifer Gurley really took the time to walk me through the whole process. We toured the room and the float tank is actually quite large. Think of it as a big hot tub that you step into with a great big door. The tank actually goes up to the ceiling so you aren't in a "coffin". You can 100% stand up. There are also two huge buttons in the tank - one to turn on the lights at any time during your float and one for assistance. You are in complete control.
Jennifer explained to me that she recommends to everyone trying floating to come at least three times, because the first time you are truly just figuring it all out. She also said that I can do whatever makes me feel comfortable (remember this is supposed to relax me). So the first time, if I want to float with the lights on, or with my hand on the light button I can. If I don't want to shut the door to the tank, I don't have to. I was really nervous, so I opted to not shut the door all the way AND keep my hand on the light button. The lights went out and I realized that with the tank door open a little I could kinda sorta still see so was comfortable taking my hand off the button and closing my eyes. And then it happened. I would drift in and out of the theta state. I'd start to think about something and then not want to and just stop.... and then I would suddenly just realized a long time had passed of me thinking about nothing. Once I really settled in and let go (it took a bit for me to relax my neck and for some reason my shins), I felt like I was truly levitating. I couldn't feel the water around me because it is kept at body temperature, I was just there.... listening to my heart beating. I came out of the tank and truly felt completely at ease and at peace with myself.... and was completely relaxed - even more so than the best massage I ever had. There was no tension at all in my body. I now really do understand why Jennifer recommends to not just float once. I now know that the tank is a safe place and that I have complete control - I think next time (I'm going on Monday!) I will be ready to shut the door and truly experience the true dark. I'll let you all know how it goes after my third float, but I have a feeling I will be back for more than that! If you are even the least bit curious I recommend checking out Infinity Float Center - you can just stop by and look around or sit and relax in one of their waiting rooms - they are that welcoming! A breathe of fresh air!
I received complimentary floats in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.