A friend of ours did a float experience about a year or so ago, and I was interested. We got our own float center in Cowtown shortly after, and I just never got around to investigating further. It wasn’t until I was killing time and looking at day spas closer to home that I found one that offered a float tank.
For those who don’t know, a float tank is usually a big, uh, tank, and it’s filled with water (roughly the same temperature as your own) and it is filled with a buttload of Epsom salts. So much, that you cannot sink. You lay in this tank for an hour or so, sensory deprived or relaxing music piped in, and it’s supposed to relax you, clear your mind, etc. There’s supposed to be all these benefits associated with it.
I decided to go after a particular intense chiropractor visit where my spine and pelvis was trying to do some strange, and painful, circus act. It didn’t hurt that the first float at one particular spa was half off.
Not really knowing what I was getting myself into, I drove to the spa. After completing required paperwork, I was escorted to the pod room. A large, white egg shaped thing dominated the room and an equally large shower was in the corner. I was instructed to shower first to remove any lotions, hair product, etc. Then, get into the tank.
On a normal day, my mind races. I’m always obsessing over dumb stuff. Over stuff I need to do. Stuff I didn’t get done. My family. My friends. My job. My past. My future. What I am going to make for dinner that night.
Once in the water, your brain just slows down. Then, you realize that you forgot to put the ear plugs in. So, you get out, getting salty water everywhere, find the damn ear plugs and shove them into your ear holes and return to the water.
So, you are floating there, with the little purple light on because you like purple and it’s pretty, listening to the sound of your own breathing, until you reach up to scratch your nose and get salty water in your eyes and JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH…THAT SHIT BURNS!!! So, you blindly wiggle out of the tank, splashing salty water everywhere, trying not to slip and fall and bust your ass because salty water is very, very slippery. Stagger to the shower to splash clean water into your eyes. Verify that you are not blind, then return to the confines of the float pod.
All is quiet back in the tank and I turn off the purple light and just float in darkness. I let go of conscious thought and just let my mind wander, and it doesn’t wander very far, content to just be still and think of nothing. I’m just floating in 10 inches of warm salty water, drifting in and out of that place between sleep and awake. Time stretches forever until a voice comes over the speaker in the pod to let me know that my float is over.
I gingerly get out of the tub and shuffle to the shower. My back, my hips and knees. Everything feels great. I feel rested. Relaxed. Quiet and content. I shower the salt off and my skin feels amazing. My hair is a hot mess because I forgot to bring a comb. Overall, I feel improved. I’m not worried about anything. I could just sit in a chair and think about nothing until I have to collect Tiny Tyrant from daycare.
I vow to do this once a month. It will be added to my “Living My Best Life” resolution for the new year, which I totally just thought of 5 minutes ago. My actual resolution is more along the lines of “Work on Being My Best Self”. It’s more than getting a manicure, it’s about enriching relationships that matter and pruning the ones that don’t. It’s about talking about how you think or feel instead of holding it all inside until it explodes later. Taking time to yourself to clear your head and approach life with a clean slate. Even it is means doing it in saltwater for an hour.
Just don’t get it in your eye.