I’ve been meaning to post about flotation therapy/sensory deprivation for a few months.
Let me start at the beginning: a couple years ago I was wandering around the trendy part of my city, and I walked by this place called Body Mind Float Center. I was on my way to the amazing chocolate shop across the street, but I paused in front of this storefront wondering what in the holy hell was going on in there. After a moment I continued on my way and forgot about the place almost immediately.
A few months ago I was back in this part of town and walked by the place again, and there was an A-frame sign out front listing some of the health benefits of floating, like reducing stress, helping depression and anxiety, and helping to relieve chronic pain.
Ok, I’m listening.
When I got home I did a cursory Google search and found a bunch of articles; just about all of them emphasized a reduction in stress and tension and mentioned how relaxed they felt after floating. A few also corroborated the sign’s claim that floating helps chronic pain (fibromyalgia specifically), insomnia, depression, and anxiety, all of which I suffer from. Bonus: some of the articles mention benefits to skin and hair.
So, I made an appointment. The place where I float has a program aimed at fibromyalgia sufferers that offers a discount if you give them a note from a doctor with the diagnosis and permission to float. I’m all for a discount, so I talked to my doctor about it. We have a really good relationship, so I explained that I’d like to explore some alternatives to taking a bunch of medications, and while she was skeptical, she trusts me to do my research about things like this and she signed off on it.
When I arrived, I was greeted by a sign in the entryway requesting that I remove my shoes. This was a bit awkward, as my first appointment was in January and it was snowy. The carpet was wet and covered in salt, and there were shoes just thrown about willy-nilly. At that point, I was questioning my decision, but I managed to get inside without soaking my socks. The dude working the reception desk was totally Bohemian and barefoot. Unexpected. He took me into my room, explained the process and answered my questions. I asked him for permission to film in the room, and he said that as long as I wasn’t filming the other clients I was free to do whatever I wanted during my session. Cool.
I was in the tank for 90 minutes, and it was awesome. I made a little video about my first experience. This is the first time I’ve ever edited one of my videos, so it’s not perfect, but you get the idea.
I’ve had two more float sessions since making this video and I love it. I always feel so good when I’m done. The last time I think I fell asleep because it felt like I was in the tank for about 10 minutes, and when I left I felt so gloriously rested. My skin also felt amazing, despite it being the middle of winter.
I’m a big fan of this therapy, and I’ll continue to go for as long it makes me feel normal. If you have any of the conditions mentioned in the articles I linked above, I highly recommend trying this at least once.