My boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship, so when we get a chance to reunite, we like to fill our time with fun, exciting activities. I had heard about “floating,” or floatation therapy, through a friend. It’s a similar experience to floating in the Dead Sea. 1,200 pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in 1,000 liters of water will make anyone extremely buoyant. Epsom sales have been shown to help with muscle aches, body detoxification, and to reduce swelling.
It’s essentially a sensory deprivation tank- there is no light, no sound, and you feel like you’re floating on a cloud. It’s supposed to calm and soothe our ever busy minds by providing no distractions. I found a spa close to me, ISO SPA in Ottawa, Ontario. It had great reviews, and the photos made it look really clean and modern. I found a coupon code on Groupon (a nod to you, college budget) and booked us in for a 1-hour “soak”.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the owner, who told us to help ourselves to lemon water and tea in their beautiful waiting room while he prepared the rooms for us. Everything was extremely clean, and he was very thorough with his instructions (WARNING: DO NOT GET THE WATER IN YOUR EYES). We each had our own private room with a “pod”, and we were instructed to shower first, get in and close the lid.
This book was in the waiting room and I went home and ordered it right away!
I want to start off by saying it was extremely difficult to completely clear my head, and my boyfriend said the same. For people who meditate regularly: you would love this. For people who don’t: it might be a waste of your time.
I showered, jumped into my pod and closed the lid. The water and the air were room temperature, and it was completely dark. You have the option to keep the light on, but I didn’t- it was a little too bright for my liking. A speaker came on with the sounds of waves crashing and birds chirping in an attempt to help me relax. It only lasted 5 minutes, but I could’ve listened to it the whole time. I opted out using the ear plugs, but halfway through regretted it and got out to grab them, which disturbed the hour a little bit.
It felt weird trusting that the water would keep my head above water, but it did. The owner later told us that for comparison, the tanks can hold a bowling ball afloat. There was a pool noodle that you could use behind your neck if you wanted. It felt like drifting through space- I kept imagining that I was looking at the milky way.
It was really comfortable, and for the brief periods of mental clarity, I really did feel the benefits of floating. You are able to focus all your energy on just being, and that in itself is an experience.
Overall, I had a great time. I feel like if we had gone a little bit later in the day (we went at 1pm) I might’ve been able to fall asleep in there! But we had gone out the night before and slept in a little bit, so I felt wide awake. When we were done, we were encouraged to relax in the lobby and talk about our experience, which was nice. Nothing about our experience felt rushed.
I would recommend trying it at least once because I know there are a lot of people out there that would absolutely love it. ISO SPA offers memberships for people that are interested, and if you don’t like being in such a confined spa, NORDIK SPA in Gatineau, Quebec offers a giant community float pool in their Källa treatment room.
LET ME KNOW IF YOU DECIDE TO TRY IT!