So a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go “floating”. Now, if you have ever heard of floating you may have had the same image in your head that I had, and honestly, it prevented me from going to experience it for the longest time.
I had painted this picture in my head of floating on water for an hour inside some futuristic outer-space pod with no room to move and in pitch-black darkness with no sounds but the thoughts in your head. It sounds soothing and relaxing, doesn’t it? Let me put your mind at ease, it’s not exactly like that.
The Benefits of Floating
So what is floating anyways? Technically you are floating in something called a sensory deprivation tank because you are floating in an environment that takes away all of your senses. There are no smells or tastes, you can’t see or hear anything and you float in skin temperature Epsom salt water (for buoyancy) so you really don’t feel anything either.
Herein lies the wonders of floating – it puts you into a meditative state so you can achieve a number of health benefits. These benefits, which are backed up by scientific studies, include:
- Decreases anxiety and depression
- Improves your sleep
- Decreases stress
- Relieves pain
- Enhances athletic performance
- Improves your creativity
You may or may not achieve some of those benefits, especially during your first float but in all honesty, it was so relaxing that I would want to do it again even if I didn’t see any of those benefits. I’ll share with you quickly my experience as best as I can.
The floating studio that I went to is in the Denver area called VIVE Float Studio. This place was so nicely decorated and calming that it reminded me more of a spa than anything else. The staff was friendly, everything was clean, and the moment I walked through the door I felt relaxed.
The staff gave my wife and me a tour and intro to floating which made me more comfortable because at this point I was still a little unsure of what to expect. I was shown to my floating room which was a private suite complete with your own shower, changing area, and of course your floating area. The floating area was definitely more like a giant bathtub than a futuristic space pod. I had the option of having calming music playing or soft colored lights on while I was floating but I opted to just go for it and be in the most sensory-deprived state I could be in.
It was quite the experience taking away all of my senses and just “floating”. It felt like it took a while for me to get into a meditation-like state, likely because this was my first experience, but it was extremely relaxing nonetheless. I worked on my breathing, tried not to think about all of the stuff going on in my life right now, and even took a nap for I don’t know how long. When my floating time was up I was shown to “The Quiet Center” where I was able to enjoy some amazing tea, recline in an oversized recliner with a blanket and relax even more. The whole thing really was an amazing experience. I felt energized for the rest of the day and slept like a baby that night waking up refreshed the next morning.
I have only been floating once so I have no idea if all of the floating studios are like VIVE, but if they aren’t they should be. Let me know if you had a similar experience and what your float studio was like, I’m interested to know if I should try another place or stay with VIVE. My gut says stay with VIVE (and no this wasn’t sponsored by VIVE).