History: Float therapy has been on the rise in mainstream health circles lately. People are finding this to be a unique way to heal a variety of ailments. Believe it or not though, this form of healing has actually been around for almost 70 years!
The first float pod was created in the 50's by medical practitioner and neuro-psychiatrist John C. Lilly as a sensory deprivation tank. According to Wikipedia, Lily was a researcher of the nature of consciousness using mainly isolation tanks, dolphin communication and psychedelic drugs, sometimes in combination.
Lilly wondered what would happen to us when all senses were removed & found a sensory deprivation tank to be the closest thing to doing this. No sound, no touch (because you are floating), no taste or site (you are in pure darkness) and no smell. What Lily learned is that the float experience creates a deeper connection with oneself and hurdles you into a meditative state.
Float therapy is said to be the most intimate experience that you'll have with yourself, kind of like going back into the womb. There is nothing else to do but be one with your mind. This can take your mind to a lot of places, but eventually the salt calms your spirit and the meditation begins.
Through this invention it was learned of the great physical healing properties that came with it. Once celebrities like John Lennon, Kris Kristofferson and Robin Williams got into floating, the culture began to take off. Unfortunately, floating took a huge plunge in the 80's during the AIDS scare as people were not quite sure how disease spread back then.
Vice did a really interesting documentary on floating I recommend checking out.
What is an isolation tank? An isolation tank, also known as float therapy, is a pitch black, soundproof tank filled with salt water heated to skin temperature. By matching the water to the temperature of our skin, we are able to effortlessly feel one with our environment. There are 1000 lbs. of magnesium sulphate (epsom salt) added to 10 inches of water which creates a solution so buoyant that you float!
With nobody in the room but you and gravity removed, your body can finally relax! All muscles loosen over the hour and the true healing magic begins! You have the option to leave the door to your in pod open if you wish, or perhaps just cracked if you need a * little* glimpse into the outside world. You are in control! There is even a safety button inside the pod if you need to ring the attendant.
Healing: Epsom salt healing is considered to be an ancient practice. The list of health benefits is so long that I am going to link to a page listing all of the healing powers. The main benefits come to those who have suffered from a physical injury and want to reduce inflammation or those with anxiety and depression, but EVERYONE can benefit from this method.
The earliest recorded discovery of epsom salts was in the 1600's by a farmer who lived in an English town named Epsom. He noticed his cows would not drink from a spring that was discovered to have these salts. He also observed that the cows who waded in this water would heal sores much quicker than the other cows.
Many people in England began to travel to Epsom to experience the numerous health benefits, particularly the relief from the painful symptoms of gout and for the natural purging effects of the water.
Epsom Salts are great for your skin, hair, nails, and act as an exfoliate. You will notice almost immediately how smooth your skin feels! If you are concerned the the salt will be drying, worry no more as it has the opposite effect!
Personal Experience: Oh, so much to say about floating! First off, I would recommend that you do NOT float while caffeinated. You want to invoke a calm state of mind and caffeine can disrupt everything. I notice that for me, going first thing in the morning is best because my mind is still waking up. Once my mind and body get going I begin to feel super-charged and floating for an hour is not easy.
Visiting here definitely feels like a day at a futuristic spa. You get your own private room that's dimly lit, a luxurious shower, soft music playing and a glowing pod of salt water to immerse in (the lights turn off once you close the pod). It's lovely! Floating puts me into a calm, dream-like state. I emerge feeling light, refreshed and balanced. It's truly a unique experience in itself and a great way to take on the day.
I must also note that floating gets easier with time! The first time I did it I spent a lot of time analyzing what was going on. I know not everybody has an over-active mind like me though and I hear most people find it very easy to drift off. I have never been the type who can take naps, which this is similar to, so floating in pure silence for an hour took a little adjusting. Even if you don't drift off, it's completely worth it though for the physical benefits alone!
In regards to healing, this is a great tool to implement in one's steps to a healthier lifestyle. Whether it is physical or emotional trauma you have suffered from, there are a lot of benefits to Epsom salt soaks. I recommend you find out what is actually wrong with you though before you begin your steps of healing. If there is something seriously wrong with you, all the salt in the world probably won't help. Get the proper medicine, removal, whatever it may be, then begin the healing process.
Photos can only show a tiny glimpse of the experience. Video can help a little more but to truly learn what this is all about, you must do it yourself. If it is your first time at True Rest, you will begin by watching an educational video on floating. I found it to be really helpful and eased me into a peaceful experience. The lounge area is really nice!
Walking down the hallway you'll see a glowing room in the distance with the space-age pod you'll be staying in! t's super new age. I love it!
Make sure to rinse off before entering the pod. You'll want to remove all oils and soaps from your body. After the float you rinse again. It felt so great to be under the warm water. It is such a strange yet luxurious experience!
I unfortunately could not take my camera inside the pod with me because it's not waterproof, so much will remain a mystery unless you check it out for yourself!
After your session, head up to the front for your infused oxygen therapy! This is a great way to end your treatment. I chose lavender the first time I visited to soothe and lemongrass the second time to uplift.