This idea came from my friend Megan. She told me about a place over in Marlton called FLOAT Sensory Deprivation Floatation Center. I googled it and they were having a special.I can’t swim. I don’t know what this floating thing is. OK, count me in.
I went today for a 90min float.
It’s a cute little place in a strip mall. They have 3 floatation rooms. I liked that it was small. It seems to add to the quiet vibe of the place. Each room has a small dressing area, a shower and the float area. The float tank/pool is behind a sliding door. The pool is about the size of about a queen size bed. The water is only 11 inches deep. This relatively small amount of water contains 1000 lbs of Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate). There is foamy layer floating on top that makes the pool appear to look solid but of course it’s not. The lighting is dim and it seemed relaxing before I even got in. You can choose relaxing nature sounds and low lighting or you can have complete silence and complete darkness.
First you have to shower to remove any makeup, lotions etc before entering the pool. I took care of that and carefully stepped into the pool. The Magnesium Sulfate feels a little slippery but they do have grab bars all around. I got in and just as the owner warned me, I was so buoyant that my legs popped up above the water and I kind of flipped backwards. The bottom of the pool and almost every surface in the chamber is very rough. I guess to avoid slipping. My bottom brushed along the pool bottom and that caused my butt to get scraped and then the salt stung my ass. Ugh. Not a great start. I got my balance and slid the door shut.
So, I mentioned I cant swim. When I thought this was a great idea, I figured Hey. it’s only 11 inches of water. I can certainly handle that. What was I thinking? It was kind of like when you are a kid in the pool and an adult holds you and says “just relax and you will float” Well, I never floated. I struggled and sunk. Yeah, those memories came flying back. I was floating (I had no choice) but every muscle in my body was tense and I was breathing fast. I slowed my breathing and tried to relax. It took a while but I was sort of relaxed. Then I got brave (and stupid). I switched off the music. Wow. Absolutely no sound. Cool. I can do this. Then I switched off the light.
Crap. I could’t see anything. Really anything. Complete darkness. Ok, don’t panic, just relax. I got this. After a few minutes, my head tapped the wall. Then my feet tapped the wall. Hmm, how can that be? The pool is much longer than me. Let’s just flick those nice old lights on. Shit where are the lights? I felt all over. No light button. It’s got to be here. Just stay calm. Slowly feel the wall. It’s got to be here. Light buttons can’t disappear. Nope. Not here. The wall behind me? Nope not there. Lets not panic. Just open the sliding door. Shit. Where is the door? It was here a minute ago. It’s so damn dark. I tried to feel all over the walls. I kept bobbing up out of the water. No light button. No door. It’s got to be here! Be calm. Think logically. Is there anything I can find. I started to squirm around trying to feel for anything. My ass started to get scraped again. Oh, screw this! Where is that damn door? This went on for like…..forever. Finally I did find the door. Light streamed in. The problem was that I am so short that I had floated sideways and didn’t know it. I was so not relaxed.
Ok, lets start again. I spun myself around. There was a grab bar above my head. I held on to it and slid the door closed again. I took a deep breath and shut off the light. I am going to relax, Damn it! First I tried to relax with both arms holding on. Then one arm. Then no arms. I slowed my breathing.The water and the humid air are the same temperature so after a minute or two, you can’t feel where the water stops and the air starts. Weird.
All I could hear was my breathing. Then after a while of such silence, I could hear my heart beating. Weird. Then I felt like I is was completely still. With the silence and no sense of the water or air, it felt like total deep stillness. Weird, but nice. Soothing. Not like anything else i have experienced. I tried to go with the feeling. That made it more intense. Eventually I fell into that “I’m not asleep, but really close to it” state and just hung there. I don’t know how long I stayed like that. Time was impossible to gauge in that environment. Suddenly the little chimes sounded and I was done. I showered again and got ready to go.
Thoughts: I would definitely enjoy it more the second time. It did take some getting used to.
Pain: They told me the Epsom salts would make my swollen joints feel better. They were right. Joint pain/heat/swelling much better.
Anxiety: After my initial panic, yes much better.
Verdict: Weird but very good. Will definitely do again.
FLOAT Marlton 609-712-1618
Never heard of that one! There is a “salt cave” here in Camp Hill, that claims major benefits from an hour in there inhaling the sodium crystals. It’s supposed to be like an entire day at the beach…. They also dim the lights and play soothing music. The “sand” under foot is really salt and you lay in a beach/lounge chair with a blanket on…. Maybe you’d like to try this too….
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