Have you heard of float spas? Quite some time ago, there was a new thing called a “sensory deprivation tank,” and it was supposed to have all these benefits. It really was a long time ago, so I can’t remember what they were claiming it did, but it looked like a coffin, and was pitch black inside with no sound. You were inside a coffin. It freaked me out, because I don’t do well with enclosed spaces.

Flash forward to today, and it’s all different now. The pods are nice and large – I doubt you could put two people in a float spa, but you have lots of space. There are lights – a small LED light would change through colors – or you can leave them off. There is music, or you can leave that off too. You can leave the float spa pod open, or you can stuff a towel in the hinge area to keep it open two inches so you don’t have a panic attack. Or you can close it up.

It’s all up to you!

Here’s the deal: you are soaking in water that is loaded up with eposm salts, which actually isn’t a salt at all, but a compound made up of sulfate and magnesium. These elements are absorbed through the skin easily, and have been known to help muscle function and reduce inflammation as well as flush toxins from the system. The solution is heated to body temperature, so you cannot tell which part of your body is out of the water (hint: more than you’d think – because you’re floating).

The float spa that I visited was absolutely lovely. Obviously you had your own private room, but it came with a shower, so you could shower before getting into the pod, as well as shampoo, soap up, and everything else you need to do after lying in epsom salts for an hour. The shower and the pod were pretty much all that could fit in there. It was wonderful being able to climb out of the spa and go right into a hot shower with no moving rooms. After you shower and dress, there was a seperate “makeup room” where you could get ready for whatever you’re doing next.

So, what did I get out of it? Total muscle relaxation. A quiet brain. And the epsom salts made my skin feel amazing.

Because the water is so salty, it boots your buoyancy. The salter the water, the more you will float. You do not float as well in fresh water, believe it or not.

So you’re nice and buoyant with no chance of your face falling into the water. It feels as if you are floating in mid-air. The salts feel like they counteract gravity. Once your brain realizes that it doesn’t need to send out constant commands, you move into a dreamy state. I would say that it feels like that time before you fall asleep, where you’re awake, but not. That inbetween time.

You don’t think about much in the float spa – and I just used an old meditation trick of imagining my thoughts in a bubble and watching them float away. Acknowledging them then letting them go. I settled in to my meditative state in about 15 minutes, because I couldn’t let go of my initial anxiety.

So how does it make you more beautiful? One hour of complete stress relief can soften your face and your body. Your skin benefits from the salts and practically glows. Your mood is stable and happy. And a happy girl is the most beautiful of all.

Now, to get down to brass tacks, I’ll tell you the benefits I got out of one session, and what the list of benefits that it might help. I suffer from bruxism, where I am constantly cleanching my jaw. I have no control over it, and I do it awake or asleep. I don’t even realize when I’m doing it.

As I’ve gotten older, that constant cleanching has started to get a bit painful. Not only the jaw, but the muscle there that wraps up to the temple. And the muscles down my neck and into my shoulders. Pain meds don’t help, and I won’t take a narcotic (they don’t help either). I can sometimes get relief from Ativan, a benzodiazapene, but those are highly addictive and best avoided and used only when the pain is unbearable. The float completely relaxed muscles in my jaw and neck that I didn’t even realize I had. By the time I was leaving the spa, My muscles felt lighter, softer, and I wasn’t in any pain.

Amazing stuff. Here are all the benefits I’ve found:

The Physical

  • Relief of pain and a release of endorphins to stabalize mood.
  • Initiating and maintaining weight loss
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Increase in energy levels and lower amounts of tiredness
  • Elevation of sexual pleasure (someone check in and let me know if this is true)
  • Helps reduce smoking, drug use, other addictions
  • Improved quality of sleep

The Mental/Emotional

  • Lowers stress levels significantly
  • Decreased anxiety, depression, tension, and stress-related ailments
  • Reduction of insomnia
  • Enhanced creativity, imagination, visualization, problem solving
  • Increased mental clarity, concentration, and memory
  • Increased work productivity

The Healing

  • Improved athletic performance
  • Facilitation of recovery from injury
  • Alleviation of neuromuscular aches and pains, inflammation and tendonitis, and sprains/strains
  • Detoxification of the body
  • Improved sports performance

Did you know float spas are used by the Dallas Cowboys? Apparently they have one in their modalities room.

People have been sitting in salty hot springs for thousands of years. They can’t all be wrong, there has to be something to it. I’m betting a float after a good yoga class would be absolutely amazing. I might need to schedule that.

I visited Dream Float Spa in Virginia Beach. Call them up to schedule your appointment. (757) 222-0880