Recently, I went for a float at INNGI Float in Highlands Ranch, CO. The premise behind floating, as I understand it, is to provide a zero gravity, sensory-deprived environment so that your body can repair, recover and rest. The isolation tank is filled with body-temperature water and Epsom salts, which make it five times more buoyant than sea water. You enter the pod and lay back into the water, floating effortlessly on the surface with all parts of your body supported. In this way, your muscles no longer have to fight against the constant downward push of gravity. As muscle tension melts away, you find yourself floating weightless and free.
At INNGI, you have a choice to have light and/or music throughout your float, or only for the first five and last five minutes. I chose to have light for only the beginning and end, and music throughout. You can also decide whether to close the pod completely or leave it open any amount. For someone like me, who can be claustrophobic, I recommend leaving the cover of the pod slightly ajar, which I achieved by placing a towel on the edge. For those who chose to have no light or music, and close the pod, they enter what is referred to as floatation-REST (restricted environmental stimulation technique). Without outside stimulation, your body can enter a deep state of relaxation that is said to be as beneficial as sleep.
Without the distractions of the outside world, some floaters say that their creativity is heightened due to entering into a theta state, which we normally cross briefly as we fall asleep – like a waking dream where the senses are sharpened and mind refreshed. Others use floating as a tool for meditation, achieving deep focus and awareness. In addition to the psychological benefits, there are physical benefits as well. While floating, the body has an opportunity to reset and realign itself. The body absorbs the magnesium from the Epsom salt-infused water facilitating a flush of lactic acid from tired muscles. Some experience reduced pain of acute injury, physical exertion, or chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia. Another benefit enjoyed by many is an excellent night of sleep following a float, which serves those with insomnia or recovering from jet lag.
I found that I was able to enter a deep state of relaxation, which carried with me throughout my commute in traffic to get home, and into a restful night’s sleep. I have always had a deep connection to water, so the sensation of floating is relaxing and calming for me. Floating offers a brief escape from our high-stress society of work and family obligations, and outside stimuli. If you struggle with fatigue, muscle aches, insomnia, inability to relax, or want to tap into your creativity, I recommend trying a float to experience it for yourself.