Hello! How was your holiday weekend? I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon Sunday and then had the most relaxing day of my life yesterday. Seriously. Ben is in town and it was his birthday so we did all the things he loves = relax and eat meat. And I tried a float tank! It was weird but good.
First, let’s see what I’m doing right this second… sipping iced coffee, eating PB and talking to you nice people.
Back to yesterday and ALL THE RELAXING!
We went to get a Thai Massage first. It was a combo massage with tradition massage-y stuff plus some stretching. I really needed that after the race since my hamstrings are super tight.
From there we went to Newport Float Tank for 90 minutes of ‘Float Therapy’. Have you heard of this?
There are a couple of names for it – I think I’ve heard it called a sensory deprivation chamber or isolation chamber too. Basically it is a one person sized pool of very very concentrated salt water the same temperature as your body. You float in it very easily because of the salt levels. And since it’s the same temp as your body it’s like you don’t feel anything after a while, like you’re floating in air.
The Epson salts are thought to be very therapeutic and good for stress relief and pain. Since I’m a runner I’ve read a lot about Epson salt baths being good for muscle soreness and recovery. I figured this super high concentration of an Epson salt bath would be great for my muscles!
You shower before getting into the water. Then, you can place ear plugs in. The tank has a door that you open and step inside (naked and showered). Close the door behind you and it’s pitch black. You carefully lay down in the water on your back and easily float. Be careful not to get the water in your eyes – it stings if you do because of the salt!
The tank is silent and pitch black. Just relax and drift away. When your time is up soft music starts to play to wake you up and let you know it’s time to get out. You shower again enjoy being a smug new age hippie. Kidding
My float tank experience:
I was a little hesitant to do this in the first place. I am not a good napper and figured I would just lay in the water for a bit and then get bored. I floated in the water, got comfortable and zoned out thinking about life. Just as I was about to fall asleep I think my body started to turn sideways and I woke up.
I got out to check my phone and NOPE! I did fall asleep for at least an hour!! Whhat?! I didn’t feel groggy at all (like how usual naps make me feel). I felt super relaxed and calm. It was nice.
This article says calls it a REST = restricted environmental stimulation technique. I like that.
And the Newport Float site has some FAQs….
What is a flotation chamber?
Our chambers provide a light and sound free environment containing 12” of solution of water and about 1,000 lbs. of dissolved Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). The water is heated to skin temperature (about 95 degrees). The participant floats effortlessly with neither sound or light inputs.
What are the benefits of floating?
- Stress reduction
- Lessens blood pressure
- Enhances concentration and focus
- Relieves joint inflammation
- Pain relief from injuries
After the float therapy chamber I suggested a stop for beverages. The floating in salty air made me super parched! Which is weird, because I thought it would be humid in there but I didn’t feel like it was (Ben did though). Anyway. I got a bunch of drinks, including a tiny Slurpee.
I am not a sensory deprivation chamber expert so I can’t really tell you about the research behind it. But, it was enjoyable and relaxing for sure. I would do it again if I found a good deal or coupon or something.