Monday, January 22, 2018

Make Like a Boat — Float

June 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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Does floating in a relaxing environment sound appealing? Of course it does — you love boating! However, there are many precautions and responsibilities that accompany the joy of boating, and then there’s gravity. Those issues (and pull) are eliminated when you enjoy the benefits of a float pool or tank.

Tom WunkTom Wunk, the founder and co-owner with Hardy Patel of float locations known as The Float Place (www.thefloatplace.com), says people experience an “overall feeling of euphoria” when they silently float in skin-temperature, Epsom salt-laden water.

Euphoric was exactly how Wunk felt the first time he tried out a floating experience. He called it “life-changing” both in his physical well-being and in his career path. He installed a float tank in his basement and enticed friends, family, and then customers to find bliss in the brine. People were clamoring for opportunities to float, but having them come to his home just wasn’t ideal. “When people starting ringing neighbors’ doorbells or walking into the wrong houses, I knew it was time for another space.”

Float+SuiteThe Float Place has two locations, each with float rooms and a float tank. Pre-float, visitors retire to a private location to disrobe and shower (bathing suits are discouraged), and then step into the ultimate waterbed for no-goal, no stimulation, and no-stress floating.

Akin to being suspended in the supremely salty waters of the Dead Sea, people with physical ailments report feeling that as their spines elongate their complaints lessen. Though the therapeutic effects of Dead Sea salts differ from Epsom salts, people derive benefits both from relieving the gravitational pull on their aching bodies and by being immersed in warm water releasing magnesium and sulfate.

Pressured floaters and those with anxiety find their shoulders ungrip as their cortisol (stress) levels drop. In a float pool or tank, unlike the outdoors, there’s sensory and environmental deprivation, giving floaters the ability to release their worries or focus on their thoughts until they obtain clarity. Floaters leave comments in The Float Place’s post-float room about reliving happy memories and/or their delight in surrendering to the luxury of feeling weightless and unhurried. Scientific studies have found that light deprivation and the absence of outside input increase brain activity and creativity, much like a good night’s sleep or meditation. Float+Room

Do blissed-out people fall asleep in float pools or tanks, I wondered? Wunk says they could, but it’s highly unlikely that they’d flip over, as it takes a great deal of effort to do so in the less than 12 inches of salt-saturated water. If you did somehow manage to turn yourself over, you’d wake right up, he reassures me — “Believe me, that much salt in your mouth and eyes would burn!”

Another concern for some people might be claustrophobia, but Wunk explains that float rooms are unlike elevators or other enclosed spaces where the person has no real control over exiting. “The floater can get out at any time, which is comforting,” he advises.

Also comforting is the bonus after an elating float. According to Wunk, “Across the board, everyone who experiences floating sleeps like a baby.

By Lita Smith-Mines

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