For date night last week Kelly and I did our first float. If you have never heard of floating you are not alone. I think of it like a kind of meditation, but far more intense than I achieve sitting on a pillow! It involves laying in a float tank filled with about ten inches of water at body temperature. The water is mixed with about 1,000 pounds of dissolved Epsom salts that makes it more dense than the Dead Sea! This means that you can lay on top of the salty mixture and not sink. And once your body adjusts to the water you feel no tactile input on the skin or pressure points in your body, so you feel like you are, well…floating! You can also wear earplugs and turn off the lights to deprive your senses and fully shut out the chaos of daily life.
We went to the The Float Shoppe in NW Portland and did 90 minute floats that flew by far too quickly. The staff were very sweet, explaining everything and making us feel at home. You get your own float tank and room, complete with a shower, towels, ear plugs and everything else you need for a successful float.
The experience you have really is your own! Many things can happen when you are alone with your thoughts and feelings. For most there is a heightened awareness of the breath and heartbeat, and a sense of peace, calm and relaxation. I would imagine some might be fearful of the experience, but the controlled environment (by you) is safe and soothing, and allows whatever is naturally in you to emerge in a way that can be healing. They say the effects of floating can last days, and that was our experience.
If you have never floated before, I really encourage you to give it a try!