Is your hectic lifestyle getting you down? Are you looking for ways to lower your blood pressure, heal your body, and soothe your soul?
Today, I hear a lot of chatter about self-care and relaxing the mind. There are many relaxation methods, including massage, meditation, reiki, yoga, and aromatherapy. Practicing some form of daily relaxation is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Taking a few minutes to quiet your mind and breathe deeply can make a difference in each day.
Aside from meditation, I have explored many relaxation therapies. One that has always fascinated me and had a lot of “buzz” is called “floating.” Previously, I’d only read about it, but now it is available locally. A floating session involves being in an isolation tank, but it is not as scary as you might imagine. It is a lightless, soundproof tank in which you float in a high concentration of salt water at skin temperature. That sounds easy enough; I love taking baths.
Upon further investigation, I learned that John C. Lilly first used flotation tanks in 1954 to test the effects of sensory deprivation. Such tanks are now used for meditation, relaxation, and alternative medicine. The isolation tank was originally called the sensory deprivation tank. Other names include flotation tank, John C. Lilly tank, REST tank, sensory attenuation tank, and think tank. I call it a “relaxing pool with just me, myself, and I.” When you enter, sans clothing (optional), you are alone with just you! Although they do offer tanks for two.
So, following my curiosity, recently, I honored a friend with a special gift to celebrate her birthday. I took her to a “float” followed by lunch. I planned it to be a relaxing excursion. I booked two sessions, called her, and said, “Happy Birthday! We are going ‘floating,’ and you get to wear your birthday suit.” She wasn’t sure about this one.
Well, this was no bath! It was not a sensory experience with candles, bubbles, and scents; it was an otherworldly experience. I loved it!
As I started floating in only ten inches of water and in total darkness (optional for optimum benefit) in a weightless state, my mind chatter would not cease. Slowly, however, I quieted and heard only the beating of my heart and noticed my breathing slowly deaccelerating. I wondered, Is this what being in the womb is like? It seemed surreal yet very relaxing. For the next forty-five minutes, I enjoyed the quiet with just me, totally weightless, as if floating in space. The next thing I knew, I was awakening to birds chirping to pleasant soft music. I knew my time immersed in this dream-like state was at an end. I showered, put on a robe, and connected with my friend, who also enjoyed the experience (despite any initial trepidation; she knows when with me to “expect the unexpected”!). We then relocated to another relaxing space, the salt cave, and shared our experiences over a cup of herbal tea served to complete the therapy. When we headed out for lunch, we were calmly ready to enter the hectic “outside of the float tank” world in which we live.
Will I do it again? You betcha! I bought a six-month membership. The owner, Sarah LaTeano, is an army veteran who has partnered with her husband, Ryan of “ Float Forty One.” The location is 345 North Main Street, West Hartford, CT. Sarah is soft-spoken, calming, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about sharing the relaxing and healing benefits of “float therapy.”
I encourage all of my Idea Circle Women to give it a try! Should you plan to go, do mention me, Anne Garland, and “The Idea Circle for Women” to get 10% off your first visit. You have nothing to lose but your stress. Contact Sarah at 860-819-2949 and “relax.” I can’t wait to hear your stories of happy, stress-free days ahead!