A First Float Experience

written by Melody T.

“Lay for an hour in 1000 lbs of Epsom salted water”, they said. “Close yourself in a tank, in pitch black, for an hour”, they said. “This sounds like a recipe for a panic attack!” I said. And I did it anyway, because apparently I just listen to people and trust them when they look like legitimate decent human beings. But guess what? Turns out floating is the real deal-bees knees and I’m HOOKED. Here is why….

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I invited my business babe friend Sydney Mintle to join me for our first float experience together at Float Seattle’s Bellevue location. I showed up in sweats, no makeup, and a high bun. She looked gorgeous and put together. For that, I love her even more. She clearly takes our day dates much more serious than I. Moving on….

We were greeted by Max, who gave us a tour of the space and a tutorial on how to enjoy our first float experience. He thoroughly answered all our questions and was patient as we meandered around the space to get mentally prepared. As if we were boarding a shuttle for space. My goal was to really let myself shut down for the hour, turn off the light, close the tank lid, and try to relax in to the water. With every intention made up in my mind, I still had so much hesitation about if I would truly be able to LET IT GO.

Sydney and I bid farewell to one another from across the hall, shouted “see ya in an hour”, and closed the doors behind us.

The room was dimly lit, mostly by the light in the tank (or as I really like to call it, “cocoon”), and the air was cozy. It nearly felt like there was no temperature change between the warmth of the room and my anxious body. The walls, concrete and industrial, donned a shower head that lived about 3 feet from the cocoon entry. I lingered at the foot of the cocoon, jamming and twisting in the squishy ear buds while the green glow from the 10 inches of salted water warmed my face. I turned on the shower head and let the warm water wash over me. I took a deep breath in and pushed it out with a fatigued sigh. Clearly I was in need of this.

Moving in to the cocoon, as Max instructed me, I dried off my face thoroughly, hung the face towel on the inside handle of the cocoon lid in case I needed it mid-float, stepped inside slowly, holding on to the lid for safety, and as I sat down in the water I pulled the lid down over me. Before I gave thought to the fact that I was closed up in a small cocoon, naked, in water, in a strange place I pushed the light button and closed my eyes, drawing my arms up overhead and relaxing my shoulders into the water. I felt my belly tense as it tried to hold my body up, but then I realized the water was carrying my weight. ALL of my weight. My head became heavy in the water, but never did my eyes go below the water’s surface. I released my calves and my thighs. They, too, were being supported by the 1000 pounds of salt and water. Nature at its finest. It was magical, really.

I swayed my body from one side of the cocoon to the other. Like a starfish, reaching out, touching the edges, running my fingers through my hair that felt like slow moving silk sheets caressing my hands and arms. Only the sound of my breath going in and releasing out was present. I couldn’t even sense the beat of my own heart. It was incredible. My core finally relaxed and I settled in without resistance. Once I laid motionless and I allowed my body to stop fighting against its need to hold me up against gravity, it felt as if I was stuck somewhere between dreaming and reality. Truly - totally cliche, but I tell no lies here. Once I would move my body after lying still, I could feel my joints and aches and pains snap and crackle and pop back in to place. As if they were crying out THANK GOD, FINALLY!

I had half expected to have visions, recall memories, or feel like an ah-ha moment would erupt in my brain, but unfortunately there was no brain explosion. HOWEVER, shortly before my session was over, I had somewhat fallen in to a sleep state, yet still aware of my surroundings in the cocoon. And suddenly, the faces of my two beautiful daughters, with ear to ear grins, presented themselves in the forefront of my mind. Tears poured from the outside corners of my eyes within an instant of this vision and my body uncontrollably wept. From the tears, to the tingling in my fingers and the bottoms of my feet, an emotion of thankfulness and gratitude had burst free.

The lights flickered to signal my hour was complete. I felt at ease… relaxed and at peace. I wanted to just keep crying - the release was beautifully refreshing.

Post float, the effects were felt through the day. Food tasted better, I was inspired to write again, my body moved without ache or pain, I slept incredibly well… I wanted to crawl back in to that cocoon and spill into that space of clarity.

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Every one will have a different and unique float experiences. Many do not feel the effects or have such an intense experience on their first float. It can take a couple floats to really let your body settle in to the water and feel the benefits.

So, why go float? Why not…. there are so many wonderful benefits that come from that 1 simple hour alone, just you and a tank of salted water. Nature is a beast. It is made with the intention to carry you through life. So let it…

[check out Melody’s personal blog here, or follow her on Instagram]