This post is written in partnership with inBody, a natural therapy spa in Arlington, MA. I received a complimentary float therapy session in exchange for this post.
I’m not sure when or where I first heard about float therapy, but I know I took an instant shine to the idea. One of my favorite places to be is floating just far enough off shore that I can’t hear anything (or anyone… asking me for more snacks), but close enough that I won’t accidentally get pulled out to France and/or eaten by a shark. I love the sensation of being weightless, but also totally aware of my body and breath. I love the meditative rhythm of the waves, and that feeling that’s pretty close to surrender.
This is me casually floating in my bathtub (because I didn’t dare risk dropping my phone into the float tank), making use of a whole bunch of hoxie organics lemon + lavender bath salts… and following through on my #noshopfeb plans to use enjoy the pretty things I already have…
The water at the Cape is far too cold for floating these days, and we’re not headed south any time soon (though I am day dreaming of this amazing trip), so when Christine + Valerie at inBody invited me in for a complimentary service, I jumped at the chance to try float therapy.
THE SCOOP ON FLOAT THERAPY at INBODY
The Arlington spa is a short drive from the city and is beautifully decorated (the fireplace in the lounge was my favorite, especially given that it was -300° F on the day of my appointment). Valerie gave me a quick tour and then brought me to the float area, which includes a private shower + changing area, along with the float tank itself. Unlike other places that offer float therapy, inBody’s float tank is not a pod (I was initially concerned that I might get claustrophobic, so I was both relieved and surprised by how spacious the float tank is). Valerie walked me through the process, and then it was time to float!
You shower both before and after floating (inBody offers towels and basic shower supplies, as well as earplugs) and then step into the float tank. The tank provides a total sensory deprivation experience — if that’s what you’re looking for. I was a bit of a wimp at first and kept the lights and ambient music low for the first few minutes, but then decided to go for it.
Float sessions last 60 minutes, and the water is filtered and sterilized between sessions. Water is kept at body temperature and contains hundreds of pounds of epsom salt, so floating in the tank is truly effortless (like… you couldn’t sink if you tried…).
Thanks for all the great questions you submitted via Instagram! I’m hoping I answered them all. Got more questions about floating at inBody? Check out their FAQ here.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH FLOAT THERAPY at INBODY
I went into the float tank expecting (or hoping) to totally zone out and be, like, hyper relaxed. It took almost no time for my body to relax and get comfortable. I had gone to Mama Beasts class and run the day before, so my creaky knees and hips definitely appreciated the instant release. The music and light controls were within reach and very easy to adjust. After a few minutes, I turned both off and really embraced the sensory depravation experience.
I’m sure everyone’s experience with float therapy is different, but it was not at all what I expected (in a very cool way). I definitely did not zone out (though I know many people do). Instead, I found my brain sort of kicking into overdrive. At first I felt like I had failed some sort of mental test (shouldn’t I be able to quiet my thoughts, at least for a little bit?), but it occurred to me how rare it is to have literally nothing tugging at our attention. No music, no noise, no people, no phone or other electronics, no imagery, nothing. It made sense to me then, that the thoughts and ideas would flow, filling up the space that’s usually occupied by the daily noise. I let go of my expectation of essentially water nap time (that does sound legit, though), and embraced what became a really productive + energizing creative brainstorm. I left the tank with renewed energy and clarity, excited about a number of projects I am working on.
WOULD I FLOAT AGAIN?
Yes. Absolutely. And now that I have a better sense of what to expect, I think I’d get even more out of it. I think I’d likely try to go later in the day (I went straight from dropping the kids at preschool), if only to avoid having to rush home and make myself look like, well, I hadn’t just been floating for an hour. I’d also recommend bringing your own deep conditioner or hair mask (this is what I use) to wear home, as I found the salt dried out my hair a bit. Otherwise, it was such a positive and energizing experience.
I’m also looking forward to checking out inBody’s other services, which include:
- Cryotherapy (Nick is dying to try this)
- Infrared sauna
- Chromotherapy (an add-on service for infrared sauna sessions)
- Himalayan salt sauna
Services can be purchased separately, in sampler packages, or as part of a monthly membership. For pricing info, visit inBody’s website. Anyone wish they were headed to the sauna instead of out into the arctic tundra that is Boston today?
Also On Tap for Today:
- How Technology Is (and Isn’t) Changing Our Reading Habits from the NYT
- Sorting clothing to donate + consign
- Intriguing: A 30 Day Digital Decluttering from Nick Wignall, and the follow-up/lessons learned from TheStartup
Tried anything new lately? Let’s hear about it.