Wednesday, September 21, 2016

East Coast Float Spa- The Key to Zen

When I first thought about doing a story on the East Coast Float Spa, I wasn't sure what it would be like. I like water, I like soaking in hot tubs or a nice bathtub, I love pools and swimming in the ocean.

I like salt water- so how about floating in a salt water tank in darkness for an hour?

I was intrigued.

I called and spoke with Community Engagement Director Gabrielle, who invited me to the West Chester location to try it out. The difference between most salt floats and the East Coast Float is the absence of tanks- they have flotation rooms.

Upon arriving I found a white clean open space with available salts and teas, and I was first shown into a room with a short video to answer any questions.

A father and teenage son were also in there with me, and we settled in comfy lounge chairs to watch. The video address concerns such as how deep is the float, is it in complete darkness, how sanitary is it, and can you wear a bathing suit.

After the video, Gabrielle took me down the hall past the four flotation rooms to the Cloud 10 Float room. It was set up like a little locker room, with a comfy bench with cubbies and hooks and shelves for my items and clothes. There was also a tiled corner for a shower and a door leading to the float.

I was told to completely rinse off including my hair, and then I can get right into the float at my leisure. Gabrielle left, and I locked the door and disrobed, and rinsed off.

The float is full of almost 1000 pound of pure medical grade Epsom salts per float, and the salt water is pumped three times through a state-of-the-art purification system to ensure the float is sanitary and clean for each float guest.

I put in ear plugs and opened the door, I wasn't sure what I'd see, but it was a like a large shower stall with 10 inches of water at the bottom and a sloped ceiling. It was not closed in at all, and I wasn't climbing down into a tank.

There was a little shelf and I brought my water in with me (glass is not allowed, but a water carton given to me by Gabrielle was perfect). There was also an assistance button for help if needed and the light switch.

It felt a little risque getting in naked, but the salt would weigh down any bath suit or underwear.

I stepped over the threshold and onto a little step, and into the warm water. It was not hot, it was around body temperature, and a bit slippery feeling. I pulled the door shut, and gently sank down into the water.

I expected it to be deeper, but it was not, just 10 inches of very salted water, and it was a fun, strange feeling of buoyancy as I stretched out my arms and began to breathe.

The warm water was unlike the ocean or a bathtub, and felt almost silky as it flowed over my skin and through my hair.

The outside light was on a motion timer, and it switched off. Inside, I had the option to float in complete darkness, or switch on a small blue LED light of the foot of the float. 

I could stretch out my arms and gently bob from side to side, or push up with my toes and float from the bottom to the top- the entire float was about 6 feet by 9 feet, and once I explored everything, I settled in to relax.

Note- you do NOT want to get salt water in your eyes. You will float, not sink, and you must keep your face above the water. 

I love going underwater, so I thought I could bob down, and you really can't due to how heavy the salt water is and yes, it will sting badly.

However, I just rinsed my face with my water bottle and gently dried with a small facecloth also on the float shelf.

I switched the light on because I felt a mite closed in, and the blue light gave a feeling of a the light on the ocean, or a private pool, which I enjoyed. 

I slowly began to meditate on feeling free as I floated, because when in here, it is a solitary experience.

What to think about? I had the light off for a while as I drifted around and thought about the summer, a new job, vacation, being happy. It was very peaceful because there was no outside stimuli, no phone, no light, no pictures, just me and my thoughts. 
With the earplugs in, I could hear my slow, steady breathing.

It was a very cool experience. I love water, and I didn't get cold as I floated around, swishing through the water, letting it glide through my fingertips and breathing out any stress. 
It really was a unique feeling in the dark, just letting pure sensation and thoughts take over. After a while, my mind stopped zooming and settled into a relaxed state.

I did start to get slightly restless and sensed my hour was up. Just then, the lights came on, and I sat up and finished my water, and very carefully stepped out. You wouldn't think it, but salt water is very slippery! 

I showered off and washed my hair, and soap and shampoo and conditioner were provided, along with fresh towels an a small piece of chocolate to recharge. 
You must do this, otherwise you'd have a crusty film of salt on you!

You can schedule appointments at the same time (in two hour increments) but everyone floats on their own as each of the four float rooms only hold one person.

When I came out, Gabrielle offered the use of the massage zero-gravity chairs, which I settled in to and relax, as the chair titled me back slightly and massaged me all over- compression on the hips on calves (yes please) even my hands and head, it really was great and I felt even more relaxed. 

I then settled in to use the oxygen bar on the other side of the relaxation room, which is something I have never done before. I hooked up the little tube under my nose why Gabrielle attached the tube to the oxygen with different flavors- I did vanilla and lime. 

This was very subtle. I sat their with my feet up, reclining, and took a lot of deep breathes.

So try it out- I want to knwo what you thought! If you go and use this CODE- ENGCHIK10 - you can save 10% off plus other amenities. 
The salt float was truly amazing, and helped me focus and relax- why don't you try it and see what sea salt floating does for you. 

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