Imagine lying on your back in a small tank of water. Your body is weightless as you drift into a sleep-like state; sore spots or injuries are magically relieved of pain and the worries of your day are stripped from your mind, at least for this moment.
This might sound like a mere dream come true for our active bodies and stressful lives. But it’s just the first of many benefits that come from flotation therapy at True REST Float Spa.
The therapy is nothing new; you might have heard it referred to as a sensory deprivation tank – a term coined in the ‘60s – which made a cameo in an episode of The Simpsons. But the Arizona company True REST is opening Columbus’ first flotation therapy spa in January 2015.
REST stands for Restricted Environmental Stimulus Therapy. The experience involves floating atop a mixture of 180 gallons of water and 1,000 pounds of salt in a small tank. The water is heated to skin temperature, which helps eliminate any other sensations or distractions. This can often feel “like floating on a cloud or in outer space,” according to Columbus franchise co-owner Heather Gerke.
The heart of the therapy relies on creating an intricate balance between taking care of our bodies and minds, which is essential to having a healthy and happy life.
The Epsom salt in the water exfoliates skin, hair and nails while also easing joint pain and stress. It is a natural relaxer, and one hour of weightless meditation acts as a reset button for your body and mind. The magnesium in the salt also naturally detoxifies, which can be especially beneficial for those who suffer from migraines or muscle and nerve problems, as magnesium can help ease headaches and increase nervous system functions. There are few ailments that this therapy, and Epsom salt in particular, cannot affect positively: it has been known to heal cuts, sore muscles and even soreness from childbirth, according to Gerke.
While floating weightlessly, you might experience feelings of euphoria caused by the gravity-free environment. This can also induce a dream-like state or sleep, which is completely OK and safe. And if you doze off, your body and mind are still feeling the full effects of the treatment. It is one of the few types of therapies that can work directly on your brain, according to Gerke.
It doesn’t matter if you have any experience with meditation or not; this environment naturally evokes a meditative theta state in your brain. This is a much deeper state than normal sleep, where theta brainwaves are slower, smoother and more rhythmic than normal beta or alpha brainwaves. You might have glimpses of theta sleep just briefly when you are slipping between wakefulness and sleep. Experiencing these brainwaves for an extended period of time can help bolster your immune system, memory, creativity and learning abilities.
The theta state aspect of the therapy in particular can help decrease blood pressure and inflammation, and in general those who meditate tend to experience more focus and mindfulness in an emotional sense throughout their lives. It also may take two to three floats to fully experience all the benefits.
“Our bodies are not trained to do this,” Gerke said. “It’s just like anything, you have to train your body to rest and to truly be centered and focused on your own being and your own health.”
The heart of the therapy relies on creating an intricate balance between taking care of our bodies and
minds, which is essential to having a healthy and happy life, according to Gerke. The floating offers an all-natural approach to achieving this balance. Whether you’re suffering from an illness or an injury, or just having a stressful day, lie back and float on until everything dissolves away.
True REST Float Spa will be located in Powell at 393 W. Olentangy St. For more information, visit www.truerest.com or call 614-798-TRUE.