Friday Favorites: Float Your Stress Away

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or listening to too much political mumbo jumbo, you’ve probably heard of the term Floating.

Basically, it’s submerging your body in 200 gallons of water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt while inside a dark and completely silent pod or tank. Why on Earth would someone do it?

Because it’s FREAKING amazing that’s why.

Ok, that’s a bit vague, here’s why:

  • It reduces stress.
  • Eases chronic pain.
  • Blocks out the haters.
  • Detoxes the body.
  • Speeds up sports recovery.
  • Basically ALL the things

Living in Iowa, I thought I’d never be able to experience a float. However, my wish was granted when I found Cloud 9 Spa in Ely, Iowa. Yes, Ely. Population 1,950. Not a big metropolis, but a quaint small town nestled in the cornfields of Iowa.

When you first walk into Cloud 9 Spa, the calming energy is overwhelming. Tammy Bryant, the owner, has put great thought into every aspect of the design and flow of the space. There are two areas in the spa – the massage space, which includes two massage rooms, a gorgeous sitting area, and even a sauna. I have yet to indulge in the massage experience, but you can bet I will on my next visit.

 

Cloud 9 Spa Ely Iowa Cloud 9 Spa Ely Iowa

 

The other area is all reserved for floaters. There’s an amazing sitting room, complete with a community journal so you can document your float experience. There’s also a private bathroom with everything you need to freshen up post float. Of course, then we come to the actual float room, which holds the pod and has a shower.

 
Cloud 9 Spa Ely Iowa Cloud 9 Spa Ely Iowa

 

I was a bit nervous about the initial prep, because there are few things to do before you step into the Pod. First of all, you need to watch a hilarious video which answers all your questions.

Then you need to shower and wash your hair. There cannot be any products, make-up or lotion on your body or you could contaminate the water in the Pod. All the shower products are provided, even the brightly colored loofa. Once I was squeaky clean, I inserted the wax ear plugs {so important} and carefully stepped into the pod.

Things to remember, make sure you wipe your face so there’s no water dripping in your eyes, and DON’T touch your eyes with wet hands. Hello salt in your eyeballs is no fun. There’s a dry towel and a spray bottle of fresh water in the Pod in case this happens.

You have the option of creating a completely dark space, or colored  lights, and music or no music. I choose silence and a green light {I wasn’t brave enough for the pitch black experience}

Then you just lay back and relax in the water.

Sounds simple enough right?

Well, it’s not that simple.

It took me a while to calm down, especially since it was my first time. The sound of your own breath and heart beat are so loud it’s hard to focus. I kept deep breathing, to help slow my breath, then I used some meditation mantras to keep my brain from spinning out of control.

Contrary to what TV shows say about floating, you will not see the Upside Down or travel through the space/time continuum. You might fall asleep, like I did. You might relax to the point of feeling like you aren’t even in water anymore and instead are just floating on a bed of air.

For 60 minutes I floated – suspended in space.

Suddenly, the music turned on – my cue that this amazing experience was coming to an end.

I started moving my body little by little, fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, legs. When I tried to get to my feet, I had a bit of an issue getting my legs to work. They had relaxed to the point of Jell-O, Tammy warned me that would happen, so I took my time.

Once out of the POD, I showered again.

Squeaky clean, I made my way out to the sitting area where I wrote more about my experience.

I feel so relaxed!
Like I’ve slept for 1,000 years.
Colors appear brighter and my soul is at peace.
Even my sprained ankle feels better.

With an experience like that, you better believe I will be back.

It’s officially my new favorite thing.

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