Floatation claims to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety and relieve pain, among other things. I’m not particularly stressed and I’m not experiencing any serious pain, but I could definitely do with some relaxation. My body is feeling the effects of multiple workouts and getting back into running, so I was looking forward to the possibility of relaxing my muscles.
I was a bit nervous, and wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I was told I could have music and the lights on if I chose to, in case I really didn’t want the total sensory deprivation-style therapy.
I LOVED IT.
Pure Float’s owner Coy gave me a tour of the facility before I began, taking me through the process and explaining it a bit so I would know what was going to happen and how to modify my float experience. They have five individual float rooms in private suites, complete with amazing overhead rain showers.
The float room itself is a large shallow tub, my guess is approximately 5ft by 7ft, with 10 inches of warm-ish water that contains 800lbs (yes, EIGHT HUNDRED POUNDS) of Epsom salts.
You shower and use the pre-float shampoo and body wash, put in the disposable ear plugs and enter the float room. It’s this lovely dark blue light, with star lights in the ceiling. You can turn off the blue and just have the stars, turn off the stars – it’s entirely up to you how you personalize your float. You can also push a button to request music, and your room will fill with spa-ish, yoga-type music.
The water has so much salt, you really do FLOAT. You don’t have to hold your head up, although you do kind of feel like you need to, so your neck can get a bit stiff. I spent most of the hour with my hands behind my head and it was totally comfortable. And it’s incredibly soft water so it’s the most amazing, almost surreal experience. With a very slight touch of one side, you slowly float to the other side of the tub. I kept having space movie flashbacks, to the zero gravity scenes where a gentle nudge would send the astronaut floating off into the darkness.
It was such an unusual feeling. My brain started off SUPER busy, even though my body was relaxed. I would be terrible at meditating, it’s always difficult to calm my mind. Probably why I can’t nap. I loved the stars, and I found the music enhanced my experience. As I moved through the hour I began to notice my thoughts slowing down. The whole thing ends gently with the music simply fading out, so you eventually realize it’s stopped and your time is over. You complete your float with another shower to rinse off all the salts and you leave your suite relaxed and rejuvenated. For a full explanation of the benefits of floatation therapy, click here.
Following the float, I got to try a 30-minute session in the NeuroSpa. It’s a comfy formed lounge chair with a “hood” that extends over your top half. The experience is in darkness includes acoustic vibrations, music and sounds, and takes you on a “relaxation journey.” My imagination went from an underwater adventure back to my float-induced space odyssey, and at one point I realized I had a huge smile on my face.
In the entrance area I spoke to another client who has been going for eight weeks to complement physiotherapy for debilitating pain. She is now able to move without pain and is medication free. She credits floating with speeding up her treatment and increasing the effectiveness of her physio. That’s one heck of a testimonial.
Also, this would be PERFECT following a long run. Any post-race soreness would be virtually erased by a float. Every runner should know about this and book themselves in after every race.
The whole thing was just an incredible experience. I loved the float, the NeuroSpa was awesome, and I walked out of there almost buoyant (no pun intended) and in a fantastic mood. I will definitely be going back.
There are a number of floatation centres popping up around Vancouver, but I totally recommend Pure Float.
Side note: This is what came up when I googled floatation therapy. I DO NOT think I would like it to be shut into this capsule. I really liked the rooms at Pure Float and wouldn’t want to try any other style of tub.