Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Wellness

Queer serenity: Exploring saltwater floatation for stress relief

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s crucial to discover effective ways to unwind and revitalize in order to maintain good health. One of the most unique and therapeutic methods gaining popularity in recent years is saltwater floating.

These sensory deprivation experiences, also known as floatation therapy or isolation tanks, offer a wide range of unexpected health benefits that extend well beyond simple relaxation. Whether you’re seeking a respite after a busy pride calendar, a means to escape a hectic workweek, or simply a refreshing change of pace, indulging in a saltwater floating experience provides the perfect antidote. Having personally immersed ourselves in the soothing waters of a saltwater float, we’ve been enjoying the advantages of this extraordinary practice ever since.

Photo: Courtesy of Lift/Next Level Floats

Fans of the Sex and the City spinoff, And Just Like That, are curious about the experience after the character Miranda Hobbes, portrayed by Cynthia Nixon, tried floating in a sensory isolation tank in Los Angeles for the first time. Celebrities like Jeff Bridges, Rachel Hunter, Emma Watson, Keri Russell, and Jennifer Lawrence have all publicly endorsed floating. But what exactly is floating, and why has it become such a sensation?

Floating is a relaxation practice where one reclines in a solution of ten inches of water mixed with one thousand pounds of Epsom salts for an hour or longer. The water is carefully maintained at skin temperature, and all sensory inputs from the outside world, such as light and sounds, are completely removed. This unique experience effectively separates your senses in a weightless salt tank, promoting deep relaxation, healing, pain relief, and mindful meditation.

Photo: Courtesy of Lift/Next Level Floats

We visited Lift/Next Level Floats, a remarkable center nestled in the heart of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and New York City’s highest-rated float center since 2015. Their facilities are warm, clean, and extremely inviting, offering a variety of teas and a peaceful lounge for you to relax and center yourself before or after floating. Lift Floats is helmed by co-owners David Leventhal and Gina Antioco, who share an unwavering passion for introducing the transformative benefits of floating to others. We had the privilege of consulting with them about the overall experience. “The last few years have been stressful, to say the least, and we are honored to be able to provide a refuge and healing to so many, ” says Leventhal. “Sensory deprivation offers an all-natural treatment option. You are not putting foreign substances in your body such as prescription anxiety medications that can have negative side effects, and it provides a very pleasant escape. We frequently hear our float guests say that after a float, they feel like they have just returned from vacation.”

In our hectic lives, stress is a constant companion. Saltwater floats provide an environment that is perfect for unwinding and floating away from stress. The buoyancy of the Epsom salt-infused water, combined with the absence of external sensory input, encourages the release of tension. This calming effect triggers the relaxation response in the body, leading to reduced cortisol levels, improved mood, and a heightened sense of well-being.

“Imagine a quiet space to just be: in a large private tank filled with healing Epsom salts, allowing you to float effortlessly,” says Antioco. “You’re in a soundproof suite, distraction free, and if you choose to dim the lights, in complete darkness. Stress, tension, headaches, and pain all melt away Creative thoughts flow. Providing the ultimate in relaxation, recovery, and healing, floating offers a welcome rest.”

Photo: Courtesy of Lift/Next Level Floats

The buoyant, warm saltwater in float tanks is an excellent remedy for several types of physical pain. Epsom salt, a key component in the water, contains magnesium, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Floating can help alleviate muscle soreness, arthritis pain, and even chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. The sensation of weightlessness allows your muscles and joints to relax fully, reducing pressure and discomfort. Sleep is crucial for overall health, and regular float sessions can help improve the quality of your sleep. The relaxation achieved during a float can lead to deeper, more restorative sleep patterns. Many float enthusiasts report falling asleep faster and experiencing fewer disturbances during the night after a session. This improved sleep quality can lead to increased daytime alertness and cognitive function.

Additional benefits of floating can also help with managing anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The Epsom salt in the float tank has a variety of cleansing and exfoliating properties which can leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed. The magnesium in the saltwater can help improve skin hydration and reduce inflammation, making it beneficial for those with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Saltwater floats offer a unique and holistic approach to wellness that encompasses both physical and mental health benefits. Whether you are seeking stress relief, pain management, enhanced creativity, better sleep, or improved skin health, floatation therapy can be a valuable addition to your self-care routine.

If you are curious about floating, consider booking a session at Lift/Next Level Floats. Sessions start at $89 with return float prices ranging from $65 to $109.

For more information about floatation therapy check out their Sensory Deprivation Benefits and Experiences video here.

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