Living here in the Tetons, we have the luxury of being surrounded by nature and outdoor adventures. We appreciate wildlife and see breathtaking views on our daily commutes. We witness the stars on clear nights, a spectacle city-dwellers enjoy only on vacations to places like Idaho and Wyoming.
Our rural surroundings make our daily lives unique and interesting, but we’re prone to the same distractions and addictions as those in more urban areas. We post GoPro footage of our epic powder sessions online, we pose for selfies and “humble brag” photos on social media, and we love our technology just as much as the next person.
Even in the mountains, it’s difficult for us to fully unplug, unwind and just be.
About a year ago I Googled float centers nearby and found Salt Lake City to be one of the closest locations, so I was beyond excited when I learned a few months ago that Healing Waters was opening in Jackson. It is one of only two float centers in all of Wyoming.
What’s the big deal?
Researchers continue to discover benefits of sensory deprivation tanks, but a brief overview of common ones includes:
I can say I personally experienced all of the above durg my first float session. I’m pretty sure I even nodded off to sleep during the 90-minute experience!
What’s it feel like?
It took me three floats to come up with an apt description for the sensation of being in the tank. The tank itself is large enough that you don’t feel claustrophobic, yet small enough that you don’t feel exposed (you’re in your own private room inside the tank). The tank is filled with about 10 inches of water mixed with 800-1,200 pounds of epsom salt (magnesium sulfate).
Athletes and cleansers often take epsom salt baths at home to relieve muscle tension and to draw toxins out of the body (the general amount is about four cups per bath). There’s enough epsom salt in the float tanks that you’re buoyant without effort. You lie back and the salt in the water holds you there, suspended. Some say it feels similar being in zero gravity. Others compare it to the experience of being in the womb.
I just finished a book called “The Universe Has Your Back.” It’s about surrendering to something bigger than ourselves (whatever that is for you), setting intentions and trusting you’re right where you need to be on your personal journey through life. Lying in the float tank during my third session, I realized that floating, for me, feels just like that. It feels like the Universe (literally and spiritually) “has my back” for those 90 minutes of quiet and darkness. You don’t have to do anything. In fact, that’s the point! All of your muscles have the opportunity to relax in the tank, and you’re allowed to slip into a meditative state that can refresh your energy and give you perspective.
I enjoy the darkness of the tank as well. It’s rare that we experience complete darkness, and in the tank it’s completely black. Eyes open, eyes closed, it’s just dark. As someone who stares at a computer screen most of the day, the darkness feels soothing and much needed.
Should I float?
That’s up to you. You can review Healing Waters’ FAQ page here. Gina and Bryan are incredibly nice and can answer any other questions you may have.
As for me, I recommend floating to all of my friends and coworkers at this point. I aim to float a least once a month (and hopefully more!). I can feel the difference after just three floats, and the calmness you experience immediately after the float stays with you for another day or two.
If your New Year’s Resolutions included unplugging, meditating or working on any aspect of mind, body, spirit health, you might just want to try it out.