floating

I think the best words to describe my experience are: trippy and intense.

You walk into a huge room and immediately have to take off your shoes. It smells strongly of incense and there is soothing music playing. There is a big lounge area with lots of pillows and a tea table. I sat there and chatted with the employees (who are totally new age trippy hippie types) until it was my turn.

I was taken to a room that had a shower and a floating tank. I showered and then got into the tank. It was large enough that I could spread my body out quite nicely. The water is 93 degrees and contains hundreds of pounds of epsom salt.  I put in my ear plugs, closed the door to the tank, and pushed the buttons to turn off the light.

HOLY FUCK IT WAS DARK. Pitch black. There aren’t words to adequately describe how dark it was. It was also very warm and extremely humid, which made it difficult to breath. The salt immediately found every tiny cut or abrasion on my body and burned like fire. I could feel it coating my body. 

For the first fifteen minutes or so I was very tense. My neck and upper body were hurting quite a bit because I didn’t trust the water to hold me up. After I finally relaxed, all but my eyes, nose, and mouth were completely submerged in the water. At first, with my eyes closed, all I could see or think about was purple. It was sort of like purple had taken over my thoughts. Eventually, my thoughts started to wander. I thought about all kind of things and people. Stuff I haven’t thought about in years. Eventually, I entered some sort of zone between awake and sleep. I think I stayed there for a long time. 

I woke up startled and unsure of where I was. I freaked out and turned on the light for a few minutes. Once I calmed down, I turned off the lights and started again.

When the music started to play, which is your signal to get out, I emerged from the black. Time has no meaning in the tank. It could have been fifteen minutes or fifteen hours and I wouldn’t have been surprised by either answer. 

I showered off. I was entirely coated in salt, and I felt a bit sluggish at first, like my body didn’t know what to do. I returned to the lounge and sat around for fifteen minutes while chatting and drinking water. By the time I got home, I felt well rested, clear headed, and extremely relaxed. 

I think I’ll give floating another shot. It seems to be the sort of thing you need to do at least twice before you decide whether or not it’s for you. 

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