In my day-to-day life of sensory overload and stress, what would sensory deprivation feel like? The removal of stimulating sights, sounds, and feelings? Would I itch for my smart phone? Would my thoughts of daily to-dos and anxiety overwhelm me as I laid in complete darkness and silence? I went to Go with the Float in Easthampton, MA to find out. Go with the Float is a “float spa,” where clients literally float in individual tanks full of salt water (with 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt, to be exact).
I admit, I was a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect or how I’d feel inside the float tank. I had doubts about trying it and almost chickened out. But I’m really glad that I went through with it.
Go with the Float has been open since December 2018.
“We picked [to set up shop in] Easthampton because it’s an openminded, up-and-coming community,” says Stephen Bryla, owner of Go with the Float. He first found out about float therapy in 2008 and loved the idea. “I decided to open a float therapy spa because I was convinced that floating is a powerful tool that can be used for healing and accessing different states of consciousness,” he explains. “I was surprised so few people knew about it and took it on as my mission to bring it to the community that helped me become the person I am.” Stephen is a worldly, open-minded person and he makes everyone feel relaxed and welcome when they come to the spa.
Upon arrival to Go with the Float on century parlor. After Stephen showed me to my float room and told me how to go about my float (earplugs included), it was time for a rinse in the shower and to get into the float tank and close the door. As soon as I stepped into the tank of water, I could feel how incredibly buoyant it was. The float tanks are lit by a blue light and have a button to push when you are ready for total darkness. After finding a comfortable float position in the water with my arms above my head (it took a few seconds), I reached up and turned off the light. As I began to relax, the only sounds were my breathing and my heartbeat. It was warm and foreign and eerily calming.
Like me, there are many people who have their reservations about trying floating.
“Their biggest fear is being closed inside of a small space, even though it’s big enough to stand up in,” says Bryla. “On the other hand, the most appealing aspect is alleviating stress, anxiety, aches, and pains (thanks to the healing qualities of the Epsom salt).” The float tanks are also kept impeccably clean.
“Every float tank goes through four stages of rigorous filtration for a total of five full turnovers,” says Bryla. “The water surface is skimmed and treated with a micron filter, NSF certified UV and Ozone injection. The water is checked and balanced daily with strict chemistry metrics, including 35% hydrogen peroxide, which works in tandem with the UV so that chlorine is not needed. Fresh water and salt are continuously reintroduced into the solution.” The entire volume of the tank is gradually replaced over a period of ten weeks. “This filtration process is what most float centers use, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time while floating. We certainly did not rewrite the wheel.”
Floaters are given a full hour for the experience, but I only lasted about 30 minutes my first time. I was probably itching to use my phone or particularly antsy that day. According to Bryla, “over 90% of first-time floaters last the whole hour.” Once your float is over, you are welcome to shower again. A robe, flip flops, and a fresh towel are provided. A separate room is available with hair dryers, lotion, and mirrors should you choose to use it post-float.
After my float and rinse off, I felt incredibly alert, with my senses heightened and my breath deep and relaxing. I slept like a baby that night.
“The biggest takeaway people have after float therapy is that they feel relaxed and rejuvenated, and those who were nervous and apprehensive had no problems and look forward to returning,” says Bryla. “[Float therapy] is important because in the current state of the world, the human mind is overworked and bombarded with constant stimulus. It is a safe and natural way to connect to your inner being and remove yourself from the many distractions of the outside world. It slows down brain waves and helps you reach a meditative space that many would not be able to reach otherwise. It is most appealing for those who want to relax and de-stress, and who doesn’t want that?!”
Go with the Float also offers massage therapy, reiki, biofield tuning, aroma touch therapy, and many ongoing events that can be found on the events page on their website.
“We are also installing an infrared sauna in February,” adds Bryla. Although my float experience was a little awkward for me at first, the more I think about it, I can’t wait to try it again. It made me realize that I need to take more time to acknowledge my mental state and do my best to relax and push all responsibilities aside for a little while. Just as we schedule time in our day to eat, sleep, and keep active, we should also take time every day for ourselves to find peace and decompress. My experience at Go with the Float made me want to take more time for myself and learn to calm my thoughts daily. Your experience with them will most likely make you feel the same!
Go With The Float is located at 122 Pleasant St Suite 126, Easthampton, MA 01027
For more information call 413-203-5522 or go to gwtfloat.com
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