What happens when you add 1000lbs of Epsom salt to 10 inches of water?
Well if you must know you get heavily saturated water that is AMAZING to float in for an hour (or longer!)
I had the pleasure of getting to do just that recently. A friend owns a spa and they have the only (as of now) float tanks in the Dayton Ohio area. Knowing I am getting ready to do my doula certification she asked if I would be up for trying it out, and since I had been wanting to I said definitely! I set up an appointment for an evening slot since I heard you get so relaxed you may fall asleep and I am so happy I did. That night I had the best sleep I have in easily months (probably can blame the no sleep on the kids). So here is what I experienced and what I have read this float or deprivation tank is all about.
First, you have the ability to shut the door on this little...well, tank. Doing so makes it completely dark and darn near completely silent. In fact my ankle popped while I was in there and it was a crazy loud sound since everything else was so quiet. The water is so dense that you actually have to work to not float- making lying back and just relaxing super easy. They also have these “nekdoodles” they help support your neck to help reassure you your head is not going under. You hair will get wet, so be aware- also you shower both before and after your float. Before you use a “pre-float” solution and after you can bring your own items or use any of the many options they have available.
During my hour float I did not fall asleep, but I may have drunk too much caffeine prior… whoops! But not falling asleep allowed me to really meditate on business and personal things along with trying out different positions in the tank. For a bit I tried to remember what it was like to have that big pregnant tummy and to see what positions would be comfortable (if any) for that situation. My conclusion is that floating pregnant would be a great way to get that weight off your joints and lower back for a while, and to combine that with a prenatal massage (also available at Gravity Spa) would make for a VERY happy mama. Actually, my only regret was that I did not get an appointment for a massage following my float.
Doing some research after my float I have found that the general consensus is that the magnesium in the Epsom salt coupled with the sensory deprivation is what brings about the best results. Research is showing that flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) can help reduce stress responses, muscle fatigue and even in lower blood pressure. In the case of pregnant mommies to be- the ability to be weightless means pressure off the lower back and hips, these are common end of pregnancy complaints. If you suffer from any of these issues it may be worth trying out or discussing with your health care practitioner. If you are wanting to set up an appointment and are in the Dayton area make sure you give Gravity Spa a call (and tell them I sent you!).
If you want to do more reading up on this please check out some of these sources: