If you sit back and think about your day today, how do you feel? Do you feel that you connected to the people who shared space with you? Was it more of a rat race that sort of scooped you up in the frenzy and spat you out on the other side? It’s surprising, when you notice it, how the world can detach us from ourselves, both mentally and physically. I know how important it is to strike a balance that allows us to handle our responsibilities, while making mindfulness part of our daily routine. This is why I try to make space, at least once a week, to patron a locally-owned health/wellness business. I am blessed to have so many good friends who work tirelessly to create these ventures in this magical City and, many of my business-owning friends, I've met and we've connected over our shared vocation. This week, I’ve carved out some time Sunday night to attend my third visit to Immerse Spa. If you haven't heard of them, this local business offers a service so unique and effective, that my words will barely do it justice: float/immersion therapy. Since visiting the first time, lot of you guys have asked me about my experience, so who am I to pass up a chance to relay what I thought of the place and support a local business at the same time?
Let’s examine this art of floating and see why we can alllll benefit from this revolutionary service*.
We’ve all heard the old saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” But, in my experience, when it comes to businesses, this is not the case. The way a location presents itself is a huge indicator of what’s in store for its customers. Immerse Spa hits the nail on the head in every category: cleanliness, decor, ease of use (you can book online y'all) and - most importantly - authentic staffers. Spencer, one of the co-owners is a man whose knowledge is trumped only by his warmth and genuine charm. If you want to meet a guy who embodies all the enthusiasm, know-how, and dedication of a great small business owner, Spencer is the guy! He makes you feel welcome and at ease from the moment you walk through the doors and get welcomed by name. He has an answer for every question you have and even the ones you didn't think to ask.
When you first enter your large private room, you'll notice the large float pool dwarfing the centre, but then maybe scan the perimeter. Each room has everything you need (EXCEPT a private toilet, so be sure to use the facilities before getting too comfy). The rooms are stocked with: a private shower, locally made yummy smelling shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, a hair dryer, earplugs, and even Vaseline to protect any cuts or scrapes. Using the earplugs keeps your inner ears dry, but Spencer told me that if you avoid using them, the salt can clear up to 10 years of wax buildup! Frankly, I’m not sure what is more shocking – that an hour of soaking can clean your ears so thoroughly, or that said ears can contain 10 years worth of wax and residue. If you are going to use the earplugs, stick them in BEFORE you take your pre-float shower (no one wants to try to put earplugs in wet ears).
Once you’ve showered, it’s time to step into the “tub”. I use the term loosely because, in reality, it’s more like a pod, equipped with a hydraulic cover that can be closed completely or partially as you're comfort allows. Strangely enough, closing the lid all the way didn’t make me feel uneasy, despite me being somewhat claustrophobic ... I think I was just really eager to submerge myself into the full experience (pun very much intended).
From there, you can control your entire environment: the colour of the lights, or whether you have lights at all, and music - on, off, or your own from home! In keeping with the spa's theme of taking care of EVERYTHING, the pod starts generating bubbles at your feet to signal that your floating time is up, so you don't have to worry about keeping time as you float. Keep in mind, one of the major benefits of this experience to ability to cultivate a super deep meditative state, so having clocks or alarms to deal with would make it hard to reach that kind of relaxation. Although the float itself lasts an hour, you’re booked for two hours! This lets you take your time before starting or after completing your float bath. After all, nothing would ruin the experience more than being ushered out the door as soon as you finish your float in an effort to get the most number of people through the doors in one day as is possible.
The water itself is extremely salty – 1,000 pounds per tub, to be exact – so expect to automatically float once you get inside. Unlike beds or pillows, floating allowed my body to align naturally. In the end, it’s like a gentle visit to my chiropractor, coupled with a relaxing meditation, and the best nap I've ever had!.
Why I love It
As some of you may know, chronic pain has been a major part of my life for decades. Combined with my regular yoga practice, a floating appointment once or twice a month is a great way to sooth my busy mind and overtired body. I also think that it would be the perfect start for those of you who need a little help getting into meditation and understanding the value of the daily experience. Start off with the lid open, lights on, and music playing and, after a few visits, start to slowly take away one of these supports at a time in a comfortable way (remember, the intention is ALSO to relax). Increase the time in the pods - Spencer will float for HOURS! - while you decrease the sensory input ... that shit will blow. your. mind.
In conclusion, I highly recommend you give Immerse Spa a try. All you stand to lose is stress.
*I also want to mention that Immerse Spa is, in no way, paying me to talk about their business and I genuinely just like to talk about things that I love. That being said, if they happen upon this blog and think of tossing a couple floats this way, I mean, who am I to deny them the gift of giving you know?