What is salt floating? My sensory deprivation experience

In past years I’ve enjoyed the occasional massage, especially deep tissue or hot stone. These were usually gifted for some celebration and I cannot recall any bad experiences.

Massage done well is incredibly soothing to tired and tight muscles, something I struggle with in my shoulders especially. Anything focused on relaxing the body seems a good idea for me!

But when Christmas offered me a generous salt floating present, I found myself hesitating. My biggest fear? Being enclosed in a pod with NO light or sound.

After the entire experience however, I’ll definitely try salt floating again!

What is Floating?

Floating involves being in a large pod with magnesium water (epsom salt water). The goal is short term sensory deprivation (no light, sound, touch, smell) in water designed to make you fully buoyant. The water matches your body temperature.

Floating offers less external stimuli, which in turn promotes deep relaxation in your body — the brain isn’t processing all that stimuli. A typical session lasts one hour to 90 minutes.

The concept isn’t new. You can read more about the history of floating here.

Benefits of Salt Floating

Regular floating is said to have many benefits, including:

  • improved sleep patterns
  • pain relief
  • stress reduction
  • anxiety relief
  • improved skin and hair
  • my addition — just a PAUSE in your busy day!

The benefit I found most interesting is a serious boost in magnesium. The water is extremely saturated with epsom salt (so it’s basically impossible NOT to float).

Magnesium is necessary for hundreds of body reactions — and we usually get too little of it. Read more info on magnesium needs and benefits here.

My Sensory Deprivation Experience

As mentioned, I was a bit freaked at the thought of a dark room, a dark pod, with no sound around me. Could I just float there listening to my heartbeat for a whole hour!?

I arrived 15 minutes before my appointment, signed a waiver and entered the salt float room. Basic instructions came next — shower before entering the pod, put in earplugs, remove makeup and then OPTIONS were offered!

You could keep the pod open or closed to whatever level comfortable. If too open however, the water felt cooler.

There was an option for music at different volumes, and also soft light of various colors within the pod. The room went dark upon the session’s start, but the pod could have light.

Hallelujah.

light and volume buttons!

I chose to fully close the pod (warmer water!), and keep the soft blue light you see above on. At first music was helpful, then distracting. About 15 minutes in I turned it off.

Floating came easily…the salt water literally kept me up with no effort on my part. It didn’t feel gritty or slimy, two things I expected.

My mind wandered for some time and then I fell asleep. One hour felt like a few minutes!

The session ended with a message to leave the pod. Two minutes later, the filtration system went to work.

While I imagine just one session won’t change your life — I DID sleep really well that night! My body felt relaxed overall for the few days afterwards (particularly those shoulder muscles).

Salt floating feels like something I would do again and consider including as part of regular self-care.

Let me know if you’ve tried it!

 

 

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4 comments

There is a spa near us that offers the salt float and I have been so curious about it. I may have to try it out. I was concerned about being bored or claustrophobic!

Try it out Marci! ☺️

Thanks for sharing. I’ve wondered about this and have had the same thoughts you did beforehand so now MAYBE I’ll give it a try sometime!

I can understand the hesitation Jamie!!