Floating Away My Stress at "Just Relax Floatation
Grand Rapids, MI
When my February Grand Rapids Magazine arrived there was an article entitled "Floating Free" which caught my eye. It was about a business a few minutes away from my house that has Floatation tanks (a.k.a. Isolation tanks or Sensory deprivation tanks). I'd heard of these tanks and seen them in the movies, but did not know of any in my area, so I was intrigued.
The article said that these 8' long, 4' wide tanks have 12" deep water that contains 800-1000 pounds of Epson salt and is maintained at 93.5 degrees (skin temperature). This concentration of salt helps your buoyancy, is rumored to be great for your skin, to help you deeply relax and to have some healing properties.
The article said that Just Relax Flotation was located at the Oasis Hot Tub Gardens on Alpine Avenue so I googled to find out a bit more about the whole concept of floatation and about Just Relax specifically.
A quick call got me a call back from Lucas Harger, the owner of Just Relax (which is only related to Oasis by the space they occupy). Lucas was very helpful and informative. He filled me in on the benefits a bit more and explained that there were two floatation tanks in private rooms that are equipped with private bathroom and shower. Towels are provided and he's on hand to give you the 411 when you arrive. Then you lock the door, shower off and climb into the tank for at least a 1-hour float.
From what I've read and heard, it's a very mentally and physically relaxing process, and proponents say that it's similar to the deep relaxation that a great massage produces. Given that my last massage therapist was the one you may have heard about in the news.. You remember, the woman who tried to hire a hit on her CA based, married boyfriend's wife. (As an aside, it made me happy that she hadn't taken a shine to me!!) But that's another story.
I booked an appointment for that evening and arrived not quite knowing what to think, but eager to find out. Lucas gave me a tour, and Floatation 101. He has a wide variety of music that he can pipe into the tank for some or all of your stay or if you prefer, you can bring your own cd and he'll pipe that in. Once he was sure I had no questions, he left, and I got ready to float.
The music was softly playing, it was all as described and after a few minutes I was floating in the center of the tank in total darkness as bit by bit the stress of the day vanished. I re-discovered that my shoulders are the place where I carry my stress, as they were the very last area to let go. But wow what a feeling when they gave it up. Because I meditate on a daily basis, I didn't expect to have difficulty getting rid of the chatter in my head, but the newness of the experience made that more of a job than I anticipated. But even that was gone by (probably) midway through my 1st float.
When my hour was up, the music gently let me know it was time to wiggle my toes and prepare to shower off and go back out to face the world in a much relaxed body.
As I went back to the lobby, I had another conversation with Lucas who confirmed my belief that repeated visits all the user to quiet that chatter and relax deeper much more quickly. An added bonus is purchasing packages of three floats nets you a 25% discount off the normal $40.00 charge.
The article I'd read indicated that there are clinical tests that have proven floatation to be highly effective in assisting with depression, fatigue, stress, chronic pain and injury. I don't need to overcome any of these conditions, but found the deep relaxation, the extra time with my brain quiet to be very pleasing. I'm planning to go again this week to see if the 2nd float delivers a more relaxing faster release of tension and chatter.
In his promotional handout, Lucas indicated the following benefits. (You'll have to judge for yourself the benefit you may enjoy).
· Relieves stress from sights, sounds & gravity
· Become weightless in 10" of water infused with 800+ pounds of Epson Salt.
· Epson salts soothe skin, draws toxins from the body and eases sore muscles.
· Floating releases endorphins- which reduce pain and promote a sense of well being.
· Enter a meditative state within minutes
· Redirect your mental and physical energy.
I do not receive any compensation for blog posts about local businesses. The opinions are just that, opinions. Your actual results may vary, void where prohibited.