Review: First Time Float Pod
A few months ago at a San Antonio Current event, I spun a wheel at a booth and won a free float pod session with Radiance MedSpa. I rarely win anything so I was excited to win a treat I wouldn't explicitly spend money on. I researched float pod (aka sensory depravation tank) sessions a few days before my appointment to get a better idea of what I was getting into.
Alleged benefits of floating include:
The procedure begins with a run-down of instructions and explanation by the attendant. There's a plethora of accessories to use by choice: a swimming cap, ear plugs, and vaseline to cover any cuts that could be irritated by the highly concentrated Epsom salt solution, which is what causes the body to float. The water is cleaned and filtered after every use, but the mandatory shower beforehand ensures body oils and hair build up don't end up in the tank as well.
You can wear a swimsuit, but it's recommended to go nude for maximum effect. There's also the option to play a soundscape or music at different intervals. I chose a "zen meditation" soundscape for the first and last five minutes, and silence in between. For my first float, I wish I had chosen the soundscape the entire way through because the silence made me feel uncomfortable a couple of times to the point I had to remind myself I wasn't drifting away into nothingness. The disassociating experience of mind from body gets pretty intense in pitch black silence.
As the treatment is meant to be done a couple times a week, I can understand where it gets easier to relax and meditate. For most of this first experience, I genuinely enjoyed shutting down all external stimuli. I heard and felt my heartbeat stronger and louder than I've ever encountered before. I let my thoughts roam all over the place and set intentions. I tested my buoyancy and focused on my breathing. There were a couple times I did panic a little, thinking I couldn't breathe in the dark and dampness (the pod stays at a consistent warmth so you never get chilly), but it was easy for me to collect myself once I focused on my breathing again.
Afterwards, I took my time relishing my relaxed state by showering off all of the salt solution and getting ready. Radiance offered so many amenities like various lotions, makeup remover, combs and brushes, and a plush robe I fully took advantage of.
I genuinely enjoyed my float session from start to finish as a great self care practice. It's not something in my budget I would do regularly, but I'm glad I got to try it. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who has tried meditation before and would like to switch the bodily experience up. If you're looking to relax in another way, floating might be for you. There are plenty of specials (not by Radiance) on Groupon now if you're interested in trying while being budget friendly.
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