Ah yes, a perfect flashback to Modest Mouse’s “Float On” and the lyrics work perfectly with our topic: floatation tanks!
Given our hectic lives where ‘being busy’ is a twisted badge of honor, the idea of a sensory deprivation state or REST (Restricted Environment Stimulus Therapy) has appealed for quite a long time. We’ve seen egg-shaped chairs and chambers but NOW….Columbus has a most perfect option; so we recently went to check it out.
For first-time floaters, you’ll need to get there half an hour early to have some tea and watch a video with a bit of the history of floating, benefits, and how to have a good float. The room is already set up for relaxing with some comfy chairs and Himalayan salt lamps. Towards the end of the video, it turns into a relaxation screen with colorful prisms and tranquil music.
From there you’ll be assigned a room with a floatation pod, shower, and all sorts of accoutrements, including ear plugs. All you need to do is shampoo and wash your body, wait for the signal, climb in and pull the pod lid down to start your float.
If you have a bit of an issue with claustrophobia, rest assured that you can lift the lid at anytime. As you get into your float (aptly named- with all the salt in there you can’t sink!), you may experience a wee bit of what meditators often call the ‘monkey mind’. “Did I lock my car? How annoying it was standing in line at the grocery today! What will we eat for dinner?” But after awhile, you body -being so still – allows your brain to get the message that we are RESTING now. You may even start falling asleep!
Before you know it – soft music will be piped into your pod to remind you that your float is almost over. It’s time to stretch yourself out, shower (careful – you don’t want salt on your clothes) and adjust to the ‘real world’ in the soft, peaceful oxygen bar area. The attendants are extremely dedicated to good customer service and you’ll likely have multiple people offering to grab you another cup of tea or infused water. If it suits you, they also have coloring books and journal in the relaxation space. Just make sure you’ve given yourself time to adjust from the Theta brain wave state before getting into your car and the phone starts pinging again.
The owner, Patrick Gerke, was assisting other floaters with their oxygen bar selections. It was the perfect time to inquire about the history of True REST. He shared that he had been in the Marines and found it hard to turn off his highly-alert nervous system upon returning home. He found himself constantly watching other people’s hands, paying attention to their purses/bags, and the doctors he went to offered pharmaceuticals. He didn’t want to flirt with possibility of addiction to these drugs and his friend in the Navy SEALS suggested floating. Shortly thereafter, Patrick went to nearest flotation tank experience available – in Chicago – back in 2013 and as he told us”found his calling.” From there he and his wife set up the Powell location and recently expanded to Easton.
The benefits of floating are said to extend beyond relaxation and stress reduction to pain relief as well as enhanced sleep and cognition.
True REST is so confident you will enjoy the experience that if you are not 100% satisfied with your first visit, you won’t pay. We seriously doubt that ever happens, especially when you feel like a refreshed version of your ideal self. So there’s nothing to lose!
In fact, a single float is normally $79 but let them know Adrienne Raimo from One Bite Wellness sent you and get your first float for $49 (instead of $59).
Bonus: your experience may be even better when you do yoga or get a massage (both on the same shopping strip!) before your float.
They say you can never step into the same river twice; we add: you will can never step out of the floatation pod in same state you entered :).
Let’s all float on alright.