A few months ago, I did something I consider to be quite unfrugal. I do that every once in awhile and debate sharing my True Confessions here at the blog.
So here’s the scoop: I bought a Groupon coupon to a spa – the True Rest Float Spa to be exact. The reason why I did it is because I don’t feel like I get to relax a whole lot, in fact, most days I feel like the only time I get to relax is when I finally crawl into my bed and snuggle up with my soft blankie that Mr. A bought me this year for Valentine’s Day.
I have been so busy lately, what with trying to at least get our taxes to a place where I felt comfortable that we at least didn’t owe more, and with life in general that I feel I’m constantly on the go. And the sorry sad fact is that I’m able to stay home four days each week! Even so, I feel like I’m constantly at myself to get this or that done, and every weekend running out of time with a whole list of stuff to try and get done.
I’ve also been trying my best to sleep in a pitch dark room and get nine hours of sleep each night, since reading this very interesting book: Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival. Actually I’ve owned the book for at least eight years, but prior to starting on the GAPS Diet I was unable to sleep more than seven hours at a time without my back cramping up badly, so I couldn’t even attempt to get eight hours sleep, let alone nine (13 days into doing full GAPS my back completely stopped hurting and my feet also stopped hurting).
Between Mr. A working 16 hours a day, often not getting home until midnight (sometimes later), and then watching television while he drifts off to sleep, those two little things are mighty elusive.
So when I saw the Groupon coupon come through to True Rest Float Spa, it looked lusciously inviting.
One hour of my very own, to lie quietly suspended in “heavy” water (over 1200 pounds of Epsom salts in each tank), in total and complete darkness and silence… it sounded heavenly. I impulsively bought into the deal.
I kept thinking about my opportunity to float, to enter my own personal sensory deprivation tank and kept telling myself I still had time before the coupon expired, I just needed to make time to go. Finally, there was one week left for my Groupon and I decided to take half a day off work during my busiest week of the month. After all, my coupon expired on the 8th and I wasn’t about to lose forty of my hard earned bucks!
I took off work at noon, and headed over to the True Rest Float Spa.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for, since I have never been to a spa in my entire life, but I was not about to lose forty dollars! Yes, I know I just said that, but it was one of the major reasons driving me to move forward.
When I got there, they had me remove my shoes and put on a pair of community flip-flops. Sort of like going to the skating rink without your own skates… but you can’t wear your own socks, obviously. So if you go, bring your own flip-flops if you get weird about wearing flip-flops previously worn by other folks. Oh, and also bring your own towel to save yourself three bucks rental fee.
The front desk area was fully lighted with sunlight coming in the glass windows, but once we went in the back area everything was pretty dark with black light or some kind of purple lights. I was led to a lounge area, apparently for the newbie floaters, with a television. In a few minutes two more people arrived and we filled out some paperwork with legal disclaimers (hey, don’t relax too much and potty in your pod or you’ll be out 500 big ones to clean and replace the Epsom salts) and watched a little video about floating.
I was starting to feel a little bit nervous, it was a lot of pressure to relax on demand, you see. I’m a little bit claustrophobic, but not terribly so, and wondered if I could actually hang with RELAXING for an hour in the middle of the day.
After the short but informative video, we were each escorted to our own little spa room, with our own shower and relaxation pod. First you shower, washing every inch of your body with soap and wash and rinse your hair. Bring your own shampoo and soap if you normally avoid commercial shampoos and soaps. They highly encourage you to float in the nude, and don’t get that heavily salted water into your eyes or you’ll be in a world of hurt. There’s a spray bottle inside each pod in case you get water in your eyes. There’s also a button to push if you need help. You are also given a pair of earplugs that you put in before showering to get a good seal. You don’t want the water in your ears either!
I got in and pulled down the lid. Of course I turned out the lights! We were told there would be music for the first five minutes of the soak and then for the last five. When your hour is up the filtration system turns on so you need to get out pretty quickly once the music starts.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I got in and pulled down the lid, turned out the light and lay there floating in the darkness. The music was elevator-ish… but relaxing… the video had said our mind has a hard time relaxing and slowing down, and for a few seconds I wondered if I could really do this… pretty soon the music stopped and then I really wondered if I could actually lie still floating in complete and total darkness and silence and relax for 50 entire minutes.
At first I thought it was going to be a challenge to lay there, floating and trying to completely relax…
And then the music came on again. I thought What the? It must be music from the next room.
I put up the pod lid and reached for my phone for the time, and I’ll be darned if 50 whole minutes hadn’t passed by just like that.
And wow, did I feel good.
I felt totally relaxed and refreshed. And then I wondered how in the world could I get a job here so I could float every day. LOL. They do offer “float packages” where you can buy several floats at once for a discounted price, or sign up for a monthly subscription of floats. I understand for people who have trouble sleeping or are in pain, this is an effective and helpful treatment.
I do feel like I slept more peacefully for the next few nights.
I don’t know how to find something like this in your area, but if you ever get a chance to try it, you should. I highly recommend it.
Does the thought of floating in a sensory deprivation tank appeal to you? Would you try it if you had the chance?