Anyone who knows me figures out rather quickly that I don’t know how to relax. Okay, that’s a partial lie: I’m really good at “relaxing” if you mean going on social media for hours or straight up napping. So, basically, I’m either glued to my electronics or I’m asleep when it comes to relaxation – there’s no in-between. That’s why, earlier this year, when I had a chance to try float therapy at True REST Float Spa in Gilbert, I had my doubts. But, it turned out to be a really unique experience that was well worth leaving my comfort zone.
True REST Float Spa
True REST Float Spa is a franchise of spas that offer Float Pod experiences. There are several locations across Arizona; I floated at the Gilbert locale, which is owned by Dr. Laura Witte, whose original background is in healthcare and academia. Before I tried floating, I asked Witte what it was all about.
“Imagine floating in a big egg-shaped pod filled with 10 inches of water and approximately 1,200 pounds of pharmaceutical grade magnesium sulfate [Epsom salts],” she says. “The Epsom salts get absorbed into the body through the skin while you float for an hour, gravity free.”
What are the benefits? “The biggest benefits are pain relief; the Epsom salts calm down inflammation in the body so many people get tremendous relief from conditions such as arthritis and back pain; stress relief, it helps to easily go into a deep brainwave state, like a deep meditation; and better sleep. It also detoxifies the body. It helps with injury recovery. It's great for dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.”
Of course, all of these benefits vary per person and per usage, but it was enough to convince me to give it a try.
Like most new experiences, I brought a friend with me to try it. When we went in, it was very similar to other franchise spas like Massage Envy; there’s a friendly reception area and some light paperwork. The price setting is a similar model, too; there’s a monthly membership option or a one-time floating price. (See price model here.)
After signing in and getting some flip-flops to wear, we relaxed and watched a video that explained the process. Then, you’re lead to a room that you have all to yourself; each room has everything you need: a place to put your things, shower with soap and shampoo, and, of course, the egg shaped floatation pod.
Once inside the room I got into my “birthday suit” (it’s recommended that floaters experience it in the buff) and entered the pod. It was very surreal to be floating in such a small amount of water. Within the pod, you have the option to change the light colors, to have the top open or closed (I tried both), and to have sound or no sound. For those like me who are worried about safety, there’s a button that connects you with the outside world I swear – and they let you know when time is almost up, too.
Because of my overactive mind and inability to truly relax, I had a challenging time just floating there. I was told that this is normal for the first time and that it may take a couple of sessions to get used to the therapy. I floated for as long as I could, trying to get the max benefits. Then, when I couldn’t any longer, I left the pod, enjoyed the shower, then went out into the relaxation area and had some hot tea.
In today’s fast-paced world I can definitely see the allure of float therapy. It’s kind of like getting a massage; it’s a chance to shut down and relax for at least an hour out of your busy day. And, it’s not too badly priced either, which is a plus! I can see how it would take a session or two to get used to it though; it is definitely new and different! I’d recommend everyone try it at least once—or maybe more than that—to experience something novel and relaxing.
True REST Gilbert
Monday: 4p.m.-10p.m. | Tues-Sun: 10a.m.-10p.m.
1525 N. Gilbert Rd, Suite 109, Gilbert, Arizona 85234
For more locations visit them HERE