Ever heard of therapeutic floating also known as float therapy? It literally involves floating (duh) in warm water (meant to match your body temperature) mixed with magnesium sulfate (aka Epsom salt). The idea is to help your body enter a deep state of relaxation, so your brain can enter a place of rest and repair. It might not be for everyone but worth a look.
According to the website The Body Hub, there are numerous benefits of floating. These include reduced stress, anxiety and depression, improved relaxation, enhanced circulation, improved sleep and pain management. It can also help alleviate headaches and migraines, reduce inflammation and muscle recovery after exercise or injury.
The goal of float therapy is to calm the mind and the body. REST is at the root of floatation therapy’s efficacy. It stands for “restricted environmental stimulation therapy.”
Studies have shown that during float therapy, you become more aware of your breath and heartbeat, and your ability to control them. This helps you relax, which reduces anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate.
There are plenty of floatation facilities all over the country but only one in the Rehoboth area. It is called Urban Float. It’s a franchise and part of a company that got an infusion of capital on Shark Tank a couple of years ago.
Just walking into the reception area is a Zen experience. Soft music wafts throughout the facility creating an immediate calming effect. The floatation chambers are very private. The floatation pods themselves look a bit like clam shells. Guests are in full control over their environment and encouraged to float however makes them comfortable. For some that means closing the pod lids, and for others, it means keeping it open. Regardless, the benefits are the same. (Click for a short Facebook video that walks through the practice.)
Urban Float’s clientele is diverse. According to Aswell there is no particular demographic, but guests are all looking to decrease stress, improve mental focus, limit aches and pain, improve sleep quality, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, pretty much what the experience is designed to do.
Sarah Schaeffer is a nurse at Beebe Hospital. She has tried Urban Float. She thinks it positively affects one’s nervous system. She says it is relaxing and helps her clear her head. “The peaceful music helps, and I would definitely do it again,” she said.
All float sessions are an hour long at Urban Float and at the Rehoboth location, double sessions are allowed (and popular with seasoned floaters). Water temperatures in the PODs are heated to skin temperature (usually between 93.5 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit). Theoretically, this allows guests to drift comfortably into a state of relaxation, where the body and the water mesh together.
“Over time, guests stop noticing where their body ends and the water begins,” says Aswell.
Guests can book a session online, through the Urban Float app, or over the phone . The retail price for a one-hour session is $89.
Every Wednesday the company offers a 20% discount on all retail sessions in honor of “Wellness Wednesdays”. Guests can try any of what Urban Float call modalities (Float Therapy, Wellness Pod, or BEMER Therapy) for a discounted price.
Aswell says there are cumulative benefits and floating is best practiced through ongoing sessions. The more regularly one floats, the more comfortable their mind and body become with the environment. Urban Floats offers packages and Self-Care Clubs (memberships) that allow guests to optimize benefits and value.