There are so many ways in which we try to de-stress and unplug from the world: meditation, long walks, exercise, breathing techniques; however, for some, including myself, it’s difficult to completely “shut the brain off” despite these attempts.
Like the body, the brain needs to REST, or Restricted Environmental Stimulus Therapy that is. This form of therapy involves taking away as many stimuli as possible and in this particular case through floating.
Enter Float Plus - located in West Palm Beach, you can experience REST via float tanks that are filled with over a thousand pounds of magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt. The salinity is as dense as the Dead Sea’s allowing the body to effortlessly float. The float tanks are filled with approximately ten inches of water and the water temperature is equivalent to one’s skin’s surface, 93.5 degrees Fahrenheit, making you feel weightless and one with the water. This was my first floating experience and I was looking forward to the deprivation of stimuli for a change and curious about its overall effectiveness.
I was given earplugs and instructions on how to utilize the controls for lighting and music. Once you step inside the tank and close the lid, the healing begins. Initially, my senses were firing off and in overdrive. I was trying to get used to the water and its buoyancy while acclimating to the fact that I was about to experience no external stimuli, sans clothing. Once I shut off the music and lights, I allowed myself to take in my surroundings. After about 15 minutes, I settled into a deeply relaxed state, floating in complete darkness, silence, and utter stillness which brought me to the point where I could hear my own heart beating. The hour went by way too fast.
Following my session, I sat with owner and Maryland native Philip Nuttle to discuss what led him to open Float Plus. A former USTA tennis player, Nuttle was well aware of the importance of restorative conditioning. When he relocated to South Florida, his longtime, childhood friend and ultra-marathon runner came to visit. During one of his visits, he asked Nuttle where the closest floating place was as he needed to go in preparation for an upcoming race. Nuttle had no idea what he was talking about. They eventually found one in Deerfield Beach and from there, Float Plus was born.
Nuttle felt this was the type of place residents in Palm Beach needed to find an escape from the outside world. He flew to California to do some research on various floating tanks, check out floating places in the California area to gather ideas from a logistical and operation standpoint, and chat with owners to obtain their perspective and guidance. He brought those ideas home and on this fall, Float Plus held its grand opening.
Nuttle expressed that floating provides several modalities that one can tap into such as visualization, in which athletes use in preparation for a big game or competition. On a physical level, floating produces positive hormonal shifts such as increasing serotonin levels and decreasing the production of cortisol as well as improve overall sleep quality, skin condition, mood enhancement, and the list goes on. Clinical studies have also shown that floating helps those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The majority of Nuttle’s clientele consists of women, veterans, yogis, athletes, first responders, and corporate leaders. Many utilize floating to prepare for a game, a big presentation, life events, or to purely escape the everyday stressors of life. Professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors Steph Curry has proclaimed to be an avid floater and raved how floatation therapy helps him with recovery, long road trips, and visualization.
Float Plus also has a sound therapy room, a sauna, and private showers for an all-around restorative experience. It is also is the only floating business that offers 45-minute float sessions rather than the typical hour, and an open float for those not comfortable being fully enclosed in a tank. To learn more about the benefits of floating, visit their website, https://floatplus.net/.