Neuroscientist John Lilly first used flotation therapy for his research on the mind in the 1950s, but his test subjects soon began reporting benefits to their mental wellbeing, and it became a popular spa treatment during the ‘70s and ‘80s before drifting out of fashion. Now flotation therapy centers are making a resurgence all across the U.S. with a whole new legion of fans.
Chill Therapy owner Brian Bickel thinks one of the reasons could be the welcome escape the flotation pods offer. “We are constantly plugged in,” Bickel says. “Our brains are constantly zig-zagging from one thought to the next. We never take the time to just be in the moment anymore. Flotation therapy is a kind of forced mediation.”
In addition to helping the mind heal, flotation therapy can also be beneficial to your body. One thousand pounds of Epsom salt are dissolved in the water, so you float effortlessly when you’re in a flotation pod. “You are more buoyant than you would be in the Dead Sea,” Bickel says. “That means there is no pressure on your joints, muscles or body.”
Proponents of the therapy say it can tame headaches, improve sleep, reduce blood pressure, ease stress, pain and anxiety, speed up muscle recovery, and enhance creativity.
Pro soccer player and Tampa Floats owner Will Dieterich likens the therapy to a do-over for the mind and body, “It gives you a reset,” he says, “and that is something everyone can use.”
How big are the pods? About the size of a queen mattress
What should I wear? A swimsuit. You can shower before and after.
Is it really dark? It is completely dark, but some flotation pods have low lights you can turn on if needed.
Is it really quiet? It is completely soundproof, but you can choose to listen to music (yours or theirs) in some pods.
2102A S. MacDill Ave.
Sacred Floats and Gems
6719 Nebraska Ave., Suite C
Tampa Floats Wellness Center
14405 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.
3965 S. Henderson Blvd., Suite C