Float­ing in a dark silent egg

Ther­apy em­u­lates feel­ing of be­ing in the womb

Richmond Hill Post - - LIFE - RE­BECCA ECK­LER

In just 60 min­utes, I’ve turned from a life­long shower-only girl into a bath girl, thanks to the new trend of float (or sen­sory de­pri­va­tion) ther­apy. I’m try­ing it out at Rest Nest in Yorkville.

In float ther­apy you ef­fort­lessly float (think the Dead Sea) in 10 inches of wa­ter, thanks to 1,300 pounds of dis­solved mag­ne­sium salts in a space­like white egg called the Dream­pod. But that’s not all. Once you close the egg, there is ab­so­lutely no light or sound in­side the pod, and the tem­per­a­ture is matched to your body. This is the clos­est, I think, for any­one to ever feel what it’s like to be in­side a womb.

At Rest Nest, they have three pods. Alex De­shaies, my host for the day, says their busiest times are af­ter work and on week­ends. He, him­self, takes one of th­ese baths three times a week. (He’s six-feet-five-inches tall and can eas­ily fit into the pod.)

Float­ing, he says, has been proven to help mem­ory and crit­i­cal think­ing skills as well as in­crease im­mune func­tion and longevity. Many peo­ple who have come in with chronic pain find float­ing in salt wa­ter help­ful.

“You’d be sur­prised at how many peo­ple come in af­ter car ac­ci­dents,” says De­shaies.

When I first see the egg, two things cross my mind. The first? “This is so cool.” The sec­ond? “Can I make it through an hour in this thing?” De­shaies says peo­ple who are claus­tro­pho­bic have even come in. Once they get used to be­ing in the pod, know­ing they can open it at any time or turn on a low light in­side, they re­al­ize it’s not as scary as it looks. My big­gest fear is that I’m go­ing to fall asleep and drown. I needn’t have wor­ried.

Ev­ery­one floats naked, so I re­move my bathing suit and put in wax earplugs. Then I get into the egg with the lights on and pull down the open­ing. Re­lax­ing mu­sic be­gins to play, and I’m im­me­di­ately float­ing in 10 inches of salt wa­ter. I push the but­ton to turn off the lights. I’m now in dark­ness, and af­ter 10 min­utes, the mu­sic fades to si­lence.

I en­joy it im­me­di­ately and im­me­di­ately al­most drift off, half my mind still in the real world, think­ing about the chores I have to do, and half my mind in this pod, think­ing about ab­so­lutely noth­ing. Ev­ery time my mind drifts back to real life prob­lems, I force my­self to just breathe, and I’m im­me­di­ately back to an al­most med­i­ta­tive state.

I open my eyes, just to see if I freak out, but sur­pris­ingly I don’t. I try to keep my eyes shut, feel­ing the warm wa­ter over my body, and do ac­tu­ally fall asleep — the salt wa­ter holds your head up — the only sound I hear is my breath­ing.

Five min­utes be­fore the ses­sion ends, the mu­sic be­gins play­ing again. And if you are re­ally asleep — and I can see how you can com­pletely end up in a co­matose-like state — a voice will come on say­ing, “Your ses­sion is over.”

Af­ter­wards, you let your­self out of the pod and jump into the shower, which is in the same room. You need to. There is so much salt in the pod, that it will get on your clothes and stay on your body.

I haven’t felt this re­laxed in months (And, as a bonus, my skin feels softer!) Un­for­tu­nately, I have to float back to re­al­ity.

Re­becca tries float ther­apy at Rest Nest in Yorkville

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