Flotation Therapies Can Be a Weight Off Clients’ Bodies and Minds

flotation-therapy[Image: Getty Images]Spa-goers are discovering the benefits of floating, a decades-old concept that has recently seen a resurgence in popularity. This type of therapy typically involves a flotation tank containing 10 to 12 inches of warm water, with added salt to increase buoyancy; the freedom of zero gravity and the absence of external stimuli combine to create feelings of tranquility and overall well-being. Those who want to enjoy floating relaxation without getting wet can try dry flotation, which incorporates a special mattress designed to simulate weightlessness. Wet or dry, flotation is a useful stress management tool that can lower blood pressure, increase energy and help manage pain. Ireny Simone, owner of Healing Path Day Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, concurs: “Most people report that floating gives them a feeling of profound peace.” Here’s how spas around the country are helping to float their guests’ boats.

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At Healing Path Day Spa, the Journey to Wellness package (120 min./$149) is comprised of a one-hour massage, tailored for each client, and one hour in a flotation tank; guests can receive the treatments in the order they choose. “The combination of massage and flotation therapy is an incredibly effective way to reduce stress and rejuvenate the body and mind,” says Simone.

To enhance the floating experience in its four tanks, Cloud Nine Float Center in Boulder, Colorado, provides a playlist that includes reiki healing energy music, gamma meditation, rain and surf, although some clients like to bring their own tunes. Most tend to listen to music at the beginning and end of the session, preferring silence in between, notes spa director Daniel Clarke. “We’re constantly bombarded with the sights and sounds of cell phones, ads and social media,” he says. “Floating frees your mind of outside stimuli and allows you to turn inward.” Three 90-minute sessions ($100 for first-time guests or $50 each) are recommended to realize the full physical and mental effects, reports Clarke.

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Amangiri Spa in Canyon Point, Utah, uses water infused with Dead Sea salt for its flotation services (30 min./$100 or 60 min./$200). Spa manager Anthony Andra says that this can be gentler on the skin than Epsom salt. He notes that floating can help relieve fatigue and jet lag as well. “Blood vessels and muscles relax, and endorphins are released,” says Andra. The spa also offers a Desert Dream package (150 min./$475), which includes flotation, craniosacral holds, reflexology, aromatherapy and a facial massage.

The Fountain in Hackensack, New Jersey, offers dry flotation on a heated bed filled with warm water. “It’s such a unique treat that we always have new clients eager to try it,” says spa director Breanne Pellicano. The spa offers two packages that feature the therapy. The Satin Smooth Creme Wrap (60 min./$110) begins with light body exfoliation, followed by a goat butter body wrap, flotation session and scalp massage. The Silky Smooth treatment (120 min./$242) includes a more robust Dead Sea salt exfoliation, a wrap treatment, flotation and a Swedish massage.

–by Eleanor Gilman



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