Floating - A New Way to Stem Creativity

I tried floating for the first time.  One of the local centers, Float Milwaukee, was offering free floats for veterans during November. What a nice thing to do! And if a veteran enjoyed it, they could come back as often as they liked.  I think the idea was that this would be a great way to deal with the stresses some veterans face.

I was a bit apprehensive, but it turned out to be a great experience. I've learned since then while talking to other "floaters," that the experience will be different for everyone. Have you tried this?  I'd love to hear what you have to say.

I showed up a few minutes early and completed a registration questionnaire, then got a short lesson in what to do.  I entered my private room containing a space-like pod, shower area, and bench with pegs to hold my clothing. Then I undressed and showered. It's important to clean your body, both before and after.  The pod is filled with saltwater which is filtered or cycled after every use, but better to keep contaminants out.
Shower next to the pod

Head rest, towels and earplugs

There were waxy earplugs to keep the salt water out. I used those, but removed everything else.

Getting into the pod was a bit like entering a bathtub. Best done carefully.  It was filled with saltwater close to my body temperature, or at least when it was touching my skin, I felt nothing. There was just enough to keep the body afloat- not unlike floating in the Dead Sea when I visited Jordan.

I chose lighting and sound from dials inside the pod. I could have music and soft lighting or nothing at all.  I spent the first 5 minutes just trying different combinations.  And then there was the "trying to get comfortable" phase.  One would assume this should be quite relaxing from the start, but my mind was racing with questions. Just what should I do with my hands? Do I use the floating pillow? Should I push my body under or leave breasts in the cooler air above? Will I fall asleep? Why did I shave? My legs are burning. Eventually I rested and even fell asleep for what I thought was just a short time before the lights and sound automatically came on and woke me up. I probably slept for a good half hour, though my mind came up with lots of creative ideas before then as it wandered.
It kind of looks like it could eat you up
Controls for the lights and music

I climbed out of the pod and showered, feeling quite relaxed. Any body aches I'd had before I did the float were gone. The brochure I read before the float mentioned various reasons to float. Some of them were quite surprising: stress relief, fight addiction, life reflection, meditation, and of course relaxation. The cost for an hour session was listed at $50. Maybe you'll find one and give it a go.

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