RELAXATION SANS THE SCRIPT
“Oh my god. I do not have an hour I can devote to this,” I thought to myself. “I have three deadlines due for clients, I have to pick my son up from school, stop by the store to get something for dinner, network at a meet and greet, and I would like to play a little guitar with the guys later. I just don’t have an hour to spare!” My day, like all my days, was full from the time I awoke until the time I lay my head back down on the pillow.
The “this” I spoke of was an hour-long float in a sensory deprivation tank at Midwest Float. To put it mildly, I am thrilled I made time for “this,” or as Colby Lamb, co-owner of Midwest Float calls it, “recreational therapy.”
There are two float tanks: one a Pod, and the other a Cabin which holds up to two people (or one big old fat man like myself), so I chose the cabin. It was filled with water and Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) to a depth of about 18 inches. Inside the cabin there was a low light on with music playing softly. You have the option of leaving the light and music both on, leaving one on and the other off, or both off during your float. As I did not know what to expect, I chose to leave the music on as a security blanket. The music was soft, soothing and had the feel of being New Age.
After explaining all the necessary pre-float information, I was left alone to my experience. The warm water felt great, and, unbelievably, the water held me up. I must admit that I was starting to feel damned uncomfortable. The humidity bothered me as I am a creature of the air conditioning age, but my anxiety was not so much physical as it was sensual, or rather a lack of sensual. I was alone with just my thoughts and they were betraying me. Laying there in the darkness I just could not conceive being there for an hour in that state of mind. As I lay there the thoughts of all I needed to accomplish that day were popping into my brain. But it felt more like I was making an excuse for getting up and leaving instead of just seeing it through.
Then it happened.
I forgot about me.
I just merged into the goo in which I was laying.
My anxiety melted away.
I was gone.
I was no longer a father, a brother, a son. I had no deadlines. I had no commitments. I had nothing and I had need of nothing. It was as if I were surrounded by the amniotic fluid of my mother with all my needs being provided generously to me. All the stresses of my life were gone.
It was not that I was unaware of my surroundings. It was that my mind had been given permission to unwind. I do not even get this feeling during sleep. Actually, the only other time I felt this relaxed was during my vasectomy when my blood pressure dropped and the doctor administered a shot of Demerol to calm me down. It did. (I was so calm I told the doctor not to bother looking for the vas deferens to snip, just cut the whole thing off!)
All of a sudden, BAM, on came the lights! “Noooooooooooo,” I cried out audibly. My hour was over. It had just barely begun I thought.
From anxiety to pure relaxation it seemed it was over in 10 minutes. But the relaxation lasted all the rest of the day, and my enthusiasm for floating has just begun.
Even though I was back to being me I felt calm. I felt at ease. There was no more anxiety or stress. I had just as much to do getting out of the tank as when I entered, but my feelings about it had mellowed like a fine old wine.
After I showered off, I gushed and raved to Colby and his business partner Casey Campbell. They were ecstatic at my experience but not surprised. They have seen it before with many clients and have experienced it themselves. Just a side note, Colby and Casey are really good guys. As evidence of that these two caring guys offer free floats to veterans on Wednesdays.
I called a dozen or more of my friends immediately after I left Midwest Float and told them of my experience. I am still telling people daily of what I perceive to be a “recreational therapy” that I will participate in for the rest of my life. I cannot wait until my next float. The only thing different will be the discovery of that first-time experience.
I recommend you experience floating for yourself. Hey, come to think of it, I have an hour on Thursday.