CP: That sounds amazing. What is the experience at Reboot like, from start to finish?
MG: We have four float pods that kind of look like big spaceship-eggs from the future. But inside, they’re pretty incredible: they have 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt dissolved in 94-degree water, so you effortlessly float, and after a few minutes, you can’t tell where your body ends and where the water begins.
When you come for the first time, we have you watch a 5-minute introduction video and show you around to the pods, and ask any questions you may have. After that, you’ll shower, put in some earplugs and lay on your back in the pod. Music plays for 10 minutes and when you choose to turn out the light, you’re in infinite space. Some people may think they’ll be intimidated by the darkness, but it’s just a blank canvas for you to visualize anything you want.
Think of it like an amazing sports performance, or like you’re in the ocean at night, or as a chance for you to explore new or forgotten ideas. The experience is different every time depending on where your mind and body is at, but floating is often called ‘training wheels for meditation’ because you can dip into meditative states effortlessly. Often times, it can be very creative or if you’re tired you may fall asleep, which is totally fine. After 55 minutes, the music comes back on to let you know you have five minutes left. When the light comes back on, you get out, shower again, change, and bask in something we call the ‘post-float glow.’ It’s the cumulative effect of being clear-headed, absorbing magnesium from the Epsom salt, and one hour of total weightlessness.
CP: Why is this experience important for those with very active lifestyles?
MG: The body needs to heal and regenerate before another intense workout. Otherwise, you’ll be overtraining, which is something that you’ll hear a lot of top athletes discussing these days. In the past, it was thought that the more work out, the better, but that’s not necessarily true. Sleep and recovery need to happen in order for you to fully absorb the benefits of your hard work.
Having periods of deep relaxation helps with recovery, immune system function and your overall health. If you’re always busy, stressed, or working out, it really puts a toll on your whole body. I think it’s important to remember we still have hunter-gatherer bodies and when we’re stressed, our body thinks it is in danger, produces stress hormones like cortisol, and the fight-or-flight response kicks on, which is detrimental to our health. When we exude calm energy, our body is able to work at peak function and go to work on healing itself. By far, the number one response from our floaters is that it is extremely relaxing, so if you’re looking to de-stress, you should definitely give floating a try.
CP: If someone doesn’t have access to a pod, what is an at-home technique they can try
MG: If you can’t float, you can get the magnesium benefit by buying bags of Epsom salt from the drug store and put them in your bathtub. Another way to spark recovery and ease sore muscles is with ice cold water. It’s not super fun, but you can simply take a cold shower or take it to the next level with an ice-bath. We’ve all seen athletes do this, and it’s a classic method that will give you tons of benefits besides speedy recovery like better sleep, softer skin, improved circulation, and it even helps with weight loss. If you’re up for it, you buy three 10 pound bags of ice and do 10 minutes up to the mid-abdomen, five minutes fully submerged, and in the last minute only, put your hands in the water.
Ready to give it a try? If you’re in San Francisco, sign up for a session at Reboot Float Spa now.