December 2, 2015
Hidden St. Louis, Part 1: F.LO.A.T. STL
By Rachel Geringer
Hidden St. Louis Series
It's where we live and where we work, but do you know about these hidden spots that make St. Louis unique? In each edition of our "Hidden St. Louis" series, an UPBrand team member will uncover a secret spot around the city for you to explore. You may be in the dark with this week's featured spot. Enjoy!
Part 1: F.LO.A.T. STL
We all know what draws people downtown. Whether they come for a sporting event, the City Museum, Ballpark Village or our pride and joy, the Arch, St. Louis is full of fun features for locals and out-of-towners alike. But what about the hidden gems? In the first of our Hidden St. Louis series, I am uncovering an experience like no other—F.LO.A.T. STL.
After a group of therapists realized they had all been traveling to bigger cities for the floating experience, they decided to come together to bring the float and all of its benefits to St. Louis, opening their first location in early 2015.
So what is it and why should you check it out?
Below are a few points detailing how it works. If further information is desired, feel free to visit their site.
• You’re provided a private tank, ear plugs and a towel. All you’ll need is you and your birthday suit.
• 850 pounds of Epsom salt in the water keeps you afloat.
• The water is kept at 93.5 degrees which is skin-receptor neutral, allowing you the freedom of not knowing where your body ends and the water begins.
• The tanks are insulated against sound and the lights are off, eliminating the possibility of distractions.
Upon arrival, I was offered tea and asked to sit in the common area where those who had finished floating also come to sit for continued relaxation. I asked a gentleman how he enjoyed the float to which he answered, “For the first 20 minutes, I tried to answer all of life’s questions but then I just let it be”.
I’m going to be honest, I was a bit nervous going into it. Was I too going to try to answer all of life’s questions? Understanding my ever restless and active mind, I was concerned by the 90-minute timeframe and the lack of distractions I was about to experience. I’m a self proclaimed “doer”, constantly on the go, moving from one activity or task to another, so how would I get through this without becoming overwhelmingly anxious? Think about it, how often do you set aside 90 minutes for the sole purpose of being and relaxing?
Once I got over the oddity of it all, I was quickly able to relax and feel the benefits of floating. The nearly zero-gravity state and the restricted environmental stimuli allowed my mind, body and spirit the opportunity to truly relax and reset in a way I’d never experienced before. In fact, when asked to describe the experience, I found it difficult. All I could say was that I felt like nothing. My mind was calm, not racing. My body was weightless and unaware of itself.
As it turns out, the nothingness is exactly what I needed. After my float, I felt refreshed. I felt light. I felt like my brain rested for the first time in my entire life. I got out of the tank, I smiled, I laughed, I drank some tea that was kindly provided to me and I entered back into the world of distractions from being.
The reality of it is that my brain was able to be without distraction and therefore worked to pump me full of dopamine and endorphins. In a society ruled by deadlines and commitments, I was able to get away from the everyday noise to find peace, resulting in a naturally high state of being.
So, no. You won’t find the answer to all life’s questions lying in a tank full of Epsom salt water for 90 minutes. But you will get to reset your mind and body and I think that opens you up to a whole lot of possibilities.