Did anyone read the title of this blog with an a la Styx melody?
A few months ago a friend of mine mentioned in a Facebook post that she had gone to FLOAT Milwaukee and she had a really relaxing journey. AND she posted a couple of pictures of a really futuristic looking egg capsule thingy (hey- a picture is worth a thousand words, right?)
Therefore, I was intrigued.
Since I also like relaxation. I also like to try new things and patron new, local businesses- I had been wanting to try Float Milwaukee for a while now. The owner, Andy Larson, has a story that is pretty cool. He was a former accountant working in the tax department at Joy Global.
So when August rolled around and my stepdaughters had their 23rd and 17th birthdays, I figured it was a great time to gift them each an hour in a pod and we could have a little girls night out. (Plus… my birthday is ALSO in August, so this was like a present for myself)
Now would be a good time to interject with a little float trivia. Because when I presented their birthday gift to them, both girls had no idea what it was. Luckily; Lauren’s boyfriend was like “is that a sensory deprivation place? I’ve always wanted to try one!” (Phew! I thought, because, I love my stepdaughters, but they are sometimes timid about trying new things!) Megan’s boyfriend was able to whip up some pictures on his phone amazingly quickly fashion. My husband also had no idea what this was or that it was even a thing. So I’ll chalk one up for the boyfriends for coming to my rescue!
Floating… well, basically- you climb into a pod, close the lid, and float. The pod is filled with salt water which makes floating easy (think the Dead Sea and if you don’t know what I’m talking about- here is a chance to go to YouTube!). The water is body temperature, so it is completely neutral. The capsule is dark and soundproof. Therefore- it is supposed to deprive your senses. There are supposed to be many health benefits of floating- deep relaxation, pain relief, increased creativity, and stress relief.
I’ve been told people compare it to being inside a giant womb.
On August 23rd, Megan, Lauren, and I went and tried our very first float at Float Milwaukee. They are located at 211 Freshwater Way which for those of you who are not that familiar with Milwaukee was not that hard to get to. Being from Hartland, sometimes I’m somewhat intimidated going places downtown for the first time because I tend to get lost- but we made it there pretty successfully. It is in the Walker’s Point neighborhood.
By the time we got there, I think all three of us were pretty nervous. Personally, I am a little claustrophobic- so I was concerned that I would freak out in the pod. I also get nervous trying new things because I’m worried I won’t know what to do.
Luckily, we didn’t need to worry at all!
When you walk in, you’re greeted by a welcome sign that asks you to put on sandals. Okay, easy enough. Then you check in and sign your waiver. Our host was extremely friendly in a mellow sort of way as he began by showing us around the place. There is a “chill out” room just past the waiting area for after your float- it is full of water and teas and journals and magazines. There is also a room full of beauty supplies and hair dryers, etc for you to get put back together after your float and subsequent shower. Note: the products smell amazing!
And then you are shown to your float room. Since we were all new to Float, we were shown together how it works. You take a shower first (they supply shampoo, conditioner, bodywash), then you get in the pod (recommended naked for optimal results), pull the cover down, and relax until the light comes on and the voice tells you your time is up. They also supply you makeup remover wipes, ear plugs, your towels (a bath towel and a hand towel), and a robe.
They have two large buttons inside the pod. One for the light (which you can have on high, medium, or off), and one for sound (again- high, medium, low, off). If you opt for sound, you will get new-agey massage type music. I personally opted for no light and no music. I put the earplugs in and brought my hand towel inside and hung it on the bar that you use to pull the top down and floated away.
What I found out is that relaxing is not as easy as it sounds.
After what felt like 10 minutes all I could think about what “do my (younger) kids know I’m going to be late coming home tonight?” and it took me forever to talk myself out of panic knowing that my husband was in control. After what felt like 30 minutes (and I say felt because you lose all sense of time) I was looking up and I start to think, “OMG, are those stars? I see stars!” And then I start laughing because either I am hallucinating or maybe the company painted the inside of the pods with some kind of glow in the dark dots to make everyone think they are seeing stars. Hmmmmm.
At one point I started thinking about the fact that I kind of felt like a floating head. No body. No arms or legs. Just a head. Which was kind of weird sensation.
And then… just when I was feeling like I was starting to get the hang of relaxing…. The light came back on and the voice told me it was time to get out.
Seriously? Yep. I’m a mom.
I never even once felt claustrophobic. Thumbs up!
So I got out, took my shower, got dressed, and went to fix my hair and hear about Lauren and Megan’s experiences.
Both girls said they would do it again.
Megan fell asleep so soundly that she didn’t wake up to the light. Or the voice. She didn’t wake up until 6 minute later when the water started filtering (which basically is like a hot tub turning on!) So I would say floating was a success for Megan!
Lauren said she liked that you can just “not think” about anything- but she has eczema, so if we are being honest (and I always am), she would note that after so long in salt water her skin started to hurt and she had to get out a few minute early. Her skin got kind of rash-ey the few days afterward (thank goodness for eczema cream!)
As for me, I just booked a 2 ½ hour float- which they only offer once a month (third Monday’s of each month). I also bought an hour float for my sister for her 40th birthday so I have an excuse to take her!! I’m looking forward to practicing turning off my brain.
Float Milwaukee just celebrated their 1 year anniversary. Congratulations Float Milwaukee! From one entrepreneur to another- I wish you all the success in the world!
My analysis… being stress free makes you a happier person. It makes you a healthier person. Happy, healthy people make better choices. All good things. Therefore- I would recommend climbing into a pod and floating away…. At least once….
Find more information at www.floatmilwaukee.com