The first thing you notice when you step through the doors of Jellyfish Float Spa is the calmness of the place, from the colours on the walls to the staff working inside.
Roi Jones, who co-owns the business along with his wife Elizabeth and their business partner Meer Janjua, gave me a brief tour of the building. Each sensory deprivation pod has its own private room and private shower. Then he got me set up to float.
He picked the longest pod, because the last thing you want to do when you’re in there is be bouncing off the walls, and at 6’8”, I’d need all the room I could get. After setting the timer on the musical alarm inside the tank, he left me to myself.
I took a quick shower, as instructed, and got into the tank. There is a about a foot of water in it, and it is regulated to stay at skin temperature, so you don’t feel hot or cold. In fact you don’t feel much of anything. I decided to skip the supplied earplugs, as I felt I would focus on them too much, and I really didn’t want to feel anything once inside. I got in the pod, getting into a crouch to close the door behind me and entered a world of darkness.
I decided to scoot myself backwards toward the back of the tank, only to instantly rise
The Epsom salts make it remarkably easy to float. I would imagine that even those with no swimming experience would find it quite easy, as it really is as simple as just laying back and existing.
A word of advice I can offer for potential floaters is that while it is very dark in the tank, do not attempt to see if you can see your hands in front of your face. Your hands will be dripping salt water and that is something you don’t want to get in your eyes if you’re trying to relax.
As I lay back and relaxed, letting my head dip back so that my ears were just under the water, I began to think about what I was feeling, and how I was going to write it out. After what was probably twenty minutes of doing this, I realized that I was never going to relax this way and I just had to ‘let go’. By this time I had also stopped bouncing from one side of the tank to the other and had settled in the middle.
And everything seemed to slow down.
I focused on my breathing for a bit, taking deep breaths and basically trying to fall asleep. Now, before you think ‘what if I drowned’, I have to say that you really would have to try to do that, because you’re so buoyant.
Every little motion I made seemed amplified. Moving my head ever so slightly made me feel like I was spinning in circles, despite the fact I knew I wasn’t. The ‘Circle of Life’ song from the Lion King popped into my head.
At some point I stopped thinking, and reached the point of ‘max relax’. Any ache or pain I had had going into the tank was gone. I may or may not have fallen asleep. If I didn’t I was definitely close.
I assume I achieved this state at around the 40 minute mark, as according to the Jellyfish Float Spa website, that’s the point in a float where your brain stops producing alpha waves and starts producing theta waves and leaves you in a state between conscious and subconscious. Your body also experiences other changes, such as increased levels of dopamine and endorphins as well as your spine lengthening an inch. With your muscles relaxed, and without any pressure from sitting or lying down, blood can flow freely through your body and allow for faster than normal healing.
The music started to play and I began to ‘wake up’. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was really hearing the music, or if it was only in my head. It was similar to the movie Inception, where characters are awoken by the music of Edith Piaf. In the tank it was a gentle harp song that began playing, but I was only able to tell for certain I wasn’t imagining it when I raised my head above the water, and confirmed that music was signalling the end of my float.
Because you are floating in salt water, you do end up with a fair bit of salt on you after the float. I had been encouraged prior to floating to try to wipe it off while still in the tank, before hopping in the shower for a quick rinse. I felt refreshed and oddly happy after the float, even when I was cleaning the salt out of my ears. It was definitely relaxing for both the mind and body. It’s a sensation Roi referred to as being ‘blissed right out’.
But you don’t have to take my word for it.
From one tank…
Roi and Liz floated for the first time in the fall of 2013, after him and his wife Elizabeth bought one for personal use in their home. After experiencing the benefits for themselves, the decision was made to open up a business based in their home, where people could come and float.
“We saw that there’s nothing else here, so let’s give this a shot. We started coming up with a business plan and a marketing strategy to run a business out of our house.”
Of course, getting people to go to their home wasn’t easy, as people were hesitant to try the experience.
“It took some time to get people in the door. We found that talking to people and word of mouth is the best way to get people to come in.”
Roi adds that even now there’s a good sample of the population that think they can float in a hot tub, but it’s the tons of Epsom salt that make it easy, and you don’t get that with a hot tub.
…to a trio of Jellyfish
Eventually, the decision was made to expand and buy more pods. This allowed customers to float at the same time. While they would be in separate pods, they can still share in the experience. Jellyfish Float Spa opened in November of 2014.
The pods at Jellyfish Float Spa feature a 24 hour filtration system to ensure that the water is clean and meets all health codes.
Find that it is important to take time out of their lives to really reset the body and explore their inner selves. It’s really ideal for spiritual growth, personal growth and personal development.
Jellyfish Float Spa is located at 894 St. Mary’s Rd. For more information, or to book an appointment, call (204)294-9890. Visit them online at jellyfishfloatspa.com