Healthy Living: Float therapy combats sensory overload

Channel 2 Morning Edition (6 a.m.)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 9:35 AM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Life brings about many distractions and challenges that make it difficult to relax. So in this week’s Healthy Living, the news team dives into float therapy and how it’s helping people disconnect from the world, and in some ways, even their body.

At Snow Blossom Acupuncture Wellness & Float Center in Anchorage, Seth Wood, co-owner of the business, offers a firsthand walkthrough of customer Gretchen Jones’ experience with the Dreampod Vmax stealth float tank.

At first glance, it almost looks like a spaceship, but the float pod is designed to help people enter a deep state of relaxation. Float therapy utilizes sensory deprivation tanks to release individuals from the stress-filled environment of day-to-day life.

“An hour of floating in this float tank, when you can really relax and rest into it, is equal to about 4 to 5 hours of sleep if you can relax that well,” Wood said.

The pod is filled with 10 inches of water and about 1,200 pounds of Epsom salts. The water is heated to near skin temperature, about 95 degrees, and the lid is kept closed to preserve the warmth inside. The idea is to enhance one’s senses by cutting off the body from external stimuli.

“The saltwater is helping to detox the muscular muscle fibers and tissues from the daily toxins in our system,” Wood said. “You’re truly in the present, in a very deep relaxed state, which is really good for issues like anxiety a lot of times and PTSD, and stress in general.”

The float pod also has LED lights on the inside and an alert button if needed. Wood said an individual’s face is never underwater, but earplugs are offered to stop water from entering their ears. He also noted that individuals typically float in the nude due to the amount of saltwater in the pod.

Sessions can last from 30 minutes to an hour, but to get the full effect, Wood recommends trying to let go for 90 minutes.

Wood said if anyone interested in float therapy has concerns of anxiety or claustrophobia, they can simply stand up and open the lid during a session.

“You’ll be right back in this room,” he said.

Gretchen Jones, on the other hand, is no stranger to floating. She’s partaken in this style of therapy for 10 years. However, on her first try, she didn’t know what to expect.

“What I found is happening is that when your body is suspended in the water, it tends to just relax and if there’s an ailment or injury it focuses on that and it feels like it’s compressed like a cast around that spot until it’s done its job and then it moves to another part of your body,” she said.

Jones noted that she is hooked to float therapy ever since first trying it.

“If I could buy one of these and have it in my home I would. That’s how much I like floating,” she said.

On another note, Snow Blossom and Live Breathe Alaska put together an acupuncture event this weekend at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. It will be both businesses’ second donation-based acupuncture event together. They are said to be offering acupuncture on the ear for up to 180 people. If interested, visit the performing arts center Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Copyright 2021 KTUU. All rights reserved.