Have you ever heard of a saltwater float tank? What about a sensory deprivation tank? Despite all the mystique that surrounds this unique spa experience float tanks don't need to be anything scary or "far out", it's actually my favorite way to relax!

If you’re like me and enjoy a massage or a soak in a warm tub, you’ll most likely enjoy a float tank. Lucky for us we've got several spas that offer these float tanks here in the West Michigan area.

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What Exactly is a Float Tank?

Similar to natural phenomena such as the Dead Sea, saltwater float tanks mimic that same effect. Similar to a bathtub or small pool, float tanks use a highly concentrated saltwater solution to allow you to feel weightless. This process relieves pressure on your joints and spinal cord. Trust me when I say that feels so good.

The tanks were originally created in the 1950s but have seen a resurgence in recent years. I first learned of them when I was living in Missouri several years ago and after my first float I was hooked. I'll take a float over a massage any day!

Claustrophobic, Much?

I'll admit I was a little apprehensive at first. I don't consider myself to be a person who suffers from claustrophobia but I was a little nervous about going into an enclosed tank. In my experiences, I learned that propping the door open with a towel is enough for me, but thankfully nowadays they make open-air "tanks" so it's practically just like soaking in a bathtub.

Photo by Galen Crout on Unsplash
Photo by Galen Crout on Unsplash

What Are the Benefits?

In addition to relieving joint and body pain float tanks also reduce outside stimuli so you can focus on relaxing. Every float spa does things differently with some offering gentle lighting and music or, if you prefer, you can float in complete darkness and silence. It’s a great time to reflect on your thoughts, a mantra—or simply nothing at all.

As it's one of my favorite ways to treat myself I've been eyeing the local float spas and have even purchased certificates for a few floats myself, but have yet to find the perfect time to use them! However, I feel like cashing in on a float is in my near future. Here's where you can try this totally zen experience:

The Zen Dens- Kalamazoo

Located near Stadium Drive and Drake, The Zen Dens has a variety of different wellness experiences. In addition to their float tanks they offer pink Himalayan salt caves and red light therapy. Discounts are offered to first-time floaters as well as a companion float for couples.

Lauren G for TSM
Lauren G for TSM

Phlot- Grand Rapids

Walking around town you can't help but notice the sign that hangs outside of the Eastown spa. Phlot says their tanks are some of the largest on the market, perfect for those who may feel a little claustrophobic. Phlot also offers a "Fire and Ice" experience where you can alternate between using their cold plunge tubs and sauna-- if you're into that sort of thing.

Revive Spa- St. Joseph

This spa offers a free first float to military, police, veterans, and first responders. Their tanks appear to be a bit smaller, but they offer the same stress and stimuli reduction nonetheless. You’ll also find additional face and body treatments like teeth whitening, massages, and tanning.

Now that you know what floating is, are you brave enough to try it?

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