Last week, I took a trip to the Dead Sea. I didn’t step foot on a plane or train; in fact, I took the city bus. I floated in the salty water, mesmerized by the sound and rhythm of the ocean waves, and got lost listening to the quintessential sound of summer: seagulls soaring above my head. It was like nothing I have ever experienced.
On the off-chance my fantasy actually seems real, what I really did last week was sign up for an hour-long float session at Mystic Float.
Mystic Float is a float studio that recently opened on James Street South in Hamilton. If “float studio” brings to mind nothing but the foam noodles to which you clung for dear life throughout your grade school swimming lessons, floating (or at least, the Mystic Float kind) “involves lying in a pod or room that contains 10 inches of constantly heated water mixed with 1,000lbs of therapeutic grade Epsom salt.” Your body becomes completely buoyant and you are able to float effortlessly. Our whole lives we have been taught that we sink in water (and in fact, that we’re supposed to!) and so while the sensation was incredibly strange at first, I quickly adjusted. If you’re worried it may not be for you, don’t fret. Owners Michelle and Gabor Katzirz say “it took about three sessions to feel completely comfortable.”
Read on to find out why husband and wife duo Gabor and Michelle fell in love with the concept and the changes that have since floated into their everyday life.
When did you first hear about float therapy? Why was it so appealing?
Gabor and I learned about floating back in 2012. Gabor surprised me with a couple's float as a Valentine's Day present. He found it very appealing because it was an opportunity to step into a space, [far] away from everything else, and so clear the mind.
How long did it take you to feel comfortable when floating?
For both of us, it took about three sessions in order to feel completely comfortable and be able to relax the neck and turn off the mind.
What are some of the changes and benefits you've noticed from floating?
Gabor feels much calmer after floating. It decreases stress and increases mindfulness. He has used floating to help with his backaches and he's becoming much better at meditating. For myself, it also helps to relieve stress and anxiety. I've also used it for muscle recovery after a hard workout, and I love the feeling of my skin after. The softness lasts for days afterwards.
How does floating compare to other forms of meditation and therapy?
his is the perfect environment for meditation - it removes exterior stimulation, has zero gravity, and lukewarm temperatures to help clients focus on their minds. It's also completely pure and natural, so there's no “wrong way” for someone to float. It's an entirely solitary and independent experience, which gives people the opportunity to do what feels most comfortable for them. Floating has been said to be “meditation on steroids” because of the ideal environment.
For me, floating took me to Israel, but your experience can take you anywhere you want it to. Perhaps you’ll take a trip to outer space or drift off to “dream-land.” Wherever you go, I’m confident that you’ll come out feeling relaxed, centered and grounded.
To book a float session or to learn more about this type of therapy, head on over to Mystic Float.