If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time connected to technology. We work on our devices daily, sleep with them next to us, take them to the bathroom with us, and rarely have them out of sight. Most of us realize this pattern isn’t healthy, but find it difficult to completely disengage from the devices that keep us organized, connected, and oftentimes stressed. While I don’t have the solution to our “always-on” societal demands, I was able to enjoy a new and relaxing experience called flotation therapy that I hope many of you will be able to try as well.
Recently, Sonder Mind & Body opened in Greensboro, offering a variety of wellness services including infrared sauna, acupuncture, and floatation therapy. When I learned that they also had a cafe that catered to special dietary needs, my interest was piqued. Due to my struggle with food allergies on my functional medicine journey., it has been a challenge to find restaurants that offer grain-free options. When I saw that Sonder offered not only amazing anti-inflammatory smoothies but also grain-free cookies, fermented vegetables and probiotic coconut yogurt, I knew this was my kind of place!
I stopped by while walking around downtown for First Friday and tried their Sweet Blue Bee Smoothie. It was a heavenly mix of blueberries, banana, coconut water, coconut milk, hemp seeds, bee pollen, and honey. They also offer fresh cold-pressed juices, coffee, and tea from one of my other favorite places in Greensboro, Vida Pour Tea. I love when small businesses collaborate in this way and I get to enjoy the best of both worlds!
They’ve done a wonderful job of making the interior inviting and peaceful. I love the vibrant plants, cheerful colors and quiet space that they’ve created. Shortly after my visit for First Friday, I booked my first flotation tank experience with them. A few years back, I heard about flotation tanks becoming popular, but was always hesitant to try them because I felt I would be claustrophobic and I didn’t know of any nearby. After seeing that there was an option to keep the tank enclosure open at Sonder, I had no excuses left. Ironically, on my way to go relax and float, I got stuck in a huge traffic jam due to a train and started getting stressed that I was going to be late (something I really hate). I ended up arriving just in time, but looking back it was funny how worked up I got about traffic, and I realized just how much I needed the time to disengage and relax.
As I got checked in, I read the FAQ’s provided and signed the standard waiver form, then Sarah took me back to the floatation room and explained the process to me. Everyone is required to shower before entering the float tank, so I did that and proceeded to climb in. (You can float with or without a bathing suit, but they recommend without in order to have the most natural contact with the water). I’ve always wanted to visit the Dead Sea because of the ability to float in the water, so I was excited to simulate that for the first time! The high concentration of Epsom salt in the tank is what keeps your body afloat, and also what provides you with some amazing health benefits due to the magnesium levels and detox properties of the salt.
As I mentioned, I had the option to keep the top open or closed, but after getting in and seeing that it was spacious, I decided to close it and keep the light on to see how I would feel. Thankfully I didn’t feel claustrophobic at all and was able to relax. There is an option to keep music playing in the tank or to relax in complete silence (earplugs are provided). I chose to keep some music going as I found that it helped me relax). They provide an optional headrest which I used throughout my float. It was a peaceful experience and even though I’m 5’9′, there was sufficient space and I didn’t feel crowded. I enjoyed the feeling of floating and tried out various positions. At the end of the float, a calming voice will come on letting you know the session has ended, and that it’s time to exit the tank.
After I got out and showered, the tank started its filtration process. If you’re worried about whether floating is hygienic, rest easy knowing each drop is filtered 9 times in between floats using a combination of micron filtration, UV rays, and ozone generators. Epsom salts are also a natural disinfectant, so you’re covered on all fronts. You can read more FAQ’s about the process here. There is a timer-based heating option that you can turn on while you’re showering/getting dressed after the float, and hair dryers are provided in the bathrooms. They’ve truly thought of everything to provide you with a comfortable and relaxing experience. After you get dried off, you can go chill in the cafe and enjoy a juice, smoothie or snack ( I recommend their rainbow rolls!)
I can’t wait to come back to spend time in the infrared sauna and hopefully participate in one of their community acupuncture sessions, which is something I’ve always been curious about. They also offer community workshops, yoga classes, massage therapy, IV infusions, and lifestyle/health coaching.
Have you tried floating? I’d love to hear your questions and comments below!