Complete relaxation in a state of sensory deprivation. This is the idea behind “Floating” and the ambition of Allentown’s newly opened holistic floating spa – “The Flo.”
I stopped down there last week on their first official day of business, having only just heard of this concept a few months ago. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. When I walked in, co-owner Joe Fambo (photo – right) walked me through the idea behind “floating”.
Floating is a form of therapy. Both physical and mental. Your body is suspended in an Isolation Floatation Chamber (tank) where there is no light or sound. By floating in a dense liquid of water and magnesium sulfate, and cutting off all sensory intakes, the body is able to completely shut down all of its tensions and fall into a deep meditative state of recovery.
I had so many questions, the first of which was “Am I going to feel claustrophobic in there?”
Joe took me on a tour and showed me the tank in which I would be floating. I would be in the smaller of the two tanks but it was still half the size of the room. I was able to stretch my arms over my head without hitting the wall. Joe took me through the exercises, explaining that I may become anxious at times, but that I would overcome the anxious feelings and fall back into the meditative state… going deeper and deeper into relaxation.
“Lets do this.”
I showered and stepped into the tank. The water was lukewarm. Laying down, I bobbed around a little bit and tried to accustom myself to the new sensation of being completely buoyant without struggle. Finally I closed the door and let myself go. For the first 5 minutes I was still taking it in, then I went into my first meditative state. It felt like I was slowly drifting down a river. I literally felt like I was moving and at times turning, it was amazing. I felt my neck clicking as it became unsprung and my lower back was completely at ease. My float was for 90 minutes and throughout I would drift in and out of states of meditation until I heard a knock on the side of the tank letting me know my time was up.
I stepped out of the tank with a gasp. It felt like I had just gotten a full body massage. I showered and headed out to the lobby where Joe and his business partner Sam Galbo were both smiling. “How do you feel?”
They happily went through all of the benefits and history behind floating and told me that I should expect to feel more energized and frankly happier. This was absolutely the case. The next day I noticed I was full of energy and my body was still loose and relaxed. My neck had no more kinks in it and my lower back was still at ease.
It was an amazing experience overall, and a nice natural way to let my body relax and recover. You can find all their information, including an extensive list of all the benefits of floating (see below), on their website:
- Increased endorphin levels
- Stress relief
- Increased muscle recovery
- Removes lactic acid from the muscles which speeds up the healing process
- Helps decrease inflammation to muscles and joints
- Decreases the production of Cortisol, ACTH
- Helps migraines
- Chronic pain
- Jet lag
- Anxiety, depression, addictive behaviors, and ptsd
It’s great to see a local business set out to help people in a natural way. Whether you are an athlete, over-stressed, recovering from an injury or just looking for a way to relax, I would highly recommend stopping down to “The Flo” where Joe and Sam will happily float you back to where you need to be.