It seems every city has these salt float places now and the Charlotte version is the franchise True Rest Float Spa. First-time floaters (like me) get the introductory rate of $39 versus the regular $79 price. Every blog I read talked about the owners and the history but didn’t really prepare me for the experience. I dragged Joe and we went to try it out.
Give yourself plenty of time before and after the appointment
First-time floaters have to arrive 30 minutes before to do an intake form on the iPad and watch an orientation video. I actually really enjoyed the cartoon which had silly animations. It also had a few funny jokes like if you stay in the pod too long after it’s done, you’ll get sucked down the drain. * I * thought it was funny : )
What I didn’t enjoy was staring at a screen saver of geometric shapes for 20 minutes before they came back to actually start the video. I didn’t think this made much sense. I hated I rushed to get there so early to watch screen savers.
Pro tip: Expect some downtime in the 30-minute prep before your appointment. Maybe they do this on purpose to get your relaxed? Wear easy comfy clothes and shower shoes/flip flops since you’ll be showering
It’s a bit DIY once you get in your room
The group had a quick 5-minute orientation in which the girl showed us the pods, the switches inside the pod, and put our hand towel in the crook of the pod strut so we could reach it inside (<< great pro-tip!). I expected more but instead, she pointed to a sign on the wall, advised us to follow it, and then walked us to each of our individual rooms and that was it.
I would highly recommend following these The Perfect Float tips although I did body wash and shampoo after my float too (even though it said conditioner only). Also, the earplugs are not the typical kind that you squish up and shove in your ear canal. They are gooey and form a seal around your ear so water doesn’t get in. Follow those directions in the tiny earplug package too.
Pro-tip: Put the towel in the crook of the pod so you can reach it inside. Follow the Perfect Float and earplug directions. Don’t rub your eyes with salt water like they said in the video. I did this, had to spray my face off, and thankfully had the towel to wipe it off. That’s no joke about the eye burning!
Bring your own hairbrush unless you’re ok using those little plastic combs.
The actual float experience and lighting snafu
I worried it might be hard to float but it’s not. Evidently a bowling ball will float given how much salt is in there. I did a 60-minute float and it broke down like this:
- 10 minutes of music
- 45 minutes of silence
- 5 minutes of music – then a voice telling you your float is over
You can leave the lights on in your pod but they advised you don’t. After my music turned off, I kept waiting for the lights to turn off in my room but they didn’t. I pushed the intercom button which connected me to the front desk immediately. The girl told me that my room lights were on a motion timer and would turn off.
Because the room lights were all on, my pod never got dark. Even though my interior lights weren’t on, the outside lights filtered through easily illuminating the interior of my pod. I closed my eyes but keep peeking every few minutes in anticipation of the light turning off which it never did. Well, I waited, then I waited, then I waited some more. I tried to relax but couldn’t get past the lights on. I tried counting my breaths. My mind started to wander but it always came back to check on those darn lights. Eventually, my float was over and my whole room was still brightly lit like a Christmas tree.
I got out, showered, and got dressed. They have a communal area for makeup and hair dryers like you’d see in a locker room. I brought my own hairbrush but their website did advise that.
After the float, I asked Joe about the light and he had the same problem. When he noticed his light didn’t turn off, he got out of the pod and manually turned it off. I trusted the front desk girls because I was already in the pod and didn’t want to disrupt my experience. The workers went back to check on the lights and evidently neither my light or Joe’s was set on motion timer. That’s why the lights stayed on the whole time. The girls were nice to give us a coupon for next time but it compromised my first-time experience.
Pro-tip: Have the workers check that your light will turn off automatically. If your light doesn’t go off, tell them to turn it off or turn it off yourself.
After you’re done floating, they take you to this oxygen bar where you can relax and read a guest book with testimonials of folks raving about floating. They also have a book about the miracle healing that salt floats offer. The oxygen bar didn’t do anything for me except afford me to take a most unflattering photo that reminds me of people being in a hospital.
Post float effects
Evidently the float can have all types of healing effects. Joe said his knee didn’t hurt for a while but then the pain came back within a day. The funny orientation video also said it would take a few floats to get the full effect. I also think that helps with the upselling of future float packages and memberships.
As for sleeping better, I ended up waking up at 2:30 am that morning which is unusual for me. Joe didn’t follow his earplug directions so he got saltwater in his ears. I can’t blame the float for that. I didn’t notice any clearer mind or fewer aches or pains. Although, I do still believe that being in a totally dark pod would have really enhanced the experience.
Verdict – thumbs across
It didn’t provide miracles like I’d read for others although I only went one time. I’m not quite ready to go buy a membership or even take a second float. I really wanted to love this experience but I didn’t. I think if I found another special, I might do it again but that’s about what it would take.
Thanks for enduring my blog and hopefully it providing a little more insight about the experience! Please leave a comment if this helped!