Relaxation isn’t always easily achieved.
And as someone who is constantly stressed, making an effort to actually relax has been at the top of my list lately. So I was intrigued when I learned about Ebb & Float, a flotation spa downtown promising “the relaxing sensation of enjoying a warm bath and the refreshing experience of taking the perfect nap, with the mind-calming effects of meditation.”
That’s a big claim and I was interested but slightly skeptical, so in the name of relaxation research, I had to check it out.
Float Spas were a foreign concept to me, I honestly did not know what to expect. As soon as I stepped inside though, I felt primed for relaxation. The interior of the space is open, full of light and uncluttered. Guests are encouraged to take their shoes off after checking in and walk about in their socks or bare feet. Before any treatments began, I was given a short orientation of the space including where to find anything I might need and how the treatments would go.
It was comforting to know there were no surprises to interrupt my relaxation and I could help myself if I needed something without finding a staff member. The whole thing felt very homey and welcoming to me.
When I signed up for my float, I was encouraged to add on a primer in their massage chairs and I am glad I did. These things are magical, not an average one like you’d find in the middle of the mall (is that still a thing?) These chairs tilt back so you’re suspended in a zero-gravity state and use a series of pressure techniques to massage your muscles. After just 15 minutes, I honestly felt so relaxed I wasn’t sure how floating would affect me, could I really get more zen?
Next, it was on to the main event: floating. I was guided to my personal float room, which included every single amenity I needed to have a relaxing experience. Stepping into the float tank for the first time was an incredibly interesting sensation.
Each tank has over 1000lbs of Epsom salt, so without even trying I was immediately suspended in the water. Floating is a form of sensory deprivation therapy, meaning it alleviates the effects of gravity, which slows down your brain waves and should help bring you into a meditative state.
I cannot stress how little I had to do to support my body, I would have had to try hard to sink. Weirdly enough, doing nothing had a definite learning curve for me. My body wanted to something that required effort like swimming and I had to try hard to relax. At a certain point, my mind stopped resisting and I knew I finally the hang of it.
Each float session is 60 minutes long, starting and ending with 5 minutes of calming music to start you off and then wake you up. When the music first shut off, I was a little stressed about what I was going to do just laying in water for the next 50 minutes.
But, once I got in the swing of doing nothing, the time flew by. I was surprised at how quickly the music in the tank fluttered back on.
I would compare the time passing as similar to when you think you are just falling asleep for a few minutes when in reality, you’ve been sleeping for an hour. After waking back up, Ebb & Float provided me with everything I needed to get ready to take on the rest of my day.
The final stop on my visit was the living space right off the lobby. I was encouraged to sit down for a few additional minutes, make a cup of tea and process any additional thoughts that might have come up during the float.
I have to say, floating is a yes for me. I walked out of that spa feeling all the things they promised, refreshed and rejuvenated. I already have plans to go back.
What I appreciated most about Ebb & Float is the way everything is so thoroughly thought out. They struck a wonderful balance of being informative and welcoming so I never felt confused but also felt like I belonged there.
Every single amenity I could have needed they supplied: earplugs so water doesn’t get in your ears, toiletries so you can get ready for the rest of your day, extra fluffy towels, tea and coffee, it’s all there. I could tell they put effort into thinking through the guest experience.
One final note, that I feel like I have to mention. If at this point you are worried about how sanitary this whole situation is (I was) you’ll be pleased to know guests are required to shower off before and after entering their tanks so everything is nice and clean! The whole time I was at the spa, I was pleased with how everything was so incredibly clean.
Ebb & Float offers single service options, packages of combined services and monthly membership that include varying levels of frequency. Services they offer include Floating, Massage Chairs and an Infrared Sauna (which you better believe I will be back to try). You can check out more about their services and book on their website.
Ebb & Float is located at 231 N 5th St, Columbus.
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