El Paso, Texas (KTSM) – Lili Gutierrez, owner of Float and Calm Spa has a unique addition to her business. It’s called a sensory deprivation tank but many people simply know it as ‘floating.’
The goal of a sensory deprivation tank is to deprive your senses of any stimulation, hence the name. A unique environment that frees up the brain to relax and reflect without distractions.
“Ideally you don’t want to hear anything, you don’t want to feel anything, and you don’t want to see anything. I know that sounds a little scary but when we do that to our brain we let it rest.” says Gutierrez.
Cortisol is a stress hormone, seretonin is well known for its positive effect on mood, and melatonin is the hormone that helps regulate sleep. When all these hormones are balanced it allows the brain to reboot and in turn function better.
“Our brain does really great things when we deprive it from stimulation because it kind of has to go inward back into itself allowing a lot of great things to happen,” Gutierrez said. “Like creativity tends to boost, anxiety lessens, and then because of the 1,500 pounds of Epson salt that are in the tank you also increase serotonin levels, melatonin levels, and decreases of cortisol.”
Epson salt is magnesium sulfate which helps pull out metals out of the body allowing the body to detox. It’s also good for your skin. The physical relaxation of floating has been know to trigger the body’s natural healing and regeneration abilities.
“The water that you would float in is skin temperature so when you get in there you loose yourself,” Gutierrez said.
The idea is to merge with the water since its the same temperature as a person’s body, she added.
“Some people have experienced not knowing where your body ends and the water starts so you have this anti gravity feeling,” she said. “So the float tank is a therapy that is going to be useful for not only physical pain like muscle pain, easing muscle tension, it’s also going to be really good for your mind because it gives it a rest and it allows it to reboot.
“For some people it connects them spiritually too because the person is connected with themselves. It’s such a simple therapy, you just float.” says Gutierrez.
It’s optional to leave the light on inside the tank or the twinkling stars that sit on the ceiling of the tank. There’s also meditative type music if you don’t want to float in silence. The options are there to make the floating experience an enjoyable one.
“We should be the most interesting thing to ourselves. does that makes sense? We really should be the most interesting thing to ourselves and a lot of people don’t take that time to get to know themselves. Isn’t that funny? We expect people to like us and to enjoy being with us but yet we cannot be with ourselves.”
Lili Gutierrez says she discovered sensory deprivation tanks about 10-years ago after going through a rough patch in her life. In her quest to find a more natural way for self care she discovered floating along with meditation and yoga.
As she learned about the meditation process she also learned that the sensory deprivation tank can also be meditative tool.
“This happens due to the Epson salt, helping decrease cortosal levels and increase melatonin levels, the body is able to relax fairly quickly. The tank is a great tool for those looking to get into a meditative state of mind.”
This year marks Float and Calm Spa‘s two year anniversary. She shares how rewarding this business has been since there really isn’t many places to go float around the area. Gutierrez says how proud she is to have this optional therapy that a lot of people can take advantage of.
For those who are not seeking any particular benefit and just want to try it out, floating will give you an overall feeling of wellness as it relieves stress and body tension.
Customers have the option to float for one or two hours. The spa also offers a sauna, massages and facials.