Flotation therapy, also known as sensory deprivation tanks, are typically perceived one of two ways: a blissful escape or a claustrophobic nightmare. Immersing oneself into an eight-by-four foot space of salt water, with the option of no light or sound? It can sound jarring at first. However, despite how you choose to mentally enter the experience, I guarantee you’ll leave it more relaxed than a five-star massage.
Float tanks are few and far between on Long Island. Up until now, the easternmost location has been Patchogue and Riverhead — a shocking realization, considering the therapy’s proven benefits. According to the Epsom Salt Council, those benefits include softened skin, lower blood pressure, a reduction in hyperactivity and heart problems, the removal of toxins, and the formation of proteins needed in joints and brain tissue. Float therapy also aids in stress management and sleep, muscle soreness, and reduces pain and swelling.
With a soft opening on Monday, November 12, Hamptons Float brings the much sought-after experience to the East End with a Water Mill location. There are four rooms with float tanks, each separated from a communal room by two doors, guaranteeing a complete soundproof space. Each of the tank rooms contain a towel, full-length robe, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, a bench, ear plugs, and cut ointment. The tanks themselves contain 1000 pounds of medical grade Epsom salt, with naturally occurring magnesium sulfate, in water kept at 93.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
I walked through the grey and white, modern space, with towering ceilings, to notice no distractions on the walls or around me — a full focus on the experience that awaited. The thick, soundproof doors took me from the outer, naturally-lit communal area to an open room showing neon blue numbers one through four, and then into my personal sensory deprivation room.
When I was informed it was a 90-minute session, the thought initially startled me. An hour and a half with nothing but my thoughts and floating like a buoy? Are they crazy? Will I go crazy? Although I had the option to extend or shorten my time, I decided to give the recommended amount a try. Luckily, I was a bit sleepy already and saw it as, if anything, an opportunity to take a nap.
Prior to entering the tank nude (recommended form), I washed my hair and body to rid any outside elements, patted my face dry to reduce any dripping (which can lead to face touching — not something salty hands should do), and stepped into the tank. For those who like customizing the experience, choose one of several colors to light the tank (red, green, purple, disco, or none at all). I placed a head float under my neck, observed the pure water spray and towel on the side (in the event I wanted to touch my eyes), and sank into my own blue lagoon. Light music, similar to that at a spa, played for eight minutes as I began my descent into an altered state of mind.
Whether it was my initial fatigue or the actual need to disconnect from the everyday world, I drifted into a peaceful state in relatively no time at all. Of course, since there are no clocks on the walls, I can’t say for certain how long it took to reach a complete absence of stress, but I awoke to spa music in the final eight minutes of my float as though no time had passed.
I stepped out of the tank, washed my hair and body, dried off, and walked into the “powder room” to blow dry my hair. There’s also a sauna room with additional shower, to extend the experience.
Ninety minutes of floating put me into a state of mind that would otherwise have taken hours of practice. I felt relieved of my perceived worries, upper shoulder tension had vanished, and I was even talking in a softer, calmer manner. Days later, I still find myself in that same state of mind, a rare occurrence as a woman on the go! It was as though I floated my way into serenity.
Introductory floats at Hamptons Float are $45. There is a 30-minute turnover time between sessions, allowing a full cleaning of the tanks. Pool strainer pumps cycle the water, going through filters three times each and are treated with ozone UV light and hydrogen peroxide.
Hamptons Float is located at 760 Montauk Highway, Building 2B, Water Mill. Visit www.hamptonsfloat.com or call 631-500-9296.