Why Floatation Therapy? …so many of you have asked, here’s why!
A heartfelt message from our Founder and CEO about the emerging world of Floatation Therapy, its benefits and how it has changed her life personally! Kelsy Timas is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and National Wellness Educator who brought Float Therapy to Fayetteville/Fort Bragg NC to support the military.
Guiding Wellness Institute Opened the very first Float Suite in North Carolina in October of 2017
WHY I FLOAT…
I open my eyes, as if I can check the time, darkness, quiet (what real quiet sounds like), warmth, no other sensation except this incredible sense of being held. All is well. “How long have I been in here”, I ask myself for the second time, and once again float into unchanging awareness and rest.
I discovered floatation therapy in the fall of 2016 when a corporate client approached Guiding Wellness Institute to explore the potential to provide float therapy services involving medical research: a program to support the growing need for modalities supporting performance, resilience and recovery.
As you know, I am a huge fan of anything involving preparedness and prevention and non-pharmacological resources for inflammation and pain so this was right up my alley. But, with so many resources already being offered at GWI like iRest and acupuncture, I needed a little more convincing.
My team, at the time, and I began researching the industry of float therapy and I remembered seeing this contraption in my SPA owners catalog that looked a lot like a clam shell, what I now know as a Float Pod. (there is always something new arriving on the scene in this industry 😉 ). I flipped back to it and said to myself, ” if this is what our clients are asking for, I’m not sure that I am interested”. It looked like a small round bathtub with a lid and I could not imagine anyone relaxing for any amount of time in that! Floating at zero gravity or not!
I had a series of conversations, one specifically with a NFL football team who had a Pod installed in their therapy room and I knew there had to be a better way. I decided to research the “float room” concept instead and made it clear that the only way we would move forward on this, is if we could find a way to build a room, instead of a pod. I was skeptical.
The Institute was still a growing national business with a lot of commitment to trainings in 3 states and income revenue vulnerability, so I needed to be smart about the direction we put our assets and energy. What I learned over the next four months expanded my professional experience in so many ways, specifically about Float therapy; it first began in 1950 with an American neurophysiologist Professor by the name of Dr. John C. Lilly. He perfected the concept in the 1970’s and his research and design is the foundation for the way tanks are developed today. Dr. Lilly designed the float tank as a system to help him investigate conscious activity in the brain to support his work with Dr. Jay T. Shurley in Bethesda, MD at the Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Many years later Float Therapy is being used to support a massive list of symptoms ranging from sleep deprivation, cumulative stress, migraines, and pain. What is even more exciting for me is the incredible performance and maintenance effects for athletes, professionals and artists and writers, etc. With my interest peaked and my lifelong passion to make holistic modalities accessible to everyone looking to create their own life balance, I was all in!
Now for customizing the float room and getting started. Not only was a float room possible but our selected manufacturer had more time invested in the industry than anyone out there and customized our float room to meet our needs and desires, not to mention an absolute joy to work with! We built a strong working relationship as we began navigating the waters of building code and ensuring our operation was creating “best practices” for North Carolina. We worked for a long time with the Health Department since this was the first Float Room in all of North Carolina so it was important that we worked as a team to ensure the highest standards were put forth for a growing industry of float spas.
Our “Float Suite” was finished and in full operation by October of 2017 and the effects and client experiences have been remarkable. I feel inspired to share my personal testimony as I was probably the most sceptic of us all! Keep in mind that in addition to witnessing improved health with thousands of clients over my 20+ career as a Holistic Health Practitioner, I myself have lived a holistic lifestyle for over 40 years. With a strong yoga and meditation practice for over 20 years, I have experienced dynamic healing from acupuncture and maintain my health with periodic appointments for massage, chiropractic, and clean food practices so I am not easily impressed by “healthy trends” or “woo woo stuff”. What I have found for myself is this: After my very first float, I noticed a similar effect to acupuncture and what I discovered is that by putting myself into a float state, I was accessing the cellular memory of prior brain pathway healing, so it was much like retroactive restoration.
I absolutely love anything to do with brain science and neural pathway talk, so this was exciting for me. The next thing I noticed was that for several days after a session I did not need my glasses to work on the computer or drive at night, and this speaks to the strong support to the kidneys, the kidney meridian and adrenals. As a health advocate, there is nothing more powerful than strong, high functioning kidneys and adrenals! Except for the brain and gut, and that’s the other thing!
As I am floating in 1000 pounds of salt water in a cozy, spacious private pool, regulated at body temperature with ear plugs in, I can hear the parasympathetic response happen through the internal sounds in my belly and overwhelming sense of dropping into “space” of being held. This was powerful for me and I can imagine for so many of our clients who are military, first responders and health care providers or clinicians. When our day is filled with tending to urgencies and emergencies of others, there are few places we can be where no one’s needs are greater than our own, and that is a game changer. Maybe even a life saver. Which leads me to my next thought: In my mind, I was trying to weigh the difference between floating and meditation, since they are so similar and why not meditate instead of float?
Here’s the difference for me: In order for my meditation to reach the same physical and mental benefits as floating, I must have extreme environmental control. The best part about floating is that nothing, no sound, no person, no phone is in arms reach for that chosen duration of time and when that “space” is available for you to float in space, something magical happens. The benefits have far exceeded any expectations as feel enhanced focus, a sense of deep rest each morning, and an overall sense of strength and resilience. I am reminded again that my age is number is not my gauge for sensation of life. If for no one else, this quest has been life changing for me. At a time when I had more vulnerability to lose my health, this beautiful form of therapy is here for me.
The voyage is full of experiences and the horizon is bright. Guiding Wellness is participating in a medical research study to support this modality as a covered benefit and will continue to support the legacy of all holistic modalities being made available as proper access to care and prevention for sustainable health. I have a renewed sense of gratitude for those who live inspired to bring health and well being to others and happy to support the path that guides us all well. Thank you for being a part of my story and allowing me to share, It is a joy to be on this journey with you.
Be well, Kelsy