Huh? That’s the usual response from friends curious about the float; so let me explain.
Climbing into a steel tube filled with 12 inches of skin temperature water (94-95 degrees) and 1,000 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt, while naked, will, at first, cause some anxiety. What’s going to happen in here? Will I float? Is that shark fin?
Those questions were quickly answered: sleep, yes, and no, that’s a blue floatie thing for my head.
While in the tank, the lack of temperature difference between you and the water tricks the mind and your ability to perceive where your body ends, and where the water begins. After a few minutes of floating, the warm caress of the salt water, along with the lack of lights, sounds and cell phones, unties tension in your back and you drift off.
“It’s a place to relax, get relief from every day stress, and rediscover yourself,” said Nikki Ruesch, who co-owns and co-runs Reset Float Therapy with Derrick Shepard. “It’s a powerful way to reconnect to yourself.”
It also connected Shepard and Ruesch. The two met cute at a party in LA after Shepard just finished a float session. He couldn’t shut up about it and she was intrigued. Their first date was at Float Lab in Venice Beach and they bonded over the experience.
Two weeks later they quit their professional jobs and headed for Thailand, and then traveled the globe for the next seven months. Along the way the two created a business plan to open a float spa and ended up settling in Ocean Beach in 2015.
“We love Ocean Beach and wanted to open our business here,” Shepard said. “And the community has embraced us.”
The couple had the massive tank installed in pieces, set up the spa room, which includes a shower, and hung out their placard in September 2016. They have been filled with floaters ever since.
“At first, it can be hard to explain to people what the benefits are, and there is some apprehension,” Ruesch said. “After the first float, you lose that anxiety and immediately feel the benefits.”
Epsom salt is sort of an old school cure-all, and it works well to relieve sore muscles, headaches, joint pain and – if needed – constipation. Add in the sensory deprivation float to clear you mind and revive your soul, and the 90 minutes is time well spent.
“We’ve had people with severe headaches, hip and back pain who have found relief,” Ruesch said. “Athletes use it for recovery, and many pregnant women have floated here to reduce stress on their bodies. They love it.”
Me? I woke up from my float nap snoring. But I still had plenty of time to just relax and enjoy the silence. I didn’t have any profound revelations, but Shepard said most people don’t on their first float.
“The more you float, the deeper the experience,” Shepard said. “But right now, all your senses are heightened. I always tell people, the best meal you ever eat, is right after a float.”
Which brings me back to the best burrito I’ve ever bit into – only about 10 minutes after floating. It reminded me of the famous Warren Zevon quote during his last appearance on David Letterman. Zevon, wrecked with lung cancer, had only months to live, and Letterman dedicated an entire show to him.
At the end of the evening, Dave asked Warren if he had learned anything about life and death.
''How much you're supposed to enjoy every sandwich,'' Zevon answered.
Reset Float Therapy
Where: 4967 Newport Ave. Ste. 10
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, Thursdays closed at 5:30 p.m.
Info: resetmindbody.com, 619-245-4542