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Trying Float Therapy at Float Doctor


Trying Float Therapy at Float Doctor

The end of spring and the start of summer is a busy, and sometimes stressful, time of year. There’s so much excitement about the end of school, graduations, upcoming trips, weddings, summer jobs, celebrations, and more. Taking good care of yourself this time of year is important so that you can enter all the fun activities you have planned healthy and balanced. Although self-care and personal wellness takes many forms, I’m here to share a unique wellness practice that I experienced here in Sheboygan at Float Doctor: hydrotherapy. Also known as sensory deprivation tanks or float therapy, float practices have a variety of physical and mental benefits such as reduced stress, pain relief, strengthened immune system, normalized blood pressure, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, and more. The idea of floating centers around both the mental ability and physical ability to “let go” by relaxing and meditating in the float tank. The special thing about floating is that you aren’t floating in just regular water. The water is concentrated with Epsom salt minerals that your skin absorbs and allows you to float weightlessly and calmly for over an hour. The salt works to soften your skin, draw out toxins, and charge your body with magnesium, while simultaneously reducing inflammation in your body tissue and joints. You may be wondering if there are any chemicals in the water that are acting in this therapy- the answer is no! Float Doctor is 100% chemical free, and maintains the cleanliness of their float tanks without using harsh disinfectants in their float solution so that your whole float experience is natural and beneficial to your body.

This was my first float ever, and although I had an idea of what to expect from Float Doctor’s website, I still didn’t know what float therapy would be like for me. A part of me was a little bit nervous, because it’s a new and unique experience that involves floating in a chamber, and the ability to fall asleep while you’re in water and still float with ease. So let me walk you through the process at Float Doctor for those who are new to floating.

Firstly, I was greeted by Dr. Elizabeth Heitzmann when I arrived. A board certified counselor, Elizabeth has been practicing for 25 years, and specializes in natural healing and relaxation. She walked me through the little bit of paperwork before floating, then took me to my float room and explained how to prep for the float: what I can do during it, what happens after it, as well as asking me what questions I had. The float room has the float chamber of course, but also a shower, and a chair with a small table. Earplugs, petroleum jelly, and a water bottle are provided for you to use before and after your float. The earplugs keep the salty water out of your ears while you float, and the petroleum jelly can be used to cover any small cuts or blisters you may have to keep them from being irritated by the salt water. Before getting in the float tank, you take a rinse off shower using the provided body shampoo. This shampoo primes your skin for the float so that your skin can absorb all the minerals and fully benefit from the Epsom salt in the water. Do note that the Epsom salt makes surfaces very slippery, so a non-slip mat is laid out to help prevent you from slipping, but you’ll still want to be mindful of this when you are getting in and out of the float tank. Once you are in the tank, make a mental note of which side the door to the tank is on because it’s very dark once you close the door. Don’t worry about being able to get out, there are handles and railings to help you exit when your float is over, but it will help you if you remember which way you’re facing and where the door is in relation to you.

Once you are in the tank, the relaxation begins! Be mindful of how your body feels; remember to loosen up and embody the idea of letting go both mentally and physically. Let your body stretch out and try clearing your mind of thoughts, allowing them to flow instead of concentrating on them. Elizabeth offered to walk me through some mindful and meditative exercises if needed before my float, so if you’re new to meditative practices she can help give you some tips before.

My experience during my float was soooo relaxing and enjoyable. Believe me, the extra o’s are necessary. I’ve been a runner as long as I can remember, I go for runs and walks every morning, and then stand most of my day at work. By the end of the day, my leg muscles feel tight and tired. While in the float tank, I could feel the tension in my legs start to release and soften, especially during the first 15 minutes or so. I was shocked and in awe of how quickly floating in the Epsom salt allowed my body to release and relax- I wasn’t even aware of how much extra stress I was carrying in my arms and legs!

At one point, a memory of watching the movie adaption of Life of Pi drifted through my mind. If you’re familiar with the movie, I was reminded of the scene when it’s night and the water is filled with bioluminescent organisms. Right before the whale jumps out of the water, Pi is filled with a feeling of calmness and wonder for the first time since the shipwreck, and the ambience of the scene is very serene. This is a grounding moment for Pi, and he is able to let his guard down momentarily to appreciate the stillness surrounding him for the first time on the raft. I was reminded of this scene as I floated and felt the comfort of the water, the ease of my mind, and the tension leaving my body.   

Elizabeth explained to me the many benefits float therapy has, and after experiencing it myself, I really understand how floats can ease anxiety, stress, as well as physical aches and pains. Many endurance performers, such as runners and bikers, use float therapy the night before a race or after a race to either prepare their bodies or recover quicker. This is because the Epsom salts in the water work to draw out inflammation in your body tissue and replenish magnesium, which gives you a boost of energy both mentally and physically. The effect includes regulating your circadian levels so you’re sure to have a good night’s rest the evening after your float. Additionally, it lowers your blood pressure, decreases swelling from your joints, and can replenish multiple essential minerals that contribute to an overall state of wellness. Elizabeth explained to me after my float that the magnesium my body had absorbed would have a lasting effect for the next 24 hours, allowing me to feel loose and relaxed well past my float. She also stressed the importance of staying hydrated for the next 24 hours as well, because of the high concentration of salt in the water. She also informed me that I would likely feel a boost of energy when I woke up the next day, and the runner in me decided to put this to the test. The following morning, I went for a run, then wore heels to work. On this particular day, I had a work event in the evening so I worked a longer day than usual and was on my feet for the overwhelming majority of it. I was shocked by the end of my day that my legs weren’t stiff and sore like they normally are after a full day wearing heels, on top of going for my run. I always have a tight hip by the end of the day, especially on days that I run in the morning instead of walk, but not today!

On top of the physical benefits, I experienced the mental benefits of float therapy as well. We all struggle with fluctuating levels of stress and anxiety within our lives, and at times this is heightened due to external forces and things that are beyond our control. I have trouble quieting my thoughts and allowing myself to relax, and I definitely struggle drifting off into a light sleep unless I am going to bed. During my float, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to cast aside my thoughts and allow them to flow instead of getting caught up in them once my body was fully loose. At this point, I lost total track of time, and my list of responsibilities for the next day didn’t matter while I was floating. I truly had let go and was focused on being in the moment, enjoying the relaxed state my body was in, moving and stretching it the way I felt I needed to, and I felt calmed and refreshed by the water.

Water is an element I’ve always felt drawn to and comfortable in. That probably explains why I love living in Sheboygan so much. I’ve always lived near a large body of water, growing up it was the Green Bay, and now it’s the shores of Lake Michigan. Float Doctor has some really prime real estate; it’s located in between the mouth of the Sheboygan river and Lake Michigan. You can see both the lake and the river from the building, which is cool considering the business is all about water itself.

Overall, my experience at Float Doctor was overwhelmingly wonderful. Dr. Elizabeth Heitzmann is so kind a knowledgeable, the facility is clean, calming, and quiet, and I can’t recommend float therapy enough. It’s so neat that we have a float therapy practice here in the city of Sheboygan, it’s something you’ll absolutely need to experience for yourself during your time here in the Malibu of the Midwest.


Summer Fun at Blue Harbor Resort

The best time of the year has finally arrived: summer! School is out, the sun in up, and we’re ready to make the most of this fun, bright, and adventurous season! Excitement for all the summer activities is practically contagious, and so to tide you over until your vacation, I wanted to share with you my day of fun at Breaker Bay Waterpark, along with the other summer activities you won’t want to miss out on during your vacation at Blue Harbor!


Trying Float Therapy at Float Doctor

The end of spring and the start of summer is a busy, and sometimes stressful, time of year. Taking good care of yourself this time of year is important so that you can enter all the fun activities you have planned healthy and balanced. Although self-care and personal wellness takes many forms, I’m here to share a unique wellness practice that I experienced here in Sheboygan at Float Doctor: hydrotherapy.


Bookish Destinations for Readers in Sheboygan

If I haven’t ever shared this in a blog before, I’m a huge bookworm. I love to read, I love literature, I love writing, talking about books, and adding to my TBR list. On top of all this, I am always on the hunt for bookish sightseeing, activities, and places to visit. I love visiting bookstores and libraries, but also destinations that are inspired by literature, or the opposite way around, places that inspired literature. For example, when I visited London, two of the first places I visited were 221B Baker Street and the famous Daunt Bookstore. With that being said, you may not be surprised about the amount of bookish places to visit in London, but you might be surprised by the amount in Sheboygan.

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