Floating and Vaginas
Yes, I said vagina. We need to talk about this, gals. I am afraid too many women have given up on floating because they experienced a stinging sensation in their nether regions. This makes me so sad. While I was observing my own lady bits sting during a float session I decided it was time to write about it.
Ladies, here are a few things that cause vaginal stinging while you are in the float tank, and some tips to make sure you are a happy clam during your float sessions.
Finally, if your feminine flower has ever burned in the float tank and one of these reasons was not the cause, please send me an email. I will gladly update this post and learn something new!
Thank you to Lindsay at Anicca Float Club for your contribution on this topic!
Practice Makes Perfect
By: Kristen Cervenak
Flotation has an almost mystical ability for many people to provide an immediate sense of healing after exiting one’s first session. However, over time, each session provides a new route on the path to inner peace and balance.
With every session, people find themselves having brand-new experiences and discovering pieces of themselves that they never thought they would find. There could be times that you find yourself focused on the future, whereas other times, you can revisit deep memories of the past with greater clarity.
Even with flotation as a habitual practice, every session will be slightly different. The longer one practices, the more that is uncovered within the self and the stronger the meditative state can be. In a way, flotation is similar to yoga.
Both are fantastic for inner harmony and focused thoughts, but provide an even stronger sense of relaxation with practice. You wouldn’t start your first yoga class with Sirsa Padasana. You wouldn’t start your first float session as a master of placidity, either.
A certain excitement comes from the unknown. Luckily, there is so much one can discover about oneself when they take a moment for much deserved self-care.
Calling All Athletes
By: Kristen Cervenak
As spring tip-toes its way into April, the remaining snow piles begin to melt with a welcome from the sun.
With warm weather around the corner, it is a perfect opportunity for athletes to prepare their muscles for expending their extra energy. Athletes must be careful not to overwork their bodies, but if the case may be that, flotation is a wonderful therapy.
Benefits of floating for athletes include: improved focus and breathing, reduced lactic acid build up, and a speedy recovery for sore joints and muscles.
Part of this healing comes from the magnesium sulfate in Epsom salt, which may help regulate electrolytes and reduce inflammation. This can be crucial for athletes.
At Metta, each of the five float tanks contain 1,000 pounds of this Epsom salt in 10 inches of water. The body’s buoyancy takes pressures off aching muscles while repairing them and gives one a chance to reflect on their own breathing.
With a calm mind and body, athletes can return to their workout of choice with renewed energy and a stronger sense of concentration.
By Kristen Cervenak
There are a few things I have noticed at Metta so far. One, people are always much happier when they finish any of their sessions. Two, people that finish floating (whether they are strangers or not) often talk about their experiences. Three, every person who regularly floats has a favorite room.
For me, my favorite room as always been Float room 5, located on the bottom floor. Although the rooms are pretty much the same, I felt my energy connect with that one. I think there is something to be said about how stifling routine can be though. We get so caught up in the same patterns every day because it can be far more comforting.
So, with that mindset, I chose another path and selected float room 2. Something about that room feels completely different from the rest to me whenever I am cleaning. Almost an entirely opposite energy from my favorite room.
I wasn’t wrong. The room felt toasty and uncomfortably spacious.
"Oh no, what have I done?” I laughed to myself.
My session started the same as always. Run the fingers through my mess of curls in the shower, lather up with what has become my favorite body wash, climb into the tank with earplugs in. I performed the same ritual as always until I caught myself. No, no – this one is going to be different.
After hitting the lights, my first step was to float on the opposing side of the tank with my hands at my side versus the effortless placement above my head I grew so obsessed with. The air was so warm, I felt as if I was on the surface of crystal-clear pool water under the hot summer sun.
I kept my eyes open to the complete darkness of the room – waiting for serenity to overcome me – but it never came. About halfway through my float, it was like something ignited a fuse in me. My energy levels were out of control.
Bursting inside of me was excitement. When my session came to an end, I felt like singing and cleaning everything in sight, like a Disney princess. I didn’t get so far as to walk back into work with arms full of songbirds, but you catch my drift.
Flotation has always chilled me out, but the fire in me was ignited. I guess it does help to change up your routine every once in a while!
To Dream of Peace
By Kristen Cervenak
By now, I thought I’ve experienced the maximum inspiration and relaxation that flotation can be gifted to a person. I have always been pleasantly surprised by the positive energy and tranquility that I have felt afterward, but this float flipped my entire world upside down.
After an extremely busy week, filled with negative energy and chaos, I found myself desiring my weekly aquatic escape. Emotionally exhausted, I closed my eyes immediately after getting in and wished for my stress to be lifted from me.
That’s when things began altering for me. I noticed how stationary I was without an abundance of concentration exerted this time.
Was I awake? Was I asleep? I couldn’t tell anymore.
Electric volts raced through my arms. My imagination brought forth before my eyes, peaceful images lined in lights. I heard the sounds of the ocean in my head interrupted by the visions of galaxy-painted water.
I assumed that I must have been dreaming, as the sudden jerking of my muscles would send shocks down my spine. My session felt reminiscent of astral projection, which I was always skeptical of, seeing as I have never experienced it.
I felt myself shiver and knew I must be awake. I listened to my heart race and slowly pump with calming thoughts.
The echo of my voice rang throughout my head.
“Everything is going to be ok.”
By Kristen Cervenak
The music of every student’s screams of finals time grew thick in the air. Ugh. I had lost so much motivation and ambition to do anything but study. My mind nagged me like a mother. I told myself to focus on my studies, but grew hostile with myself because my studies were the only thing on my mind. Where is my escape again? Is there any escape left?
I remembered my paper due the next week that was coming along so well with the single word of “some” pasted at the top. Every time I began, I would tell myself, “Hm. Maybe it’s ok to just wrap up in a blanket and lie down for a moment.” Then I would be motivated! I could get rest and finish my art projects right afterwards with all of the energy brimming through my body.
Bad idea… every single time. I realized after the third time of slumber that I lacked motivation. Not to mention the messed-up sleep schedule that went hand-in-hand. I glided into Metta with a foggy mind. Stephanie must have sensed my energy and suggested I float before I began working.
I worried that I would fall asleep. A strange worry because I hear so many people say that sleeping put them at total peace. Yet, for me personally, I love experiencing the variations of every float.
As I floated, I was attacked with thoughts. I began to remember that research paper that my subconscious tried so desperately to pull into it. The ideas were swimming by at the same speed as my fingertips in the water. Ideas for better sentence structure, ideas for better transitioning, it kept me mildly interested in a subject that (before I started) was so fascinating.
With too much on plate, I forgot why I chose my topic in the first place. The lack of distractions left me with encouragement. This didn’t surprise me because I had never had a bad experience floating. The effects of floating carried throughout the day. I felt myself wiggle out of my writer’s block with a soft relaxation that lasted for the next 12 hours.
As I went home, I erased all of my prior thoughts. Not to say that students should start an entirely new paper every time they are discouraged, but for me, my focus never waned until the final pound on my keyboard. I started to wonder, “Is there a link between silence and creativity?”
(P.s. Thank you, flotation. That shiny A made my worries disintegrate.)
by Kristen Cervenak
As finals time approaches me, I feel a bit more flustered than usual. The stress monster finally captured me and dug its sharp talons into my inner peace. Neither yoga or meditation throughout the week had freed me because there seemed to be a lack of time and ability to escape. That’s when my double session experience provided me with a brand-new journey to self-discovery.
As a student, I spend so much time hunched over my notebooks and laptop. With an occasional crack of my back and roll of my shoulders, I assumed that was the way to relax my muscles. I can honestly say I have never experienced a massage. I had previously learned that Metta’s masseuses customized each session to the needs of the visitor. I can’t begin to describe how nervous I was about it. I mean – how can you know what you need when you have never known anything different?
However, Jess quickly banished all of my nerves. Her voice was as gentle as the classical music playing in the room. She asked if I wanted peppermint in my oil and after my expressed excitement, the refreshing scent filled the air.
I never realized how tense I keep my body until I tried to relax it. Particularly, my shoulders. Her hands danced up my spine like my body was a piano, gracefully, but with purpose. Every move she had was soft, yet targeting. That’s when I noticed how sore my shoulder blades were all of the time. I actually never knew what relaxed muscles felt like.
The time flew by. I felt like a thousand pounds was lifted off my shoulders. I can’t forget to mention how much more gentle my steps felt, how relaxed my breathing was, and how fantastic the faint smell of peppermint on my skin was.
I felt an entirely new feeling to my mind and body. It was almost as if I was sent into a trance. Every word that came out of my mouth came out slow and soft. My eyes drifted around the room. So, this is what a massage feels like? I never wanted that feeling to disappear.
After an amazing massage, I felt all of my positive energies restoring. The stress monster loosened its clutch, but there was still more relaxation to be had. I prepared for flotation.
“I wonder if there will be a difference in my experience, now that my mind is calmed,” I thought to myself.
I walked into what feels like my toasty other home with a new goal. Jess managed to deplete my stress, but with flotation, I would face the remaining head-on.
As I felt the rest of my body’s tension leave, I prepared for concentration.
I focused all of my energy into perfectly centering myself. My body settled and it was if I was on a bed of air. My fingers locked into place, with my fingertips above the water. After one deep breath, I felt my body lose its place. I regained my focus and found myself still again.
I began to replay the conversations I had earlier in the day in my head. I went through the pages of my memory, searching for all of the information I have learned lately. It seemed easier to drift out of a fully-conscious state, but there was something so satisfying about being in touch with myself.
With dead silence and not a single thing to visually distract me, I was free to listen to my own thoughts and fixate on being entirely motionless. This 90-minute session provided me with solutions to my stress needs, including what my next step after work would be.
My attention was shifted from my stress to my relief. I knew that massage pairs well with flotation due to muscle soreness, but I never expected the healing effects on my mental state. During and after my massage, I felt my daily troubles melt out of my skin. I had not a single care in the world. Without that experience, I am not sure if I had the energy to practice my concentration and strengthening of my memory.
After my day of work, I was brimming with ambition. I was finally freed of my frustration shackles and had one of the best study sessions of my life. It’s amazing how we can become so used to the same perspective on what we expect our bodies and minds to feel like. Sometimes, it just takes some magic hands and silent reflection to turn off the stress response and discover that everything is going to be just fine.
Avoid the Rush
By: Kristen Cervenak
When I was told that the second flotation session would be better, I couldn’t wrap myself around the thought. With my first experience being so life changing, how could I expect more? I thought to myself, “I would have to bathe in gold-infused water.” Surprisingly, no gold was needed.
I looked around my new float room, located on the lower floor.
“Ok. This is similar, but the energy is different,” I thought to myself.
I closed my eyes and took in the salty aroma. I climbed into the tank and floated straight to the top, as if I was a professional at being weightless.
The gentle vibrations of the music surrounded the tank came to a halt and silence fell to my eardrums.
I heard my nerves in every breath. Shaking breaths, but shallow. I closed my eyes for a moment and reopened them. The room felt cool and gentle.
My hands grew limp as I put my arms to my sides. A different approach than my former. I found my muscles shiver and listened once again to the shallowness of my breath.
I took one deep breath in and I held it. I feared that I would take a deep exhale and slide underwater, but no shift in weight came. Again, deep breath in, deep breath out. I was alarmed that my normal breath was suffocated by my own stressful worries. Is this how it always was? Am I this nervous all of the time? Has my anxiety fallen to the sounds of my own thoughts and surroundings?
I kept regulating my breathing. I began to realize how often I hold my breath hostage. How often my words were rushed and jumbled due to the lack of oxygen I would take in, in fears that I wouldn’t get the words out in time. Rush, rush, rush. We are always rushing.
When my breath no longer sputtered, I felt both the weight of my limbs and weight of my daily concerns drift away with the remaining waves of the water.
The time raced by much faster this time. I can only assume because I was finally at peace with myself. I felt nothing, I heard nothing, I saw nothing. I wish I could have lived in that moment of nothing.
As the music softly echoed through the room, I stood up and blindly laced my fingers to the wall. I reached for the titanium hands of the shower taps. With no lights on, I listened to the water drops bounce off the ground like rain.
I didn’t want to depart from my dreamy visions in the dark yet. Eventually, I knew, it was time to return to my previous world. With the flick of the lights, a shower, and a redress, I wandered to the door. I prepared myself for reality and with the quick jiggle of the handle… I thought to myself, “Oh. This isn’t so bad,” as my feelings of relaxation stayed piggybacked to me throughout the night.
An Escape From Noise and Chaos
by Kristen Cervenak
My friends have often compared me to Cameron Frye from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I am routinely filled to the brim with stress. Although I meditate daily, I could never seem to escape my every day worries. Little did I know that flotation sessions would be the key!
So I’ll back up and relive my experience. I was incredibly pumped to know that Metta Relaxation is like 2 miles from my apartment for future trips. When I first walked in, all I could think about was, “I parked pretty far… Dude. I hope somebody doesn’t tow my car.” I spoke with Stephanie and she explained to another woman and me how the 90 minutes would go.
The pleasant music came on and after a quick shower (with the best body wash I have ever used by the way), I was ready for floating. As soon as I got in, I was infatuated. The temperature was cool and I spent the first few moments gliding across the water. I tried to sink down, but it was impossible. That’s when the music stopped.
I could see more lights when I closed my eyes than I could with them open. I took a deep breath and relaxed my body. I could hear the movement of the water come to a standstill and realized that the shuffling sounds I heard were only the sounds of my blinking.
Although I was still, I felt as if my body was floating around in circles. It was like resting on a cloud, drifting in the sea, and a cosmic adventure all in one. I read previously that many people fall asleep, but that was the last thing I wanted to do!
We spend so much of lives surrounded by noise and chaos. It is easy to forget to find a way to experience tranquility. I began to wish that it would be possible to stargaze or sit in a forest with that amount of silence. In my retrospect, just a couple hours later, I really miss that silence.
Eventually came a time where I was still enough to basically feel nothing. I could then only feel small things like bubbles down my neck when I moved my head back, a drop of water rolling off my ribcage, and my hair brushing against my hands. (I found was the most soothing position!) My thoughts flew as well as the time. I heard the music, showered, dressed, and walked out with the BIGGEST smile. I didn’t really care if I walked out and my car was engulfed in flames.
My muscle aches were gone. My worries were non-existent. I went home and had the biggest cup of chamomile tea in the world and for the first time in my 25 years of life, felt absolute peace and relaxation. It was hands-down the most pleasurable thing I have ever experienced.
At Metta Relaxation Company we enjoy watching Floaters come out of our tanks with their post float glow. When we say post float glow, we are referring to the noticeable physical attributes such as, happy smiling faces, calmed, relaxed, and gentle voice inflection, and the overall positive energy that often occurs when people leave the tank. We have created a list of the *TOP 5* things people say when they come out of the float tank.
1. "THAT was an experience!" One of the most difficult things to do is describe floating (or anything for that matter) to those who have never experienced it. Many people come out of the tank with an experience that is unique, restful, and rejuvenating. The reason for its uniqueness is the reduced external stimuli in a gravity free environment. Everyday we use our senses and live our lives confined to the laws of gravity. Why not experience something new? "I don't know how to describe it, I can't find the words." A lot of times when people float for the first time it is hard to describe the experience into words. This is totally OK. This is a mental, physical, and spiritual experience.. Often the connection to our bodies take time to understand. Use journals, video, blogs, etc to observe the positive effects of floating by documenting before & after!
2. "I feel so relaxed, I can't believe I fell asleep! How long was I in there for?" Don't be afraid to fall asleep! The epsom salt allows your to float on top of the water. The objective is to allow your brain to naturally induce theta brainwaves, which are the same ones that are active while you are asleep. These waves allow your body to rest and repair at an accelerated level. The room is yours for 90 minutes, so between showering we estimate your time in the tank is approximately 75 minutes! It is easy to lose track of time in the tank!
3. "It felt like I was in outer space!" Not everyone who comes out of the tank feels this way. However, we have heard quite a few people describe floating this way! We imagine that traveling through outer space is an infinite and mindful experience, free from gravity and the boundaries of this world. It is no wonder some feel this way in our tanks!
4. "I didn't want to get out of the tank! Many, many, many clients tell us they did not want to get out of the tank!" Our clients enjoy the experience and often times want to continue to stay in the peaceful state of mind while in the tank! After floating feel free to join us in our community area, enjoy our cucumber water, utilize color therapy books and discuss your float if you would like..
5. "How often should I do this? This was GREAT!" Everyone's body and mind is different and the experience takes time to understand and how often depends on the person. The staff at Metta Relaxation float on a regular basis usually weekly or bi-weekly and it has significant positive impacts in our lives. We love Floating & recommend our clients find the right balance that is most beneficial to them!
Thanks for reading! If you would like to post your post-float glow quotes feel free to do so in the comments section!