Alternative Wellness: Soak it in with Float Tank Therapy
Take the weight of the world off in the salt bath at Dreams Float Spa
Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily’s Tricia Swenson searched the valley for alterative wellness modalities that are lesser-known and have proven benefits. Follow along each Sunday in January and discovery other ways to work wellness into your life in 2023.
Would you like to take a load off and feel totally weightless for an hour? You can experience this sensation by trying the float tank at Dreams Float Spa in Avon. Dreams Float Spa was started by Dimitar Minkov and Ivaylo Stoyanov four years ago.
“I was just a fan of floating, so that is why I decided to open this with my business partner. Ivaylo is one of the best massage therapists in town, so, we combined our skills to create a wellness spa,” Minkov said
Minkov had heard about float therapy from a podcast and decided to try it for the first time.
“The first time I stepped in Colorado I came right off the airplane and went straight to the float center in Boulder,” said Minkov, who is from Bulgaria originally. “I had my first float session and it was amazing and ever since then I’ve been floating regularly. I was going to Boulder every now and then because we did not have one here.”
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Minkov took Stoyanov to try the float tanks and he loved it. The next day they found the space in Avon and started working on opening up a wellness spa. In addition to two float tanks, they have three massage rooms, two zero gravity massage chairs, esthetic services and ashiatsu massage. The spa is centrally located in Avon and they provide all types of massages with local massage therapists that are very experienced, anything from deep tissue massage, reflexology, hot stone, sports massage and cupping to CBD, couples massage, to Reiki, PEMF Therapy, facials, make up and tanning.
But the float tank draws the most questions: How does it work? What makes me float? Will I get cold? Will I feel claustrophobic?
In the float tank, they use 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt in 100 gallons of water and that is why you are able to float effortlessly. Their tanks are eight feet long by four-and-a-half feet wide and there are 10 inches of water to float in, so you have room to sprawl out while you are weightless.
“There are many benefits, it’s great for the nervous system, for the skin and hair and muscle recovery,” Minkov said. “People usually soak in a couple of pounds of Epsom salt in their own bathtub, but here you’re soaking in 1,000 pounds of it, which is amazing.”
Minkov said that Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulfate, so it promotes sleep and many physicians usually recommend supplementing with magnesium because it is one of the most important minerals for us as humans.
“We can be deficient in it, so we absorb a lot of it through the skin during the float because the skin is the largest organ. That is why the benefits last for days afterward,” Minkov said. “It also promotes muscle recovery and releases stress.”
How do you keep warm?
“The water stays warm because there is a thermostat and we usually keep it at 95 or 96 degrees, your body temperature is around 98 degrees so if we keep it at body temperature, that is too hot, so we keep it at skin temperature,” Minkov said.
Cleanliness is key at Dreams Float Spa, too.
“We have an ultraviolet disinfection system filter so before and after a person uses the tank, we filter the water at least three times. Everything goes through the ultraviolet disinfection system and it is the safest, cleanest water facility available, it cannot be compared to any hot tub or swimming pool because we don’t use any chemicals,” Minkov said.
With all of those questions answered, it was time to travel into the tub. They have everything there for you, you rinse off in your private room with the float tank right there, hop in and close the door if you want and you can keep things quiet or listen to meditative music. At first, it took me a while to relax. I really didn’t want my face to “sink,” so I used the foam float ring provided to keep my head a bit higher. After you let go and let yourself relax, that’s when you really start to feel the sensation of being weightless. I experimented with arms above my head and along my sides in more of a shavasana pose. Once you let your mind relax, time flies and I was able to get into a meditative state, which was nice to take a little break from life’s busy schedule.
Afterward, my skin felt so soft, my hair felt so soft also. Even though you take a shower after the treatment, the benefits of the salt stay with you. I felt well-rested and clear-headed. Now, this was just one time, but, just like weight loss, you don’t see results after one day at the gym, so I could see how repetitive sessions could make a difference over time.
“We do recommend floating regularly, maybe people with sleep disorders or people under a lot of stress, they like to float every week, otherwise at least once a month is what we recommend,” Minkov said.
I’m not claustrophobic, but for those who are, Minkov is here to help you.
“There are many people who are claustrophobic and for most of them, 99.9% of them, I manage to convince them to try it and I usually leave the music on, leave the light on and if this is not enough, they can leave the door to the tank open, so this is what usually helps,” Minkov said.
“I’m quite experienced now after almost four years where I’ve seen many, many people with all kinds of nervousness and worries about this, so I know what to say and do to make them feel comfortable,” Minkov said. “Maybe I’ll suggest they have a massage first to feel more relaxed, then go in the float tank. It depends on the person but usually I can read the person and their expectations and what they think about it, and that helps me make a decision on how to treat them and chart their course.”
Plan to spend some time at Dreams Float Spa. Their lounge is cozy and provides a sense of calm and you could pair a float session with another treatment and be ready to hit the hill the next day. They also have monthly programs for locals and those staying for a while to gain the full benefits of the float tank.
“It is just the most relaxing wellness treatment you can ever experience because of the uniqueness of the environment that you are in,” Minkov said.
For more information, go to DreamsFloatSpa.com.