Oct 16, 2023 - Things to Do

Six things to know before trying float therapy at True Rest Float Spa

I floated on top of 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt at True Rest Float Spa in Fort Mill for the sake of journalism (and curiosity).

I had a lot of questions before my visit. If you do, too, here’s what you can expect.

Why it matters: Float therapy promises a range of mental and physical benefits, from pain management to stress reduction.

Of note: For the purposes of this story, I’m speaking from my personal experience with float therapy at True Rest.

Zoom in: True Rest has locations across the country with two local franchises, including Plaza Midwood and its recently opened Fort Mill location.

How it works: You’ll spend one hour floating in a closed sensory deprivation pod filled with skin temperature water and heaps of Epsom salt. All you have to do is, well, rest.

Here are six takeaways from my float experience.

I promise you’ll float, too.

It feels counterintuitive to not want to tread the water, but that defeats the purpose (and you risk getting salt water in your eyes — speaking from experience here). To do it right, you have to surrender all your body weight and let the salt water do its job.

If you’re worried about feeling claustrophobic, you’re not alone.

“Will I feel claustrophobic in there?” is a question True Rest Charlotte’s co-owner Mike Shoniker says he gets all the time.

  • I won’t lie, it’s cozy in the pod. It’s about the size of a queen size mattress, for reference. But closing my eyes helped a lot — to the point I wasn’t thinking about being in a confined space. Plus, you can get out at any time.
Another POV my float room, which includes the shower just out of frame. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

You might fall asleep.

But I didn’t, and it’s fine if you can’t. I’m told it usually takes a few floats to relax enough to fall asleep. Instead, I spent the time resting with my eyes closed and trying some breath work exercises (you’re given a few to try).

You may feel instant pain relief.

I picked a good day to float because I was sore from a pilates class the day before. Don’t ask me the exact science happening here, but I had zero of that soreness lying in the tank. I can only describe it as something similar to spinal decompression at the chiropractor.

  • This was easily my favorite part.

You can float in your birthday suit.

What do you wear to a float spa? Nothing, it turns out! Oh, except earplugs, which are provided. Also, you can wear a bathing suit if you prefer.

I had to sneak a mid float selfie, and also here to say the ear plugs were crucial. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

And yes, your hair will get wet.

You’ll also shower before and after you go in with shampoo and soap provided, but if you’re particular, I suggest bringing your own.

And for even more tips, here’s Tru Rests’ seven steps to the perfect float. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

Details: Your first float at True Rest is $65. There’s also membership and package options available.

  • More info on float therapy can be found on their website.
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