It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie……..and it actually is. I’ve seen it used in some of my favorite TV shows: Fringe, Stranger Things and Stitchers, to name a few. What am I talking about? Sensory Deprivation. What does something that sounds like a laboratory experiment gone bad have to do with a healthy lifestyle? Glad you asked!! I will tell you. Sensory deprivation is also known as floating therapy and there are SO many health benefits associated it. Since I have not yet written an article about the specific health benefits of floating, please read more on the Therapods’ website at
I first heard about this type of therapy’s real life application recently in a segment on one of the morning news shows. I did a quick google search and found there was a spa in my area that offered float therapy. I HAD to give it a try!! I have found the most amazing place to go to experience what float therapy is all about. Located at 3761 Mall Ave #5, Fayetteville, AR, Therapods offers a totally amazing experience, whether you are new to floating or you are a frequent floater. Therapods is owned and operated by Habib and Sally Ghanim who work together to create a most luxurious experience. Sally schedules appointments, runs the float chambers and offers a full service hair salon. Habib is a licensed massage therapist. They have a strong commitment to helping people in the community achieve a healthy lifestyle and improve their wellbeing.
When asked about how Therapods can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, Sally said:
I just want to offer people wellness by giving them access to themselves……to have an hour to not be anything in particular but to just be.
What, exactly, is floating? you may be wondering. In a nutshell, you are in a large tub of water that has a LOT of epsom salt dissolved in it. The salt creates a natural bouncy and you will NOT sink, you will literally float about only half submerged. You have no pressure points and you feel like you are suspended in space. The temperature of the water and the air are the same, somewhere just about body temperature. You can’t feel anything. So when you float in total silence and darkness, there is no sensory input, therefore, the term sensory deprivation. There is 100% total relaxation of mind and body. What took me by total surprise was that my hour in the chamber passed like it was no time at all. I thought that an hour without any stimulation would drag on forever but it was just the opposite.
At Therapods, you will find there are two private floating suites. Each includes a changing area and shower. Body wash/shampoo, ear plugs, q-tips, antibiotics ointment (in case you have a minor scrap since the salt water will sting) and a plush towel are provided for your comfort and convenience. If you are going for their Total Relaxation package (which I highly recommend) and have a massage booked for after your float, there is a robe provided as well.
The float tank would be more accurately described as a float chamber since it is really a tiny room and not an enclosed tank . The chamber is 4 feet by 8 feet with an 8 foot ceiling and is wall to wall tub. The tub is only 10 inches deep, filled with water and 850 pounds of epsom salt. You enter the chamber though a glass door in the shower wall. There is also a good sized window between the chamber and your changing area so there is no feeling of being trapped in a small room. Amenities in your floating chamber include several options to personalize your floating experience. There are battery operated candles sitting along the edge of the window (on the changing room side so they don’t fall in the water) to use if you are hesitant for total darkness and want some ambient light. Inside the float chamber is an underwater speaker that plays meditational music if total silence is not your thing. There is also an iPod connection for your own music, if you choose. There is even a 2 way intercom if you are feeling a little unsure. It is only a safely feature and will only be turned on at your request. Your privacy is 100% respected. The overhead light in the chamber can be kept on or off. All of the controls are waterproof buttons within easy reach as you float. If you want the full sensory deprivation experience, you can go with total, pitch dark silence, which I recommend. The final touch of showing just how much your floating experience matters is found in a waterproof neck support pillow, handy spritz bottle of fresh water and a couple of wash cloths within easy reach in case you need to touch your face or get salt water in your your eyes. Epsom salt is not like regular salt water, it stings and doesn’t taste pleasant.
Once your float time is over, you are gently prompted by a flicker of the lights that it’s time to come back to reality. Knowing that a gentle re-acclamation is better for your system, you don’t have to just jump right up and hurry out. You are given a little time to “come to” and get the shower going. After your shower and you’ve dressed, there are even more amenities waiting for you. To complete your floating experience, there is a “serenity” room where you can just be……to further ease back into reality after your relaxing experience. You are welcome to stay as long as you need.
Once you feel ready to head back out into the world, you are welcome to use the powder room that is kept stocked with some common toiletries to help you feel like you are put back together. You really don’t have to bring a thing except yourself. It is just one more of the many things Therapods offers that shows how important your total experience is.
A massage by Habib is also a wonderful way to relax and destress either before or after your float. I highly recommend booking a massage as a double treat. Habib takes the time before the massage to get an idea of what goals you have, what style you prefer and other information to tailor a massage just for you.
Sally offers a full service hair salon as well.
I was very impressed with the quality of service and the commitment to community that I felt while I was there. Little touches that made me feel like my comfort and having the best experience possible was their only focus. I highly recommend their services to anyone who is interested in trying out this unique therapy. It is so important to take care of yourself; mind, body and spirit for total wellbeing. If you don’t live locally, check to see if there is a spa near you that offers float therapy. You’ll be glad you gave it a try.