In honor of National Relaxation Day on August 15, why not shake up your normal spa routine and try something new?
In a world where we’re constantly connected, the promise of 60 minutes of uninterrupted relaxation sounds like nirvana. One way to achieve such bliss is to enter a sensory-deprivation tank for a session of float therapy.
Also called isolation tanks, sensory-deprivation tanks were developed by scientists in the 1950s. These lightless and soundproof chambers are filled with 10 inches of water warmed to skin temperature and filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. These conditions allow you to float effortlessly while also eliminating sensorial stimuli, resulting in the perfect atmosphere to ease into a deep state of relaxation.
Float therapy has surged in popularity in the last five years, with the number of float centers in the United States increasing from 85 in 2011 to now more than 250, according to Time magazine. This popularity is due in part to the therapy’s physical benefits, as the salt content helps relieve muscle tension and exfoliate the skin. Scientists are also investigating its potential mental-health benefits; institutions like the Float Clinic and Research Center at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are looking at how float therapy positively affects patients with anxiety, addiction, and PTSD.
Here in Palm Beach County, you can try float therapy at Choosing Transitions Float Studio (310-463-2984) in North Palm Beach. Owner Rochelle Dugan describes the practice as an ideal way to turn off from technology, promote self-awareness, and achieve a state of weightlessness. “You’re completely buoyant, like a cork in the water,” she says.
You begin with a shower and then enter the tank naked. The experience itself is womblike: You float with ease while being cradled in warm water. The lack of sight and sound is unnerving at first, but you eventually settle into the nothingness, realizing it is a welcome respite from the overstimulation we’ve all grown accustomed to. At the end of the hour, you leave the tank feeling renewed, destressed, and ready for an amazing night’s sleep.
Living in Florida, moisture isn’t hard to come by. But nothing compares to the instant punch of hydration delivered by today’s “it” facial. In as few as 30 minutes, the HydraFacial cleanses, exfoliates, and extracts impurities while also delivering nutrients with the Vortex-Fusion serum delivery tool. Yes, at times it feels like a suckerfish puckering up to your face, but it leaves your skin plump and vibrant without any residual redness or irritation. You can try it yourself at many of the spas featured in this roundup.
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Opal Spa, Jupiter Beach Resort
The Opal Spa at the Jupiter Beach Resort (Jupiter, 561-745-7177) has introduced a treatment that utilizes one of the most legendary aromatics of all time: frankincense. Now a popular essential oil, frankincense yields comforting effects, relieving anxiety and stress. The Opal Spa’s new Bliss massage marries frankincense inhalation and a selection of aromatherapy oils to form one rejuvenating therapy.
The Sanctuary Spa at Tradition
Facials that incorporate haute ingredients like gold, caviar, and pearls? Count us in. The Sanctuary Spa at Tradition (Port St. Lucie, 772-345-7727) offers nearly a dozen face treatments, but the 24-karat gold facial and the caviar facial stand out from the crowd. The former features a gold masque, while the latter lathers the skin with pure caviar and pearl extracts.
Tammy Fender Holistic Skin Care
A mecca for holistic skin care is tucked away on North Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. Tammy Fender (West Palm Beach, 561-659-2229) is committed to creating products and treatments that are as nourishing to the soul as they are to skin. Her holistic therapies—which include facials, wraps, massages, and Ayurvedic rituals—incorporate her 100-percent botanical beauty products. Fender first-timers should opt for one of her customizable facials, such as the Tammy Fender signature treatment with a holistic custom facial and reflexology or the holistic facial treatment with oxygen therapy and peels. Each begins with an organic snack as you select three essential oils to be used in the therapy, and both are exceptionally gentle on the skin, meaning you can get a facial and head out for a dinner date in the same evening