Floating Offers Pregnancy Relaxation

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Floating offers tremendous physical benefits and is a unique way for expectant moms to relax and bond with Baby.

Float therapy’s all the rage right now with more facilities across the country offering sensory deprivation isolation float tanks. It’s available here in Music City, too, at Float Nashville, located at 2701 Greystone Road, Ste. B, in the Berry Hill area.

Typical float sessions are 90 minutes long, and you’re inside an eight-foot tank literally floating on top of the surface of water containing nearly 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. The salt makes the water buoyant to the level that you lose sense of gravity — the physical effect is what you can image it would be like to float in outer space. This takes place in total darkness. The only sound you hear is your own breathing and heartbeat.

“People float to feel good,” says Amy Grimes, Float Nashville’s owner, who’s also a licensed massage therapist. “Most of our clients are here for pain management or need deep stress relief, but we also have people who use it to recover from workouts, deepen their meditation practice or just catch up on sleep with some deep satisfying rest,” she adds.

Floating is also popular with pregnant women. “Laying in this highly buoyant water takes away strain on spines and gives relief to sore backs and joints,” says Grimes. “Stress melts away. Swelling is reduced. Need sleep? An hour of sleep in the tank is equal to four hours, and just being out of gravity leaves people feeling deeply rested. Floating has been proven to help other common conditions of pregnancy such as depression and anxiety by decreasing cortisol levels and encouraging the production of endorphins,” Grimes adds.

Grimes also notes that in addition to the physical effects of floating, the experience can also stimulate a special bonding experience between mom and baby. “Pregnant women have also reported that during their float, as they relax, Baby also slows down erratic movement. This is due to the ‘mirror effect.’ The baby is safe and secure inside the womb, and the mother is sharing a similar experience in the warm float tank,” says Grimes. “Both Mom and Baby can share a break from the stimulus of everyday life in this unique environment and use this zen moment for bonding.”

Local mom and post-partum doula Jamina Jackson learned about Float Nashville from her massage therapist who floats regularly.

“I was in my third trimester when I floated for the first time, and for me, it was nice to be able to float and relax on the front side of my body. I used the noodle and just let my body be heavy,” Jackson says.

“When I was in the float, it was relaxing, but one of the benefits I felt was right after,” Jackson recalls. “The way I describe it is that it’s like I had windshield wipers on my eyes … like everything was clearer and brighter and I just had a vibrancy around me,” she adds.

Jackson says one of the other benefits she enjoyed was sleeping better that night as well as for a few nights thereafter. She gave birth to Simone (now 10 months old) shortly after her float, and says she’s going to float regularly through her next pregnancy as part of her self-care time.

In addition to the physical relaxation benefit, Jackson echoes what Grimes says about feeling close to her baby during the float experience and speaks fondly of how the experience helped her bond with her baby. “When I was floating, I remember feeling like I was really able to connect with my baby because I was recreating the environment she was in. It’s dark, and there are no sounds. When I was floating, I put my hands on my belly and thought, ‘Wow, this is similar to her environment right now,’ and that was a sweet moment for me,” Jackson says.

Float Nashville offers flotation devices like neck pillows and noodles so expectant moms can experiment with several positions during their session, and “the water temperature is safe for the 90-minute floats as it is kept slightly below skin temperature so core body temperature doesn’t rise,” says Grimes, reminding expectant moms that they should talk to their health-care practitioner first as each pregnancy is different.

Book a Float

A 90-minute float is $69. You can get an introductory package of three floats for $147, and monthly memberships are also available with two, four or eight float-per-month options. Learn more at 615-567-7222 or floatnashville.com.

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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