The Nitty Gritty
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Everyone has their own ways of dealing with the stresses of life—yoga, massages, camping out on the couch with a jar of Marshmallow Fluff and twelve hours' worth of "Golden Girls." (To each his own, right?) But one physical therapist and triathlete has brought a different kind of therapy to Atlanta in his sleek new Midtown spa. ATL, meet floatation therapy, a zen-inducing relaxation method that's said to aid everything from insomnia to creative block. And no, these are not the intimidating, coffin-esque isolation chambers of the '80s—one glance at FLOT's sleek pods, decked out with glowing LED lights, and you'll see we've come a long way since the old days.
FLOT Spa is one of those places that gives us an instant sense of calm just from walking in—and even before you dipping a toe into the soothing waters of the spa's space-age float pods. Furnished with rustic reclaimed woods and glowing Edison bulbs, the relaxation lounge is a place meant for lingering, which FLOT's staff invites guests to do before and/or after their session (complete with hot tea and dark chocolate). Once you're ready to float, you'll be led into a clean, sleek private room, where your own private Dead Sea awaits you in the form of a floatation pod filled with about 12 inches of salt water dense enough to render you completely buoyant, and completely free from everyday distractions (like, y'know, gravity).
And this is where that whole "we've come a long way, baby" part comes in: these pods aren't intimidating, or claustrophobia-inducing, or even particularly dark (unless you want them to be). At FLOT, the floatation experience is designed to be completely user-friendly, whether you prefer your time in the pod lit by glowing, rainbow-hued lights with the lid open and ambient music playing, or you're ready to fully cut the lights, so to speak, on your senses.For the uninitiated, you may be asking yourself: why? Well, aside from sinking into a meditative state and escaping to a place where even your coworkers can't harass you, there's a slew of health benefits that comes with floating. According to Piper, FLOT's general manager, researchers have found a laundry list of potential ailments that can be assuaged by a little time well spent in the pod's zero-gravity, distraction-free environment: aches and pains soothed, high blood pressure lowered, walking the astral plane to a higher level of consciousness. (Okay, you may have to work at that last one.) But one perk she mentioned that piqued our interest in a serious way? "An hour spent floating is equivalent to 4 hours of REM sleep," Piper explained. Is this the future of… napping? Consider us sold. We'll catch you on the flip side, star-children.