By Amber McKenzie
Although it’s not obvious at first glance, Drew Smith has ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease that causes the vertebrae in the spine to fuse together, making it difficult to walk. He also has two ruptured discs in his back, and has worked hard to manage his health issues naturally through yoga, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. Although it all helped, he was still in extreme pain most of the time until he tried floating.
Smith first heard about floating in the 1980s, but hadn’t had the opportunity to try it until six months ago, when he saw an ad for a floatation therapy spa in Spokane. In his first experience, he was pleased to find a pod with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt dissolved in warm water. Smith climbed in, closed the lid and floated weightlessly for a full hour. There was no sound or light. “Nothing but me and myself,” says Smith.
“I had phenomenal results right off he bat,” he recalls. “I immediately noticed I had no pain when I got out of the float tank.” He was amazed at how well he slept that first night, and woke up feeling like he’d meditated, had acupuncture, massage and chiropractic all at the same time. He felt happy and was still pain-free two days later. People immediately noticed a difference and asked him what he was doing. “Floating,” he said. During his second float, he experienced more spiritual aspects. “You are reduced to nothing more than your heartbeat,” he says. “I was at my essence.”
Smith has meditated for many years, but notes that floating allows him to go into a deeper meditative state, noting, “So many inspirations came out of floating.” He floats once a month and tells everyone he can about the extreme benefits he’s experienced. His successful recruitment of nearly everyone in his apartment complex to try floating has an added benefit—frequent and lively discussions regarding unique float experiences, as well as the different health benefits each has noticed.
“While we are surrounded by constant stimulation 24/7, floating offers a respite from all the noise of life. I’ve never been so excited about nothing in my entire life,” enthuses Smith.
Float Spokane is located at 4727 N. Division, Ste. 100-C, in Spokane; and 1334 N. Whitman Ln., Ste. 160B, in Liberty Lake. For more information, call 509-309-3842 or visit FloatSpokane.com
Renew Float Spa—Kendall Yards is located at 1170 W. Summit Pkwy., in Spokane. For more information, call 509-242-3949 or visit RenewFloat.com.