Jackson Hole is chock-a-block with outdoor thrills and athletic challenges, jaw-dropping scenery and Western traditions galore. It also boasts an impressive wellness community, including the only therapeutic floating center in western Wyoming, Healing Waters.
While you partake of all the adventures Jackson Hole has to offer—no matter what the time of year—you should also consider taking a unique adventure in relaxing and renewing at Healing Waters with a 90-minute float in nearly 1,000 pounds of magnesium sulfate. It can amount to a mini-vacation from your action-packed vacation!
A Different Kind of Jackson Hole 'Float'
Soaking in the Granite Hot Springs pool or taking a scenic float in a raft down the Snake River while being wowed by the unmatched beauty of Grand Teton National Park are certainly two watery things you can do to tap into some serenity while on a visit to Jackson Hole. But now there’s another kind of in-water experience here in the Hole for you to try: Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST), or as it is more commonly known these days, “floating.”
Floating is an effortless yet life-changing therapy that has been around for more than 50 years. You may know it by its old school name: “sensory deprivation.” And while that was the original moniker given to the therapy by its inventor, neuroscientist and psychoanalyst Dr. John C. Lilly, the term “floating” is kinder, gentler, more accurate. And the experience is nothing short of amazing.
Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; 6 a.m. Tuesday-Friday for 6 a.m., 60-minute floats
Address: 250 Scott Lane, Suite 105
Length of float therapy: 90-minutes
What to bring: Just yourself! Healing Waters provides the towels, earplugs, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hygiene products for your float. There is also a room for you post-float that has a blow dryer, hair care products and toiletries.
Price: $89 for 90-minutes; $65 for 60-minute floats at 6 a.m. only, Tues-Fri. Book before you arrive.
Backed By Science
“’Disconnect to reconnect’ is a better way to describe sensory deprivation,” says Gina Hoogendoorn, co-owner with her husband, Bryan, of the newly opened Healing Waters.
Devoid of external stimuli, you can move to a space within yourself.
“We are always future tripping,” she says. “Floating helps turn off those noises in our head.”
Being in the floating pod allows you to hit pause for 90 minutes. Devoid of external stimuli, you can move to a space within yourself.
Healing Waters features two float pods. Each one—roughly the size of a Mini Cooper—resembles a giant egg with a domed top that ideally is kept closed during your float to restrict outside stimuli, such as noise and light. You do, however, have complete control over your environment during your float and can choose to leave the lid fully open or slightly cracked if so desired. The pods are filled with around 200 gallons of body temperature water and 900 pounds of Epsom salt.
“This wonderful combination makes you float like a cork,” according to the Hoogendoorns. “The water in the tank is literally saltier than the water in the Dead Sea.”
While floating you’re in a Theta state, which is that nice spot you’re in just before you go to sleep—the state of very deep relaxation. This makes the experience an excellent therapy for whatever ails you, mentally, psychologically and/or physically.
Relax and Renew on Vacation
Planning a visit anywhere—and often the whole process of flying or driving to your destination—can be stressful. Floating can help undo any such tension. Some of the benefits of floating that are ideal for visitors to Jackson Hole include: relief from jet lag, improvement of athletic performance and help preventing sports injuries—perfect for skiers, hikers, mountaineers and bikers—and speeding the healing process from any injuries suffered before your trip to the Tetons or even during your time here; which hopefully doesn’t materialize!
Some of the benefits of floating include relief from jet lag.
Floating is also a nice complement to other wellness modalities, such as massage. However, Gina says floating is even better than a massage in several respects.
With massage one can’t truly disconnect: There’s the touch, sounds of the music in the room (however softly-played the tunes), the conversation with the therapist, the smells of the massage oil, etc. Floating is also cheaper than a massage ($89)—and at 90 minutes in the pod—longer than an average massage, too!
It is suggested you book your floating session at Healing Waters before you take your trip to Jackson Hole. Call 307-307-922-4212 or visit floatwyo.com.
“It’s fun watching people come back to Earth after their float,” says Bryan. “This is necessary for everyone.”