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!
Other treatments available include whole-body cryotherapy, full-spectrum infrared sauna and cold plunge, plus Emsculpt Neo.
A Different Kind of Jackson Hole 'Float'
Soaking in an Astoria 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 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.
"Floating is my love," says Healing Waters owner Charity Brunner. "In my eyes, floating is the ultimate relaxation."
Charity explains that floating gives all your senses/nervous system a break from everything.
"'Everything,' meaning technology and our overscheduled lifestyle," she says. "Some people have trauma or chronic pain that needs to be addressed; floating can help."
Hours: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., by appointment only
Address: 250 Scott Lane, Suite 105
Length of float therapy: 90-minutes
What to bring: Just yourself! Healing Waters provides 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: $99 for a 90-minute float; $35 for a 45-minute sauna session. Book before you arrive.
Backed By Science
"Magnesium is super great for your skin and absorption," says Charity. "There are over 300 different receptors in our bodies that love magnesium."
"I equate it to laying on a cloud—this forces you to find your tension in your body and let it go"
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.
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. But 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 ($99)—and at 90 minutes in the pod—longer than an average massage, too!
"Emsculpt Neo is basically my little, muscle producing, very expensive, robot," says Charity. The Neo treatment combines high intense electromagnetic pulses with radio frequency which provides heating. The heat gives the Emsculpt Neo an advantage over other body contouring technologies.
With this, you can expect a 25% increase in muscle mass and a near 30% decrease in subcutaneous fat.
"There is no way, physiologically, to work your muscles this intensely," Charity says. "This is equivalent to 12 to 16 weeks of intense workouts—one half-hour session is essentially doing 20,000 contractions!"
Full-Spectrum Infared Sauna
"My other treatment is the full spectrum infrared sauna," Charity says. "Everyone should be doing this every day."
The full-spectrum infrared sauna uses three wavelengths: Mid, NIR and FIR. Near Infrared helps with cell health, skin purification, wound healing and pain relief. Mid Infrared helps with pain relief, blood circulation and weight loss. FIR is beneficial for burning calories, detoxification, regulating blood pressure and relaxation.
"One super cool article I read said that studies show that infrared therapy recharges mitochondria," says Charity. "This can help you maintain a cellular energy level that's usually only seen in young people. It is true!"
Cost: $35 for 45-minute sauna session
It is suggested you book your floating, Emsculpt Neo or infrared session(s) at Healing Waters before you take your trip to Jackson Hole. Call 307-307-922-4212 or visit floatwyo.com.