My Float Story – What’s Yours?

What keeps you coming back to float? 

What helps you stick with your float routine?

We want to feature you and share your stories.  Would you like to share how floating has helped you?  Stress relief?  Pain relief?  Insomnia Relief?  Recovery?  Fibromyalgia?  Fertility?  PTSD? 

My primary reasons for sticking to my float routine are meditation and pain relief, although I experience so many other benefits like great sleep and stress relief.

Rebecca Sgambati, Owner of Peak Performance Float and Wellness Center

I haven’t really shared my story before so here goes.  I was a perpetual achiever throughout my life.  Be the best at academics, be the best at sports, be the best at my career.  When I first went to college, I wanted to study genetic engineering and find the cure for diseases, but then I learned that genetic engineers generally work in a lab and decided that I talk too much to work in a lab.  I graduated from college with a degree in Mechanical Engineering because it gave me the most diverse job opportunities.  I enjoyed a very successful 20+ year career in the refining industry in various engineering, manager, director, and executive roles.  

Sometime in 2015, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was meant to be doing something else.  I started to work with my Executive coach to explore what I would like to do next.  She had me do some exercises that I thought were really strange and really difficult like:  what brands would you fill your house with?  This was really hard because I am not a person that really cares much about brands.  However, this and many other exercises started to point me in the right direction:  Health and Wellness, helping others to feel and be their best everyday.  As a former college athlete, I have always been very much into nutrition, exercise, and overall wellness.  I wasn’t sure whether my Health and Wellness career would be as a Vice President for a health and wellness corporation, CEO for a start up company with some new device, or starting my own business. 

While I was in this exploration process, my husband and I saw an ESPN segment with Stephen Curry floating in a pod.  We were impressed with all of the benefits claimed by float therapy /sensory deprivation, but quite skeptical.  At the end of the day, we thought it can’t be that weird if Stephen Curry is doing it, good old adolescent logic.

Then, a few weeks later our family was vacationing in Maui.  I was sitting on the beach relaxing and reading the Women’s Health magazine…and there was floating again! 

It sounded too good to be true, so simple, just lay there and do nothing and get all of these benefits: stress relief, pain relief, improved sleep, faster recovery, better performance, etc? 

Okay, I decided, I guess I am supposed to try this.  I knew that if I waited until I was back at work I would never do it because I was on call 24/7/365 and had a terrible habit of putting work first and my self-care last way too often.

So, I started looking for “float centers in Maui” on the internet and was surprised to learn that there was only one float tank on the entire island and it was at someone’s house.  My husband and I had never experienced health and wellness or spa services at a personal residence so this was a new experience.  The lady I spoke with on the phone seemed super nice and she said she could get me in that afternoon.  I wasn’t sure what to expect going to a strangers house so I had my husband and our two boys come along with me. 

We traveled from Wailea to Paia and arrived at our destination.  The lovely young lady that I spoke with on the phone greeted us.  Her float tank was located in a detached garage and was very industrial looking.  It sort of looked like a freezer that had been set on its back.  She gave me a great introduction about things to do to help me have a great float and then I was ready to go.  I remember one part very clearly where she said, “The float will be ninety minutes”.  I said to her ninety minutes?  Maybe I can stay in for twenty minutes?  I was thinking I couldn’t remember being quiet and still for more than 20 minutes in my waking life.

I was committed to giving this a try, I stayed in for the entire ninety minutes and it turned out to be AMAZING! 

It was the best sense of peace and quiet that I had ever experienced in my entire life and my body felt like I had a massage. 

I love going to the Spa, but this was so much better.  I later learned that what I had experienced in my float was meditation.  Floating provides a shortcut to experience meditation.  

I often wonder what it would have been like if I had gone to try a float session somewhere local in California after work in the evening or on a weekend.  I feel pretty lucky to have been on vacation for five days before my first float so I was already pretty relaxed and really open to the experience.  I also try to imagine what it would have been like to only do a 60 minute float for my first float.  I think my body would have still felt great, but I am not sure I would have been able to experience meditation.  

It takes 45 minutes on average for a person to reach the state where your brain waves change from beta to theta and allow you to experience meditation.

(What causes this? Your mind is protected from gravity, light and sound allowing easy access to this dream like state).  With my type A personality and super busy brain, it took me closer to 60 to 70 minutes to experience meditation.  What a powerful tool!  I thought if this could work for me, a super tough case, it could work for so many people that were less type A personality.

My float experience was so great that we went back as a family the next day and my husband and sons each experienced a float session.  It was AMAZING for them too!  My husband has historically had back pain from lots of sports and past injuries, and he was surprised that floating completely took away his back pain.  It was so great to see him completely relaxed after his float.  The boys also thought it was really cool.

While my husband was enjoying his float, I talked with the lovely young lady, Jessica, and started to ask her questions about what it is like to own a float tank and learned more about her business.  I quickly learned that float therapy was a great tool to help people improve the way they feel on a daily basis and create a significant improvement in their quality of life.  I also realized that my husband and I were uniquely qualified to offer these services in our area with his background as a contractor and small business owner and my background as an engineer and business executive.  So…we decided to be crazy and open a float center in Walnut Creek!  We experienced our first floats in Maui in April 2016 and we opened our float center in May 2017.  

Our fabulous friends and family ran the business for us for the first year of operation and then I decided to be really crazy and joined the business full time in May 2018.  After I joined the business, we expanded our services to include red and near infrared light therapy, yoga classes, and retreats.  Why did we choose these modalities? 

Our goal was to offer services that can be a catalyst to help you achieve your pain relief, stress relief, and insomnia relief goals. 

We know first hand that feeling great physically makes room for you to incorporate mindfulness into your wellness routine and this can be life changing.  

I can definitely attest to how meditation has changed my life and am passionate to share with you how it can change yours too.  I used to be the person that thought meditation was strange and that people who meditated were a little different.  Before the float tank, when I did try to meditate, even for five minutes, I would be distracted by any and every sound available to me. 

Meditation has made me more peaceful, present, and patient on a daily basis. 

I am still super organized and plan things well into the future, but the difference is I am less focused on the future and spend most of my time in the present.  It is so drastically different for me.  As a former executive, I was paid to plan and control things on a daily basis.  This creates stress, and in most people anxiety, when you are focused on or worried about the future.  Now, once events are on my calendar, I don’t even think about them again until I need to, I let them be until they are part of the present.

So what keeps you coming back for your weekly floats?  What helps you stick with your float routine?