When he was a child, Matt Murdock lost his vision after an accident involving toxic chemicals. His other senses increased to super-human levels, and thus he was able to become the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil. The drawback to heightened remaining senses was sleep became near impossible as sounds of the city would keep him alert at all times. In the 2003 movie starring Ben Affleck we see the titular character returning to an encased pod of water, so he could experience complete sensory deprivation and achieve relaxation.
For my 32nd birthday I would take the plunge and try to relax like Daredevil by participating in activity commonly referred to as Floatation Therapy; it was either this or skydiving. Truthfully, the idea of being stuck in the dark with only my mind as company seemed more challenging then jumping out of a plane. I made an appointment at the new BR3 spa in Durham, North Carolina and prepped myself for a new experience.
The spa atmosphere was welcoming, as one who has never been to a spa, I felt fairly alien already, but I understood I was a guest in someone else’s norm. The staff is friendly and reassuring. They provide a full run down of the procedure and you are given your own spa room complete with a dressing area, shower, and float room. You have option to bring your own suit bathing or birthday. Like a public pool, you rinse before entering, then enter a massive tub with eight inches of salt water featuring a curved ceiling lit with color accent lights. The water is heated to a perfect 98 degrees and spa music helps you transition into the experience. All the lights and music are controlled by an Amazon Echo and easily turned off for a complete pitch-black soundless environment.
Admittingly, I am very cynical person by nature and relaxing is next to impossible for me, so it was difficult to succumb to the experience completely. Time became difficult to gauge, counting back from 60 was the only ruler I had to measure. Sure, I had a strange thought or two, but nothing I wouldn’t have considered in different circumstances and no hallucinations. I could imagine this experience was the closest one could to get being a brain in a vat, aware but bodyless.
Overall, it was nice experience and I’m sure if you are more inclined to meditate or engage in other relaxation therapies you will get a lot out of your session. For me, it was beneficial because I had literally nothing to do which was also the most difficult part. I’m most surprised by how loose I felt after all the stretching I was able to achieve in the weightlessness. I felt fairly refreshed and calm, but by no means did I wish the experience was longer. When those jets came on signaling the end of the session, I was out faster than a kid in dodge ball. Back to the real world, back to the grind. It was a nice little vacation away from the hustle and an interesting experience to mark another year.