Float your stress and pain away

A sweeping trend in health and wellness has recently set up shop in South Delta.

Spa Bleu opened its doors last fall on 56th Street to offer flotation therapy – a treatment to relax, de-stress and feel free from pain.

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Owner Nikki Yang, a certified esthetician who has lived in South Delta for the past 12 years, suffered from chronic back pain for many years, trying everything she could to alleviate her pain.

“I tried everything - acupuncture, back therapy -- and nothing seemed to work or if it did work, just provided me with temporary relief,” she said. “Through my husband’s friend he went to a float therapy place in downtown Vancouver and he recommended it. I tried it and I felt great. For the first time I felt relief.”

It was following this experience that she decided she wanted to learn more about flotation therapy.

Floatation therapy is based on the research of Dr. John C. Lilly, a scientist who was interested in the effects of sensory deprivation.

Inside a lightproof, soundproof float tank (Spa Bleu has two), the air and water are the same temperature as your skin. With zero gravity you cannot tell where the body ends and the water begins. Float tanks allow you to cut out the sensory overload of your normal life so you can experience utter relaxation.

Each of the float tanks contain 11 inches of water and 1,100 pounds of Epsom salt, which has been used for years as a treatment of aches, pains and skin ailments.

Yang said the float tank provides a weightless environment and with the combination of pitch darkness and silence, it takes people into a deep state of relaxation, releasing endorphins to rapidly eliminate fatigue and stress.

“I knew once I started trying this that this was something I wanted to bring to Tsawwassen,” she said. “This is still a bit of an unknown treatment, but as people learn about what we are and what we are about, they have been very impressed. We are not your typical spa.”

Sara Shears, a local kinesiologist with a background in the fitness industry, has been working with Yang since Spa Bleu opened. She said educating people about the benefits of the therapy is key.

“Although this was created a few years ago, it is a therapy and treatment that is starting to become more mainstream,” Shears said. “This is a take time out, self-care physical benefit, but also a mental benefit as well. It’s 90 minutes, which might seem like a long time, but it really isn’t when you do this for self-care. This has so many benefits and we want people to understand that.”

Shears said the treatment is affordable and open to anyone.

“What is the price for self-care,” she said. “You’re correcting the imbalances in your body and your mind. This is a chance to re-balance, recalibrate and reconnect with yourself.”

Yang said she hopes more people in the community will see what flotation therapy is all about.

“I dealt with chronic pain for over 20 years. I just feel what a difference this has made in my life, so I wanted to give this back to others. If it worked for me, it can work for you,” she said.

A 90-minute float costs $75, although the spa offers packages that reduce that per visit cost.

Find out more about flotation therapy at Spa Bleu in Tsawwassen at spableu.ca or come to their open house on April 18 from 5 to 8 p.m.

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