Robin H.

Why I Float

I am a licensed clinical social worker and a registered play therapist in private practice in Mechanicsville. I provide outpatient mental health counseling and therapy to all ages at my office. One of my specialties is working with people who have been exposed to trauma in their past. While I love my work and find it very gratifying, helping folks process trauma daily can take its toll on me. In my business that is known as vicarious traumatization, secondary traumatic stress or compassion fatigue. For me it that means feelings of sadness, grief, irritability, sleep difficulties, increased aches and pains, sometimes issues with trust or self-esteem. I am also more cynical than usual.

It was a client that introduced me to float therapy. It sounded cool and worth a try but I was still hesitant. To my surprise and delight, I found floating to be “the bomb”! Drifting in the warm pod with Epsom salt/magnesium literally “sucks out” the stress from my body. The aches and pains of primarily sitting all day in my counselor/therapist role melt away. Whatever issues were whirling around in my head magically disappear. I can focus on my heart rate and my breathing, with each exhale blowing out more of the negativity and stress I had been carrying around. I lose track of time, lose the heaviness of my body and more fully relax all the muscles. My brain slides into a different state of functioning. I become profoundly relaxed and deeply calm.

I choose not to fully close the pod, I leave the lid up and the lights on- I close my eyes and that is enough deprivation for me. The reduced light and “noise”, the gentle sounds of the alternative music piped into the pod during my float give me enough separation from the real world during my float.

The sadness of hearing the voice tell me my float time is over is temporarily displaced by washing off the salt and minerals- something about a shower after a float makes it even more satisfying than the normal act of bathing, further enhanced by the shower area and products provided by the Float Zone. And I can look forward to spending some time in the relaxation room on the chaise, in front of the fire and listening to the relaxing sounds of the Brainwaves app on the iPod. Once I was really stressed out after attending a training (yes, two days on trauma treatment) which ended early, so I headed on over to the float zone and hit the chaise- the Brainwaves app really helped reduce some of the stress and really enhanced my time in the pod that day.

I didn’t do as good a job in 2018 in the self-care department as I could have. I am committing to improved self-care and more regular floating in 2019. Taking care of myself also provides a role model to my clients as well as leaving me closer to my best self. Then I can provide better services to those who bravely come to my office to work on their “stuff.” Hope to see you in the relaxation room soon!

Visit Robin Hornstra’s business website - Not Just Play LLC