Dr. Maggie Yu wants to talk about floating today, as she has recently experienced this modality for the first time. Joining this discussion is Dana Highfill, who is the owner of Float North. A massage therapist by trade, Dana’s first float was seven years ago and it was life-changing for her. It became obvious to her that float therapy is a way to help people who need it the most. If you’re in physical, mental, or emotional pain, Dana believes that floating is an amazing way to address those issues.
So, what is floating? It involves a 4’x8’ pod that is filled with about 10 inches of a solution that is mostly liquid magnesium. This solution is heated to your skin temperature, and the tub is soundproof and lightproof. Dana explains that this gives no input to the nervous system while you are held weightlessly in the solution. One tub can contain a thousand pounds of salt, so Dr. Yu asks Dana how this is possible in a relatively small tub.
We continue on by learning about the health benefits of magnesium and the effectiveness of absorbing it through the skin versus consuming it, one of the biggest being its hydrating power. Dana says that magnesium is a calming mineral that relaxes her while floating and is used to treat conditions such as ADHD. She then reveals the main reason that motivates people to float and talks about the instant satisfaction they obtain.
Floating can rewire the pathways in your brain; Dana describes this sensation as changing things on every level. She says that it increases proprioception and interoception and educates us on what these are. While floating, Dana can even feel if her organs are a little bit off because she is so in-tune with her body. Dr. Yu then provides her own anecdote on being aware of her chronic back pain while in the magnesium. Dana’s stance is that the way to optimize yourself is to get in touch with your body and be present. Stating this leads Dr. Yu into talking about re-establishing her own presence.
Dana is asked why she is helping people with floating and proceeds to take us back to her early days as an industrial designer. She went to school in New York City, got a job right out of college, and was miserable from working so much. In 2006, Dana got laid off and says this was the best thing ever because it made her decide to change her life. She decided to become a massage therapist so that she could meditate while she worked and fulfill her love of helping people be their best. Wanting to help more than one person at a time, she decided to get into float therapy. As soon as her first float finished, Dana knew she would open a float center someday. Now, the dream is finally real.
Community is key in Dana’s business. She says that five volunteers help out with the business and she has a beautiful relationship with them, along with the massage therapists that work there. Dana sees this setup as taking capitalism and making it community instead. This is a movement for Dana and across humanity. Dana’s belief is that humans are not individuals, but rather a single organism. We finish this episode by learning about Dr. Yu’s improved sleep since starting to float and Dana’s comments on these results.