By Meagan Downey
Shelburne is home to Vermont’s newest floatation spa. Satori Float Spa features a sensory deprivation tank and a “mind spa” that uses vibroacoustic massage, light, and sound therapy to springboard meditation and healing.
South Burlington resident Rahn Bouffard opened Satori Float Spa in September after months of searching for office space that could accommodate the tank. Prior to opening, Bouffard ran light and sound therapy sessions in Burlington. An avid floater for over 10 years, Bouffard sought to make the benefits of restricted environmental stimulation therapy (R.E.S.T.) available to customers who didn’t want to drive to Montreal where the closest commercially-available tank was located.
Today, Satori Float Spa serves a growing clientele of athletes, musicians, and community members who are simply looking to shut out the distractions of the world for a while. Floating is said to deepen mediation, intensify acuteness of the senses, decrease cortisol and adrenaline levels, and increase the production of endorphins. Proponents of the practice report feeling a sense of total calm and rejuvenation after a session. One Satori customer describes floating as relaxing and otherworldly. Another says it gave her “physical and emotional healing” after a recent car accident.
The float tank is about the size of a twin-sized bed and contains 10 inches of water that is twice the density of the Dead Sea due to 800 pounds of Epsom salt, a magnesium-rich mineral compound that is believed to accelerate the body’s healing time and promote sleep. Epsom also helps to keep floaters supine, floating weightless just at the surface of the water. The water is kept just below body temperature. Optional mediation music and guided audio programs are available, as is a light and heated comfort control. An ozone filter is used after every float for chlorine-free cleaning.
Prices range from $20 for a 30-minute mind spa session to $95 for a one-hour float and one-hour massage. Bouffard recommends that customers start with the $60 package that includes a 30-minute mind spa session followed by an hour in the tank. The combination of “brainwave entrainment music,” vibrating massage tables, and flashing light programs can help to stimulate the relaxation process and enhance the float experience.
Customers should allow about two hours for their visit to include time to shower, remove contact lenses, protect any scrapes or cuts with petroleum jelly, and otherwise prepare for the float. While the treatments at Satori Float Spa are completely safe for most, they are not advised for people with pacemakers, kidney problems, epilepsy, or psychosis.
Satori Float Spa is located at Bluewater Center, 145 Pine Haven Shores Rd. #1135. Satori is open every day except Monday. Business hours vary from week to week. Visit www.satorifloatspa.com or call 498-5555 for more information.