Frenchy Pops : Floatation Therapy

By Kareem Rapier

Floatation therapy: another way to disconnect

I’m not an “influencer.” Far from it. I’m rarely asked for my opinion (which doesn’t prevent me from giving it of course). And I’m almost non-existent on social networks. But I imagine that fifteen years in New York and three children give me a certain legitimacy to take on the role of male ambassador of the Frenchy Moms website. And I intend to take full advantage of this virtual megaphone to make myself heard. At least temporarily. Until a responsible person takes matters into their own hands.

The “Frenchy Pops”… it’s not the most appealing title I found, but since it’s a space dedicated to “moms”, I thought that a name that emasculates us from the start would allow us to find our way without being too noticed at first. And now that the wolf is in the sheepfold, I launch this appeal to all you “Frenchy Pops” of New York and New Jersey so that you do not hesitate to share your ideas, your messages, your recommendations, your criticisms, your encouragements, your experiences… everything is good…

I tried floatation therapy this week. In a few words, you enter through a trapdoor into a room that is almost the size of a bedroom (in a Manhattan apartment, don’t imagine Versailles). There is a bottom of about thirty centimeters of a salty liquid a little denser than water. You are completely naked. You lie down and float perfectly and effortlessly in almost complete darkness for an hour.

Let me give you a little more context. Like many of you, I saw Stranger Things on Netflix. If you remember, in the first Season, the main character is a child (“Eleven”) who has super powers (mainly telekinesis). In order to push the limit of her powers, malicious doctors put her in a sensory isolation chamber. The underlying idea being that if all the senses of your body are put on standby, the brain increases its capacities tenfold and allows you to access any kind of new world (in the case of Stranger Things, it sends the poor kid in a creepy universe from which she brings back a monster who wants to eat her friends, but the series smells good in the eighties so it’s not unpleasant to see).

Independently of the fantastic travel and scary monster side, I had been quite seduced by the idea of the sensory deprivation experience. Without knowing at the time that it was something even conceivable and has been around since the 50’s, I talked about it over dinner, and a few weeks later, I received a gift voucher for my birthday for a one-hour session at “Inifinity Float” in Flatiron: a place dedicated to Eleven’s experience in Stranger Things (without the bad doctors). So I immediately booted my session, very excited to try it.

The time of the appointment arrives, I go up to the sixth floor of some building on 5th Avenue. The elevator opens directly onto what looks like a SPA. Esoteric products are on sale. It feels more holistic than medical. I’m being escorted to my private cabin. I take a shower, put earplugs in my ears so that the liquid doesn’t get in, and I enter this giant aquarium, equipped with a mini floating headrest that is supposed to help my comfort. I lie down. And indeed I float in water the same temperature as my body, in the dark. The first minutes are spent resisting the internal voice that summons me to leave on the mocking chorus of “my poor boy, what are you doing here, floating naked in a cage”. This same voice continues with “go get your stupid phone, imagine if something happens”. We don’t know. We stay strong and determined. Then you have to find your position and accept the idea that nothing can happen. You just have to play the game and let go. And I think I finally did that, because when the hour was up and the water was stirring to signal the end of the session, I was startled. Did I sleep? I’m not sure, but I’m clearly “gone”.

I didn’t see a monster, I didn’t leave my body. I didn’t meet anyone, and I didn’t find the solution to any of my questions at the time. On the other hand, I loved the idea of disconnecting for an hour. Doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. And letting go. Because there’s simply no other way to do it. And, I’m not a SPA guy at all – I don’t like treatments or massages, and I don’t know anything about meditation, yoga, or reiki – so I felt good and I want to go back and try two hours in a row. To see if it sends me further.

Photo : ©Schappelle

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