This spring I stumbled upon a brand new Ottawa business called ISÖ Spa Floatation Centre. I'd never heard of such a thing so naturally I popped by to check it out. And my goodness, what a gem. If life is feeling chaotic and you need to chill the heck out, this is the place to go.
ISÖ Spa is officially located at 464 Bank Street, but you'll find their private entrance tucked around the corner on McLeod Street (Unit #5 in the former Tommy & Lefebvre building). They're just steps from Bank yet the downtown bustle fades away.
I truly admire owner Mika Husband's passion for helping Ottawa RELAX. I've visited his spa a few times, and no matter how rushed/wound up/stressed I am when I arrive, I really feel like I float out after.
So what the heck is float therapy? Essentially it's what it sounds like... you float. You'll climb into one of ISÖ Spa's ultra modern flotation tanks and relax in 1000 liters of water that's heated to body temperature, and mixed with over 1200 pounds of Epsom salts.
1200 pounds of salt. It's like your own personal Dead Sea without the hassle of flights or tourists.
ISÖ Spa's ratio of Epsom salts to water creates a buoyant, low gravity environment that lets you float on the surface of the water without even trying. Just lay back, and even if you fall asleep (it happens!) the water will support you: your face won't tip into the water.
The last while's been busy for me, so today I popped by to see Mika and go for a float. As soon as you step through the door everything slows down a little. You'll be greeted by the ISÖ Spa staff and welcomed into their beautiful space. You'll kick off your shoes and they'll lead you to your own personal float room.
Here I am ready to float!
You can wear a swimsuit or go full monty: the room and the tank are yours and yours alone, so do what makes you comfortable.
Today I floated for an hour (you can choose from 60-minute or 90-minute floats) which felt sooooo good after a challenging barre fitness class at The Dailey Method. My muscles appreciated the epsom salt!
Aside from the physical benefits, I find floating is a great way to unplug - even for just an hour. No phones, no laptops, not even music. Just you, your thoughts, and the water. I found that intimidating on my first visit, but it's actually easier than you'd think.
60 minutes later I felt rested and recharged. Even if you don't actually fall asleep, I swear floating is the best power nap you'll ever have.My mind is always going like a hamster in a wheel, so on most visits (today included) I spend the first 5-10 minutes slowing down my thoughts and pushing away the mental to-do lists. Then I can chill the heck out.
After my float I took a nice warm shower in my private room, and everything was at my finger tips: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, fluffy towels. ISÖ Spa even has hairdryers at the ready. All you have to do is show up! Still have questions about floating? Check out my detailed blog post from my first visit to this lovely spot.
When you're done in your private room, leave all your towels behind and head to the beautiful lounge to enjoy herbal tea or a glass of water. You can even hang out with the ISÖ Spa seahorse -- I've nicknamed him Bob but that's just me.
I also peruse ISÖ Spa's retail shoppe each visit because they carry two bath/body brands I adore: the San Francisco Salt Company and SAABOON. You can browse the whole range of aromatherapy epsom salts by the San Francisco folks, it's the same brand ISÖ Spa uses in their tanks. I highly recommend Muscle Soak (eucalyptus and peppermint) and Vanilla Spice (exactly as it sounds) and use them at home often.
SAABOON's handcrafted vegan soaps are another favourite of mine. Try their Himalayan soap, it's packed with salt that's great for irritated skin or sore muscles.
So are you ready to float? Let's get you in there!
15% off your first float at ISÖ SPA
Get 15% off your first visit to ISÖ Spa when you mention Amy in 613! Choose from 60-minute floats (reg $60) or 90-minute floats (reg $75). Simply mention my blog when you arrive et voilà!
And since y'all know I love giveaways...
win a float at isö spa!
I'm giving away not one but TWO 60-minute float sessions at ISÖ Spa! That's right: one lucky winner can bring a friend for twice the fun. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below (all entires are optional) and I'll announce a winner next Friday September 23. Open to local residents only, good luck!