We visit a sensory deprivation tank in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, NC -- I have a not-so-secret, neverending journey to discover the latest and greatest healing modalities. This journey has lead me to try some pretty far out there experiences but the most recent was easily one of my favorites thus far.

When I heard that Fayetteville, NC was getting a float tank center, I was pretty skeptical. Maybe it's the fact that I grew up 20 minutes down the road or because I was just in Los Angeles way too long, but I really wasn't very sure. After a few of my Fayetteville colleagues tried it out and had rave reviews, I finally booked a session!

Before booking a session, however, I read every article I could find (on the first page of Google) on the subject so I knew what to expect. Based on my extremely extensive research, I equated this to a salt cave, but in water. That, I could handle.

You can book your appointment on Floating Shanti's website but they didn't have availabilities during the time frame I was visiting Fayetteville so I shot them a Facebook message. They were so kind and quick to respond, helping me pick a time after I was done with all of my meetings.

When I arrived, the owner, Nicole, was there to great me. Her staff was so kind and gave me slippers to wear while I waited. Soon after I arrived and got settled in, they whisked me back to the floating room.

Melinda is an ABC11 Community Influencer, read more articles by her here!

Before any float, you have to shower off to make sure to wash away any products or oils on your body. They provide towels, washcloths, as well as a variety of shower products to use. You are given 6 minutes to shower off and hop in the tank.

Once you've showered, it's time to put in earplugs. Seems a little weird but if you think about how concentrated the salt water is, you really don't want that floating around in your ear! There is also a salve provided to put on any cuts/sores you may have. I didn't have any but I did make sure to put a bit on my lips, per my friend Jenny's instruction!

Once you've showered off, plugged your ears, and applied the salve, it's float time! Floating Shanti provides a "halo" that acts as a pillow in the float. This definitely came in handy during the float so I suggest using it.

It was then floating time! Because I was super slow with my prep process, the interior light had already turned off so when I turned on the room light, everything was completely dark. Thankfully, the tank comes equipt with a "night light" for those who don't want to float in total darkness. I turned this on, then turned off the room light and hopped in.

It was a unique experience. Not weird, not scary. Just unique. I could tell at first, I was trying to force myself to float but since the water has so much salt it in, my body naturally floated. After what I imagine was 10 minutes, I finally started to relax a little more. I was in total darkness and since my ears were plugged complete silence.

I could only hear noises inside my body (breathing, digestion, etc). I tried to remember some of my guided meditations but ended up just falling into what I always call a "half awake state". Everyone is different but generally, when I experience these types of things, I see colors and then have very vivid dreams. This time was no different. I saw a lot of green which Deepak Chopra says the following about:

"Seeing colors during meditation is a common, healing experience. According to Ayurveda and other Eastern healing systems, each color relates to a specific chakra or energy center in the body, so when you see a given color, it means that healing is taking place in that area of the body. If you see green colors, for example, your heart chakra is being rejuvenated and renewed. Visions of blue indicate that the throat chakra area is healing itself."
- Deepak Chopra

I did have a moment where I realized I wasn't paying attention when they told me how I would know it was time to get out. I used deductive reasoning and decided that when the lights turned back on, that's how I would know. I spent the rest of the time just relaxing and feeling comfort since there was no pressure on my spine and joints. Because I was completely isolated, I had no idea what time it was and I was so thankful for that. You can't have your phone in a salt pool!

At one point, I turned the "night light" back on and it was so bright, I turned it back off immediately. Some people aren't okay being in total darkness so if you aren't, I suggest keeping the light on the entire time.

After what felt like 15 minutes, the interior light turned back on and I knew it was time to shower off. This part was extra fun because they have such amazing beauty products stocked. Since I take 2000 degree showers, the room was super humid so I took all of my belongings to the bathroom next door. There, they offer even more beauty products AND a hair dryer! Make sure to bring your own brush though.

Once I was done getting ready, I headed back up to the front to check out. Floating Shanti has an amazing stock of products, including CBD infused goods. I've had a ton of people recently suggest CBD oil to me due to my battle with anxiety so I grabbed a few CBD Honey sticks with Elderberry. Elderberry is known to be great at warding off any sickness so I knew these would come in handy. (I later tried some in my tea and it was so tasty. Highly recommend!)

You can also make your own customized bath salt at Floating Shanti! I am for sure making one on my next visit! Who wouldn't want to take a little salt with them home after a relaxing float?

After checking out all of the products this amazing wellness center offers, I made myself a complimentary tea and sat a while. I cannot recommend visiting Floating Shanti enough. It is worth the hour drive from the Triangle! Plus, Downtown Fayetteville is adorable and there are plenty of cute restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, and wine stores to visit while you are there.

Melinda is an ABC11 Community Influencer. Read more of her work on her blog .