Some days are definitely harder than others. We can all relate to the incessant need to work 24/7 to build our brand and survive in this city. After a particularly stressful month, an invitation from Halsa Spa to ‘try a float’ and enjoy a few hours of relaxation had me eagerly anticipating my first dip into a flotation tank.
I loved the aesthetic of the futuristic design of the flotation tank and the quietness that it promised. This was to be followed a full body treatment by masseuse Michael Strickland – who has 23 years of training including with masters in Hawaii and Mongolia – then some steaming herbal tea while contemplating the universe.
Kitsilano was busy on a Friday afternoon and stepping into Halsa Spa was a soothing treat. Cool in temperature and immediately calming with the surrounding presence of warm woods and succulents.
The pre-arrival email had advised to avoid caffeine, enjoy a light snack a few hours before and no shaving/waxing for at least 24 hours before. I chose to skip breakfast (so I could really enjoy a meal afterwards!), had a berry herbal tea and arrived 15 minutes earlier than expected to get a feel for the spa and those that worked within.
I had referred to the Halsa Spa website for the more woman oriented questions about floating: Can one could float while menstruating? Yes. Use a tampon or menstrual cup. Will the salt strip my hair colour? No, but wait 7 days after a colour to do so, just to be safe. Will I look like a prune afterwards walking to lunch? No. Epsom salts do not dehydrate the skin.
My guide, Christian, handed me a pair of sandals to wear, so I slipped off my preloved Gucci loafers and slipped on the sanitized sandals before padding off to my flotation room.
Already prepared with barely there make-up and no hair product, all that was needed was a quick click to lock the door, slip out of my clothes, put in my complimentary ear plugs, shower and climb in.
The Halsa Spa Flotation Experience
After the open air shower, I climbed into the pod with its 10″ of water and 1000 lbs of Epsom salt and immediately floated effortlessly on the surface. In fact it appeared a quarter of my body was above the water!
As I have an attention span of about 5 seconds, I played with the lights, the music, paddled about, thought about what I was doing with my life, practiced a few Esther Williams poses and then nothing. Blackness. The sleep hit without any warning and suddenly the lights and music were back on prompting me to proceed out of my warm cocoon. Confusion set in but then a WOW moment where I thought – I really unplugged for 50 minutes. That was unbelievable!
An environment of silence, darkness, and lack of stimulation, really served as the perfect antidote to the stress of my modern plugged-in life, plus there are no phones or laptops in the pod. Just you and the dark. The Epsom salts had left a slickness on my skin and another soothing shower was in order with the available hand-crafted botanical cleansers and moisturizers.
My masseuse, Michael met me outside the private vanity room – a blow dry was in order – and led me upstairs to the massage area.
Michael’s study of massage is truly worldly. With training at some of the premier facilities in the world, he is always looking to provide a unique experience for his clients and I experienced an hour under his relentless hands. Michael studied under a Hawaiian elder to learn the ancient art of Lomi Lomi and also spent a year in Dalazadgad, Mongolia with a 93 year old shaman who taught him the signature Mongolian Healing Journey which is an 8 hour massage process!
There are many additional wellness treatments available at the spa and I encourage anyone who is looking for a relation experience to visit. There are 4 flotation therapy rooms, 2 custom infrared saunas, 3 massage rooms and an upstairs relaxation and re-hydration lounge that overlooks that bustle of West 4th. Leave the world behind for a few hours and enjoy.
John Varvatos zippered cardigan thrifted at Value Village for $7.99. (Retail $498 )
Armand Basi hooded short sleeve sweater thrifted at Value Village for $3.49. (Retail $245)
Calvin Klein stretch denims thrifted from Salvation Army for $2. (Retail: $78)
Vintage Gucci black patent loafers thrifted from Value Village for $9.00. (Retail: $645)
Total cost to dress to relax at Halsa Spa: $22.48
EcoLuxury Lifestyle Savings: $1,466.00