Oh, hey Tuesday! | CBD Oils and Floating

Hey y’all, and Happy Tuesday! So, I know some of you have been seeing my posts about how I was going to trying something super new-ish to me…

A 90 minute massage with CBD oil, followed by a 90-minute float at the Decatur Wellness Collective, which I will refer to as the DWC or the Collective going forward.


I know… I know what you’re thinking.  WHAT IS FLOATING?!?!  And WHY weed oil?!  So, let’s try to break it all down.

So I decided to do this blog for a couple of reasons, and I want to be as transparent as possible with all y’all.  :)

1) This was definitely not the first massage I have ever received in my lifetime, and it was definitely not the first massage I have gotten at the DWC.
2) This was the first time I have ever been in contact with CBD oil.  I am not certain of the brand that was used, but I do know it was purchased locally at a reputable health store.
3) This was also the first time I have ever floated.
4) Prior to going in for this, I did research about CBD oil and floating.  It is very rare for me to jump in head first into anything new like this, especially when I am unsure about the effects - negative or positive.
5) While I do not think it effected my “final thoughts” or the experience in any way, I do want to state that I was sick with bronchitis at the time I did this.
6) I have not experienced these two “products”, if you will, individually.  Meaning - I have not had a 90 minute massage with CBD oil by itself, and I have not floated for 90 minutes by itself.

OK.  Now that I have gotten all of that out of the way… I am going to morph myself into an “educator” momentarily so I can go over CBD oil and floating.  Ready?  OK!  (I hate that I did that… and I’m leaving it in the blog.  But please note I not only said this in my head as I typed it, but I said it like the perky cheerleaders do.  And no, I was never a cheerleader - HA!)

First, let’s discuss CBD oil.  While there are a ton of places online to find information on it, I admittedly found several that seemed to be pro-CBD Web sites.  While this is totally fine, I didn’t totally want to believe all the information I came across.  So, I ended up on Healthline.com and got a good amount of information which actually pretty well mirrored the other Web sites I landed on first.  AWESOME!  So, CBD oil, known as Cannabidiol Oil, is known as one of the 104 chemical compounds found within the marijuana or cannabis plant.  CBD oil, while on the outside seeming to be a little scary because of its connections to marijuana, are completely safe and appealing (when used appropriately, from reputable vendors and after thorough research for your personal self) because of its lack of THC, which is better known as the mind-altering or psychoactive element in the drug.  CBD oil comes to be by being extracted directly from the cannabis plant and diluting it with a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil, coconut oil, fractionated almond oil… you get the picture.  And for those of you who I know are asking silently what a carrier oil is — in short, a diluent for essential or absolute oils in order to safely “carry” them to the skin.  If you are in any way familiar with essential oils, you have likely found yourself using or researching the right carrier oil for your needs.  The reason you have likely been hearing more and more hype about CBD oil is because there is more and more studies and research in the medical world showing positive outcomes when used for things such as chronic pain, stress and/or anxiety.  While I won’t go into each bullet point in detail provided by Healthline’s article, here’s a brief:
1) It can reduce pain.
2) It can reduce anxiety & depression.
3) It can alleviate cancer-related symptoms (unfortunately, it will NOT cure cancer, so do not take it there because I am NOT taking it there!)
4) It could reduce acne.
5) It may provide benefits for those who suffer from neurological disorders.
6) It could benefit/assist in heart health.

One of the questions I couldn’t find a super firm answer on was the use of CBD oil while breastfeeding.  I have several close friends who are EBF their littles that could also benefit from CBD, so I wanted to be able to say it was an option for them.  Unfortunately, there is a stark lack of evidence that states its safe or unsafe.  I think for now, I’ll wait to advise it to my friends.  :)

Otherwise, definitely check out the article (linked above!) and see for yourself, and please do your own research.  I am just a girl with a camera, who photographs weddings, has a background in journalism and runs a pediatrician’s office.  I also love being as natural as possible while understanding modern medicine is completely necessary.  So!  Onward and upward!

Now floating.  What image pops in your head when I say floating?  I would love to know, because personally I imagine a duck floatie at a pool.  LOL!!  But seriously,  floating is a form of sensory deprivation, whereas you enter a tank filled with water and thousands of pounds of Epsom Salt and literally float.  Yes, you float on top of the water.  Even me, a heavy gal, was a little skeptical about if I would float - and I totally did.  The water sits around 93-95 degrees, generally, in order to maintain equal temperature with the human body.  This is so you don’t overheat or freeze, but more importantly so you are able to find that comfort and relaxation which one is supposed to find while floating.  Most floats last anywhere from 60-90 minutes, where you can be in complete darkness and silence, or with soft lighting or music.  The experience is mostly up to you (and this is from MY personal experience - so keep that in mind!). Floating, or floatation therapy as its called by Health.com, gives you a chance to clear your mind (I know, hard to imagine right?) and allow yourself to be REALLY calm.  Floating, like CBD oil, can assist with a number of symptoms, including anxiety and stress, but each person’s need or outcome can vary significantly.  I found a wonderful article by Time magazine which talked about a gentleman who had severe PTSD from his time in Afghanistan, and found major therapeutic success with floating therapy - you can read it here.

Okay, hopefully I have somewhat touched on at least some of your questions to this point.  Now, for my personal experience.

The painting above the back of the front counter. The artist’s name is Amanda Ward. Per Aly, she also designed the reception area, as well as was the creator of the logo for the DWC!

The painting above the back of the front counter. The artist’s name is Amanda Ward. Per Aly, she also designed the reception area, as well as was the creator of the logo for the DWC!

As most of us do nowadays, I follow a lot of pages on Facebook.  Once of them being for the DWC, which I go to at least once a month for my therapeutic massage with Aly Swengel, the director/owner of the DWC, and who has been my massage therapist for probably two years now.  I saw an ad for “The Ultimate Day of Relaxation”, which spoke about booking a Sunday where you could get a 90 minute massage with CBD oil followed by a 90 minute float.  Of course I was like heck yes sign me UP, who doesn’t want to relax??!?!  I need it desperately!  The cost of this package is $300, which seemed steep at first, but being a business owner myself and knowing the costs that go into building appropriate and fair price models - it completely made sense and I moved on.  Because, small business support AMIRITE!  :)

Come the day of my appointment, I was EXHAUSTED.  As I stated above in my “before you read” section, I was sick with bronchitis and this was day 6, which is surprisingly not long for bronchitis - haha!  I meandered around a little bit to get some pictures I didn’t already have (you’ll see some in the blog don’t worry!), and then we got on with it.  Wait, let me back up.

When you first enter the DWC, there is a small sign on the counter that asks that you take off your shoes.  This is incredibly awesome because it not only emits a feeling of “hey, you’re totally welcome, get comfy and chill”, but also we don’t track garbage all over the building and make a huge mess.  :). Off to the right is the yoga studio, and to the left is a small sitting area with complimentary teas, water and such.  It’s bright and immediately washes a calm when you walk in.  Aly, who was my “cruise director” for the next 3-4 hours, walked me back to her massage room and asked how my body was feeling.  I ran down with her what was going on (which usually is the same, depending on the time of year), and she left so I could get ready myself.  I can honestly say that 90 minutes went by so slow and yet so fast at the same time.  I was incredibly relaxed, zoned, and yes folks, I did fall asleep which I NEVER do.  Aly advised me that the oil smelled a little like weed, but I personally did not think it smelled like weed at all.  After we wrapped up with the massage, she brought me a basket to carry my things down to the float room and also offered me a robe so I didn’t have to get all my clothes back on just to walk down the hall.

This is one of the many pictures I took of the sitting area at the DWC. Seriously, so cozy!

This is one of the many pictures I took of the sitting area at the DWC. Seriously, so cozy!

Once I got down the hall to the float room, she went over the process with me as to what I needed to do before, during and after my float, where everything I may need was located and then left me to be. They provide two towels (actually three if you count the one on the floor outside of the shower area), Q-tips, makeup removing wipes, waterproof ear plugs and Vitamin-D ointment for any scratches, burns, etc that may need treated. I took off my under-roos because yes folks, you float in your birthday suit! So, prior to getting into the float tank, you have to shampoo your hair and wash your body - and they provide the shampoo and soap which is awesome! Once that part is complete, you simply climb into the tank, shut the door and float into the clouds.

The float room! This was taken from the doorway.

The float room! This was taken from the doorway.

About to hop in! See you on the other side!

About to hop in! See you on the other side!

Relaxed, sleepy Amber. (iPhone 8 Plus pic)

Relaxed, sleepy Amber. (iPhone 8 Plus pic)

The float tank itself is about 6 feet by 8 feet, and my GUESS is its about 8 feet tall as well.  Very spacious and not in the slightest bit claustrophobic.  Aly did mention that I would be able to leave the door to the float tank opened if I wanted, but I opted to not so I could get the full experience.  The small towel you see hanging in the handle is there in case I happened to get my hands in my eyes after being in the water, as it could burn - Duh!  :).  Also, not pictured, but there is a head “pillow” or head-float assist inside to be used as well!  While I won’t go over the entire 90 minutes with y’all, I will say this.  When I first got in, I just kind of took everything in.  The music was still playing, the stars on the ceiling were on and it was a very ambient soft, relaxing blue color.  I looked around the tank to get my bearings as far as where things were, but I quickly found myself shut down and eyes closed.  I did not fall asleep the entire time I was in the tank, but I was completely relaxed.  My mind did literally clear and only occasionally did a random thought that had nothing to do with ANYTHING come into my head.  In fact, one thought that came to me was when I was about asleep and I heard the quietest little siren sound, which was clearly an emergency vehicle of sorts.  I, however, briefly convinced myself it was the fire alarm.  I looked around the tank again and decided I would be safe and just laid still.  THAT IS SO NOT A ME RESPONSE!!!  I knew this was working out for me.  Eventually I did sit up and kind of wring out my hair, look around and think, “huh, must have time left - guess I’ll lay back down”.  And sure enough as soon as I did the music came back on and it was time to be done!  So, unlike a lot of first timers, I made it the entire time.  Hooray!  Honestly though, for me, it did not seem like 90 minutes.  So, I hopped out, shampoo’d my hair again, conditioned it and body washed again.  All things needed to be done in order to get the Epsom salt off.  Dried off, got dressed, and headed for the checkout completely relaxed.

Aly advised me when I was leaving that I would either be super productive for the rest of the day, or I would be really sleepy.  Either way, research shows the night after floating it’s not uncommon to get up to an extra three hours of sleep.  So, I was game either way.  Once I got home, I chilled with my boys and, admittedly, took a two hour nap.  And that night I slept the best I had slept in months, weeks… you get it.



Alright, if you have made it this far, I am giving you a mega high five and a virtual hug because MY-LANTA that was a lot of writing! This is not my typical “blog” for my wedding business, but one of the things I pride myself on is being completely candid and transparent with my clients, followers, and the like. So, this fell into that arena. Plus, doing this allowed me to delve a little bit back into that journalistic story-telling I enjoy with my own personal flare. Did I check everything against my AP style book?! NO! Did I do my very best to cite every source I used? YES - see the links above! So if you’re here to judge me on my lack of perfection… well, don’t! :)

Overall, the experience was NOT like my usual monthly massage. It was so much more elevated. Sure, I have a relationship with Aly that likely none of you, or VERY few of you have, but that’s just life. And side note, you should be jealous. :). Aly is not only incredible at what she does, but she is a POWERHOUSE business maven who is working her ass off to pave the road for Decatur to wellness and more focused health. The DWC is a place like nothing that has ever been in Decatur. If you would like me to do a blog where I focus more on the DWC, please drop me a line and let me know because it would be an honor to do! I digress. Aly is just awesome. She was the person who walked me through the floating, but typically her husband, Mike, is who runs the show on it. I will link EVERYTHING below so you can go check it all out yourself, so don’t worry! I have not had the pleasure to meet Mike, but I will say my husband has and he sung high praises for not only his person-ability but his service minded business practice. I can definitely recommend not only getting a massage with Aly if you have a therapy-focused need, but I highly recommend asking about upgrading to the CBD oil for your massage. I definitely felt relaxed, de-stressed and all good things. My float experience was also incredible. I didn’t really have any specific expectations other than relaxing. I anticipated since it was my first time floating that the 90 minutes would seem like forever, and it absolutely did not. It is advised that in order to see if floating is truly a need in your personal wellness journey that you go three times, and I will definitely be going two more and then more after that. Since I went for my float, they have now added a 60 minute float option if 90 minutes seems too long for you.

To recap:
-YES to all things CBD oil. Seriously!
-YES to all things float and sensory deprivation. This is a necessary thing for many people!

Now, I know you are just waiting to see how you can go and get your sessions booked! So, check out the links below:

If you want to just check out the Decatur Wellness Collective as a whole and see what it’s all about, you’ll want to go here.

If you are interested in speaking with Aly directly, you can find her contact information here, along with access to other practitioners at the Collective.

If you are ready to book your float with FloatDecatur, go here!

You can also find the Collective and Float Decatur on Facebook and Instagram at:
DWC Insta - @decatur_wellness_collective
DWC Facebook - fb.com/DecaturWellnessCollective/
FloatDecatur Insta - @floatdecatur
Float Decatur Facebook - fb.com/floatdecatur

Alright y’all! It’s been real! Please drop me a line on what you think about my blog post! This is not a space for negativity and hatred, so if that is all you want to share, please just keep it to yourself! :)

Much love and relaxation,

Amber Pond