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Let Your Stress Float Away at Westport's ifloatspa

The hustle and bustle of the holidays may be over, but the everyday world is still a stressful place. Most of us would like to escape for even a few hours, but this constantly connected society in which we live seems devoid of any refuge from information overload.

There is, however, an oasis of calm in a second-floor suite on Westport's Main Street. There, you'll find ifloatspa , a place where you can get away and pull the plug on the rest of the world, retreating into a flotation room where the loudest sound may be your eyelids blinking.

Sean Morton, owner of ifloatspa, is one of the most laid-back, relaxed people you'll ever meet. His demeanor is testimony to the benefits of the sensory deprivation environment found in ifloatspa's four flotation rooms.

Inside each room is a pool filled with warm water saturated with Epsom salts. Like the Dead Sea, the high specific gravity allows you to float on top, completely relaxed as the water supports you from below.

Closing the door and turning off the room's soft light creates an environment as close to being in the womb as you can experience. Without any audio or visual stimulus, and your body supported by the warm, buoyant water, your mind quickly drifts off into a relaxed state. "It's similar to what happens right before you drift into deep sleep at night," says Morton, citing research showing that a floater's brain produces the same kind of Theta waves achieved by Eastern monks in deep meditation.

Time seems to slow or stand still in such a state; the session seemed to last 20 minutes when in reality it was nearly two hours. Alas, one has to return to reality, but with a clearer, calmer outlook thanks to the relaxing escape at ifloatspa.

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