Restorative Therapies for Body and Soul: Mindful Waters In Northvale

Stepping into the darkened float tank, I pull the door closed behind me. I lie down. Warm shallow water, dense and saturated with natural Epsom salts, surrounds me. It has a pleasant tangy smell. I settle my head back- wards onto a small pillow and let the sinking rise back up into floating. Dang it!...first timer error…I forgot to put in earplugs to keep the water out! Quick exit and poking the plugs into my now very slippery ears, I climb back into the tank and pull the door shut behind me a second time.

The salt makes you float high on the surface, like the Great Salt Lake or the Dead Sea. It is an ancient feeling. My reflection on the ceiling resembles a faint silhouette of da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man—mysterious, eternal, slightly altered, dark and light at the same time.

The constellation of tiny pink lights above me start to fade and the soft music drifts into silence. Instead of falling asleep, I fall into thought. I examine the darkness, first with eyes open, then with them shut. No difference. It seems impossible to have bad thoughts in this womb that comforts and supports so perfectly. I swish a leg one way, then another—adjusting so as not to touch a wall. The hour passes swiftly, blissfully free from the flock of repetitive thoughts that routinely follow me around, squawking with stressful, tiresome anxiety. Not in here. I begin to realize that I am still connected to the original innocence of every child floating in a womb, as we all have been and still are. There is clarity and freedom in this.

The soft lights and music return. I don’t want to lose my connection with the darkness; I feel like it is too soon to go. The machinery politely disagrees and, after a few minutes, automatically begins its post-float filtration cycle; since this is not a Jacuzzi, it’s time to exit.

Rarely available to the public until recently, floating has been around for many decades, and used to have a reputation for drug-induced intensity. Former Palisades resident William Hurt started his career in Altered States as a mad scientist who runs off the rails with hallucinogens in a homemade float tank. Entertainment aside, in reality, the modern float tank experience is as gentle and safe as it is possible to imagine.

Palisadian Amy Hyde and her partner Carl Pate were inspired to open Mindful Waters after a visit to a float spa in Huntington, Long Island, and she is assisted by her son Sam. A former champion swimmer, Hyde had a successful high-pressure career in retailing for many years, but recently changed gears. She is also a cancer survivor. Building on nursing courses and recent scientific advances in drug-free pain management, she has put together a suite of options designed for people seeking relief from stress or chronic pain, for athletes looking to improve their performance or recover from injury and for seniors looking to maintain an active life.

These technologies include infrared saunas with color-light therapy, cryotherapy, compression therapy, vibration therapy, relaxation and brain training on a Revibe Bed and several others. Mindful Waters also sells pure water from a proprietary four-step filtration system that removes all the impurities found in our local water supply. Not only does it taste delicious, it has a minimal carbon footprint, particularly if compared to bottled water imported from Arkansas or Fiji.

Location: 240 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ (opposite Starbucks)
Tel. 201-367-1733.
Open: Monday-Saturday, 10 to 10, Sunday 8-6. Walk-ins, appointments and monthly memberships available. 201-367-1733.