Mountain Mama: Mommy meltdowns and floatation therapy

If you take bathroom breaks and tell your kids you need a “little privacy,” when in all honesty, you’ve gone in there to sit on the floor with a good magazine until they come looking for you, you might need a break.

If your husband comes home from work and points to the chunks of oatmeal in your hair and you look at him long and hard and reply, “Well at least it isn’t poop,” you might need a break.

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Not an average-sized break. You need a long, beautiful, silent break.  No, sitting on the toilet doesn’t count.

Enter Whistler’s newest answer to the exhausted parent, West Coast Float, Whistler’s only flotation centre that offers moms and dads a new way to disconnect the mind and rejuvenate the body.

Here’s how it works: you hand the kids off to your husband. Both are crying hysterically. Your three-year-old hates her rain suit. The one-year-old is crying out of sympathy for his sister’s rain suit dilemma.

Did I mention it is also pouring rain? You arrive completely soaked and mildly stressed.

You enter a private spa room outfitted with a floatation tank that holds 93-degree water containing 650 pounds of Epsom salts. The water is as dense as the Dead Sea, where you can float on the surface effortlessly.

For the next 90 minutes you are floating nude, wearing earplugs in complete darkness. Because the temperature of the water is the same as skin temperature, within a few minutes you lose the sensation of where your body stops and the water starts.

Welcome back to the womb.

It sounds all hippy-dippy, but the lack of sensory stimulation along with the anti-gravity feelings of salt-water buoyancy, allows the brain and body to achieve a state of therapeutic healing and relaxation.

According to the West Float website, “floating screens out external physical stimuli, creating a pure state of “sensory” relaxation. Under these unique conditions, your body has a chance to restore its natural powers of self-regulation, while you simply lie back and rediscover the pleasure of a deeply relaxed mind.”

“There is a lot of stress in the everyday life of a parent and this experience is a really easy way to relax while having some time to yourself,” said owner Louise Van Engelsdorp.
It takes about 30 minutes to slow down your mind, but once that happens, you literally loose track of the time. For a mom of two young children, this is absolute magic.

West Coast Float has two traditional-style tranquility float pods that seal right up for the full isolation experience, but they also offer an open float pool and a float cabin that can accommodate two people at once.

“You are in total control of whether you want the lights on or off, or the pod open or closed. You don’t need any skills and we don’t lock you in there,” said Van Engelsdorp. “Floatation therapy is also great for pregnancy and helps moms take all that weight off.”

You leave barely able to form a sentence in a state of relaxation you never thought possible. Your husband and your kids are waiting in the van, screaming the words to “Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” but you don’t really notice.

You’re too floaty.

A 90-minute session costs $85. For more info visit

But wait there’s more; West Coast Float is giving away two 90-minute sessions to some lucky Mountain Mama readers this week.

For more details check out

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