If this is your first visit, please come to HÄLSA at least 15 minutes before your appointment time so we can take care of some paperwork, give you a tour of the space, an orientation on the equipment (if applicable), and answer any questions you might have.
Otherwise, please arrive at least 5-10 minutes before your appointment to ensure your treatment starts on time and that you begin your treatment in a relaxed state.
You are welcome to come in anytime before to relax in our lounge and have a cup of tea before your treatment.
Absolutely! With 4 float rooms and 2 saunas, you can all enjoy services. Please do keep in mind that HÄLSA is a quiet, contemplative space and we ask you to keep your voices low for our other guests enjoying contemplative time.
We understand life is busy and things come up, but we do have a limited number of appointments available so have instituted a 24 hour cancellation policy. If you cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours notice or “no show”, we reserve the right to charge your card for the full amount of your appointment.
If it’s more than 24 hours before your scheduled appointment, you can reschedule or cancel with our chat/text bot at 604.260.1613 or via the chat icon on our site below. You should receive an email or text confirming the cancelled or rescheduled appointment, but if not, please give us a call at 604.738.0942 during business hours to confirm.
If you need to cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment time, please give us a call at 604.738.0942 and we’ll assist you.
Jewelry/Watches – It is best not to wear jewelry or watches during your treatment, so please leave them at home or in your suite’s changing area during your treatment.
Cell phones – We like that HÄLSA is a space where you come to unplug from the everyday. Perhaps try leaving your cell phone at home, or at least out of sight while enjoying the spa. We do understand that life is busy and it may be necessary to check your messages/emails, but if and when doing so, please be considerate of other guests who have come to enjoy some unplugged quiet time. And please, no phone conversations – yes, you’re louder than you think
Loud Voices – HÄLSA is a place of sanctuary and respite from the outside world where you can enjoy some much needed quiet time. You’re more than welcome to hang out and chat in our reception and relaxation lounge, but we ask that you please be respectful of other guests who may be seeking quiet solitude and keep you voices down.
Heavy Scents – Please do not wear heavy perfume, cologne, bodyspray, etc. while at HÄLSA
When you arrive at the spa and sign in at reception, you will be given a pair of sandals to wear while enjoying the facilities. As you’ll be in your own private room, most people choose to float or sauna in the nude, but you’re welcome to bring a freshly washed bathing suit to wear during your treatment.
We provide towels and wonderful botanically-infused body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. If you’ve booked an infrared sauna, we’ll give you a large jug of cold electrolyte-infused water so you can re-hydrate during your treatment. If you’re booked into the Hemlock Sauna, please feel free to bring a yoga mat and take some time to stretch during your sauna.
Blow-dryers, lotions, and other amenities to prepare you for the outside world are available post treatment in our private vanities, but please bring along your favourite brush or comb and any other personal items which will make you feel more at home. If you’ve booked a float and wear contact lenses, remember to bring a case and solution.
Tipping is customary (though always optional!) for massage, reiki, energy work, etc... and some people choose to leave a gratuity for the staff that maintains the space and prepares the rooms.
First, the physical basics:
You enter a pool, pod, tank, or cabin, filled with about 25 cm (10″) of warm water, heated to the temperature of your skin. Into this water is dissolved about 400 kg (900 lbs) of pure MgSO4, or Epsom Salts. The highly saline water allows you to float effortlessly on the surface, much like a cork floats on water. The effect is striking – with your body fully supported and unconstrained by gravity, the tendons, muscles, and ligaments stretch out and the spine lengthens. With the body completely relaxed, the mind follows.
We begin our floats at Hälsa with 10 minutes of soft music, allowing you to slowly relax and adjust to this unique environment. Slowly, the music will fade out and you will be floating in true silence. If you choose, you can also turn off the lights so that all your senses are now totally free from external stimulation – quite wonderful!
As your mind begins to adapt to this new sensation, you may notice your thoughts wandering. This is a wonderful time to become present with your breath, noticing the movement of the mind while immersed in stillness and silence. Once you begin to relax, it is likely you will drift in and out of theta brainwave state, that beautiful relaxing twilight state between wake and sleep. While in theta, you might see flashes of color, hear drums or music, and remember things you had thought you had long forgotten. Theta is an expansive, meditative state, where you can tap into your creativity, your intuition.
You will likely pass in and out of the dream-like theta state. Some people become so relaxed they fall asleep. Alternatively, you may feel quite present and aware of your surroundings for the whole float. This is also normal. Don’t feel you aren’t doing it right and need to get out; just try to relax into the experience. Spending some quiet time alone without distraction is a great way to work through your thoughts and emotions, and if you can stay with it, you will find yourself becoming clearer and more at peace.
Before you know it, the music will start again to cue you that your float journey is over for the day. It is time to shower off the salt, get dressed, relax and have a cup in the tea in the lounge, and go about your day with a renewed sense of relaxation and presence.
Floating is extremely beneficial for both mind and body and has many positive effects. First and foremost, the process of floating is extremely relaxing. Some of the many numerous benefits of floating include: reducing physical pain, calming stress, helping insomnia, soothing depression and anxiety, strengthening mental focus, and enhancing insight, intuition, and creativity.
Here are a few things we suggest to help you start your float on the best possible terms.
- If this is your first visit, please come to Hälsa at least 15 minutes before your appointment time so we can take care of some paperwork and answer any questions you might have. Otherwise, please arrive at least 5-10 minutes before your appointment to ensure your float starts on time and that you begin your float in a relaxed state.
- Don’t eat right before your appointment. A light snack a couple of hours before your float will ensure a rumbling tummy doesn’t distract.
- If possible, avoid caffeine before floating. Your mind and body will relax quicker and it will be easier to get into the float zone.
- Please avoid shaving/waxing at least 24 hrs before you float. Because the water is very salty, a close shave may sting and be uncomfortable.
- Relax! This is time just for you, and special chance to enjoy this very unique experience in whatever way you’d like.
The salt-saturated water makes it effortlessly easy to float and with less than a foot of water in the tub, you’ll be comfortable sitting up if need be. Swimming is not a prerequisite to float.
And don’t worry, you can safely fall asleep during your float – people often do! Because of the buoyancy of the water, there is no danger if you do fall asleep as your mouth and nose will naturally stay well above the water line, and there’s nothing like the taste of bitter Epsom salt water to shoot you awake.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you’re always in control! You can get out of your float at anytime and can open the door or keep the lights on if you so choose.
If you have any concerns about feeling claustrophobic, rest assured that both environments at HÄLSA will ease you into your experience.
Our double-sized Ocean Float Rooms have a 7 foot high ceiling and a cabin that is almost 6 feet wide by 8 feet long. They are one of the most open and spacious float environments available. The oversized rooms allow most people to easily relax into the experience, and before long they find themselves floating peacefully, their initial hesitations long forgotten.
Our Genesis pods have the advantage of light and music controls within easy reach at all times, and the lid of the pod can be kept open (though it can get a bit drafty). Even with the lid closed, there's a large gap that allows air to flow freely and the rounded, egg-like pod feels womby and relaxing.
Epsom salt is wonderful for the skin – you’ll leave the tank feeling soft and silky, and you won’t have any wrinkling.
Absolutely, though we do suggest your check with your health care provider during the first and third trimesters. The sense of weightlessness can provide a tremendous relief for the body and you’ll be floating just like your baby – what a great way to bond!
Not at all! You are free to get out at any time. While it is totally normal to sometimes feel bored or restless when settling into a float, we do suggest you try to relax into these feelings as they tend to pass as you move deeper into your float.
We do offer floats for two people in our Ocean Float Rooms, though if you've not experienced the depth and stillness of a float by yourself first, we highly recommend you start there. And some people snore....
- Anyone under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering drugs.
- Epileptics that do not have their seizures under control.
- If you are in the first trimester, please consult your doctor.
- We also recommend that anyone under the care of a physician for severe psychological or emotional issues consult their healthcare provider before floating.
- If you have open sores or wounds, you cannot float until they’re healed. This includes recent tattoos.
- Please also wait 7 days after having your hair coloured before floating.
- If you have any other questions or concerns about floating and your health, please contact your primary healthcare provider and have them get in touch with us with any questions.
When you arrive at the spa and sign in at reception, you will be given a pair of sandals to wear while enjoying the spa facilities. As you’ll be in your own private room, most people choose to float in the nude, but if you’d prefer, please bring a freshly washed bathing suit to wear during your float. We provide towels and wonderful botanically-infused bodywash, shampoo, and conditioner. If you wear contact lenses, please bring a case and solution.
Blowdryers, lotions, and other amenities to prepare you for the outside world are available post treatment in our amenities lounge, but please bring along your favourite brush or comb and any other personal items which will make you feel more at home.
We do ask you to remove all your makeup, so please prepare accordingly.
Both offer state-of-art features and great floats but differ a bit in how they deliver. The Ocean rooms are very spacious at over 7’ tall, 6’ wide and 8’ long. This allows lots of room to stretch out, perhaps even practicing some yoga poses or fully stretching your limbs. With such an expansive float space, it is easy to become conscious of the vastness of the universe, encouraging you to contemplate the meaning of life and your place within it. The Genesis pods are more cocoon-like, taking a more introspective posture, the pod prompts you to retreat inwards and enjoy some deeply reflective alone time.
Cleanliness is of utmost importance and so we utilize a sophisticated, 4-step treatment process between every client to ensure our water is always pristine.
At the end of your 90 minute float, music will slowly fade in to let you know that your float journey has come to an end. Music will play for a few minutes while you exit the tank and then the disinfection and filtration cycle begins. During the filtration cycle, the water is pumped out of the tank and passes through a 1 micron filter (25 times smaller than a standard pool filter) before being treated with ozone and ultraviolet light, a powerful oxidizing combination. Our powerful pump systems repeat this process a minimum of 3 full cycles in 20 minutes, completely turning over the water in the cabin/pod between each guest and ensuring the water is crystal clean for each and every float. We do also keep a low residual level of chlorine to remain in compliance with Vancouver Coastal Health.
During the 20 minute filtration cycle, your float attendant will be preparing the room for your arrival. If you feel they have missed anything, please do not hesitate to speak up and let a team member. We want your experience to be as comfortable as possible!
Yes, just use a tampon or menstrual cup as you’d do for swimming in a public pool.