What are the benefits of floatation tanks?
Why try flotation?
I’ve been trundling off to see osteopaths intermittently for the past 5 or 6 years. Mostly due to tension in my neck from spending way too many hours hunched over laptops on the go, or from carrying handbags that are way too heavy (my uncle snuck a brick in it once and i didn’t even notice!). There are a great deal of lifestyle positives to being on the go and being able to work flexibly from almost anywhere, but it does mean that i can end up carting round quite a lot of stuff.
It was hard to get my work set up right earlier in the year as I was on a very short term contract, so it wasn’t appropriate to demand adjustments to my work station. I have built my own little kit of wonders to help relieve the stress on a daily basis now. With a beautiful roost stand for my laptop, i replaced my desk chair with a funky gym ball to make me sit up right. And I’ve been swimming 3 times a week to keep my hips happy lately, but my neck was still carrying some tension and i was in quite a lot of pain every day. I have some big decisions resting on my shoulders at the moment too and, the stress of that always sits in my neck. On my last visit a couple of weeks ago my poor osteopath couldn’t do the manipulations i needed as my muscles were just too tight. “Have you ever tried floatation?” she asked, “I think the Magnesium would really help you...”
“Where is it and when can i get booked in?!” was my reply. I love trying any kind of healing that’s based on natural intervention or ingredients. I had no expectation of what it was going to be like or what it was going to deliver. Which i am told is the best way to approach your first float.
Where can i float?
Floatation.life is my local floatation centre, it was set up in early 2017 by the super energised and friendly family team Natalie & Phil. Phil talked me through what to expect, how it all works and almost warned me off instead of encouraging me in during our first chat. But i was keen for anything that might help relieve what had become constant neck soreness, which had also started to travel to my lower back and hips.
The float centre, based in Crownhill is a veritable oasis in it’s setting on a pocket of industrial land in the heart of Milton Keynes. As soon i checked in i was in a no distraction zone. The Floatation.life team settled me in, took away my phone to guarantee no outside noise and gave me a pair of waterproof shoes to wander round the centre in safety and comfort.
What's it like when i get in there?
There are massage chairs in reception which helped me to get into the right frame of mind. Propped up on the cosy chair with the sounds of relaxing music waving through my ears was a great way to check out of my week and check in to this new experience.
There are a series of floatation rooms, I was in room 2. Which came fully equipped with a ginormous pod, shower area and all the toiletries and accessories you need to get you ready to float and refreshed afterwards. The pod is almost the size of a big four poster bed so there is no sense of claustrophobia as many people seem to imagine when i tell them i went to a floatation tank. It’s actually quite big. I stepped in carefully and succumbed to the ways of the water.
The water is packed full of around 45kg of epsom salts so you will float as if you would on The Dead Sea. I struggled to let myself go to start with as i was so tense from a very busy week at work. After a few minutes of focusing on nothing but my breathing i drifted off into a seriously deep sleep. So deep that poor Phil struggled to wake me up at the end! Waking up happens by the team turning up the volume on some sunny morning inspired music to gently rouse you, no one can come in when you are floating, the door is locked (unless there is an emergency, in which case you can pull an emergency cord)
How will i feel afterwards?
I felt like i was only out for a few minutes, but i was actually in the pod for over an hour. I can’t explain where i went, but i definitely went to a different level of consciousness. Where all sorts of memories, images and plans were rushing at me and swirling around my head all at once. I was totally spaced out afterwards, all plans for evening yoga and the local street food event were shelved and i settled into the post float relaxation room for some mindful colouring on the sumptuous massage chairs. I was in no fit state to drive home straight away.
The soreness in my neck had disappeared completely as my body had a chance to fully relax properly in the water for the first time since i could remember. Not having had to support itself consciously allowed all the tension from the last few months to drift away. Aches and pains that have been plaguing me for months dissipated and my skin and hair was also baby soft, another benefit of the magnesium in the salt water.
I floated off home for an incredibly calming and very sleepy evening and booked the next one straight away!
My first float was on 13th June and i have been back several times since, it's become a new staple of my wellness rituals. I've had floats to recover from jet lag, stress and the general tiredness of life and exercise. I even floated 24 hours after hypnosis this week which was another adventure entirely, I will write about that separately on another post. Now that i have been a few times I have started to see huge gains in my own personal development past the physical benefits. I go on a different adventure every time, from inception type drops through different levels of consciousness to Alice in Wonderland esque voyages through my hopes and dreams as well as memories. If you are even the tiny bit curious then go take a peek and try it for yourself. For the outward benefits alone of soft hair and skin it's worth the £36 for your first float!
What do you think? Have you tried it? If not what's holding you back?