Why i've floated 23 times in the last 8 months

It's bonkers right? Or is it...

In my 23 sessions of floatation therapy i've cried, i've laughed and i've been relieved of chronic pain. I've soothed my inner child, made peace with my inner critic and visited little me and past life me during hypnotic regression among other things. What started with a punt to see if it could relieve stress and tension in my neck has now become a way of life for me.

What happened?!

I had no idea what to expect the first time I went to float, my osteopath had recommended it as I was so stressed that she couldn't manipulate my neck one day. Stress can make the body magnesium deficient as it uses it all up trying to cope with the fall out of over production of cortisol and adrenaline. So she recommended it as a way for me to top up my magnesium levels and in turn soothe my sore muscles. The water in a flotation tank is saturated with epsom salts which in turn, are packed full of magnesium. It was that or magnesium supplements and I was in a lot of pain so I thought I would give it a go while I waited for the order of supplements from Holland and Barrett to arrive.

Floatation made my neck pain disappear

The neck tension and pain that I had spent hundreds of pounds on trying to get rid of over the past few years disappeared during my first float and has never come back. The dual action of taking pressure off every element of my body in the weightlessness of the water, and the infusion of magnesium has wiped away chronic pain from my life. I can still get tense sometimes, it's a sign I need to float, but the pain has not returned. It un-knotted something in me that I will be eternally grateful for that very first time.

Floatation gave me the best sleep of my life

I laid back in the float tank and focused only on my breathing as the gentle and relaxing music sent me to sleep, then the next thing I knew I awoke to the sound of bright and cheery birdsong. The sign that my float was over. People assume that i's a sign of a bad float if you can't remember it, on the contrary my friend. This means that you have truly let go. My body had relaxed so much that I had dropped off into a deep restorative sleep. I was so far gone that they couldn't wake me up and had to keep turning the music up to get me out. I woke up with a jolt and dozily got myself ready for some post float processing. I was walking on air when i finally surfaced, I felt so lifted. I had never had rest like it.

Since then floating has helped me recover from jet lag, illness and surgery through restorative rest during the floats and helping me sleep better afterwards. I don’t really sleep when I float now but I will always sleep well the evening of a day when I have floated.

Floatation switched off channel "stress" in my brain

That background worry channel, about what other people think or what I 'should' be doing vs. what I really must do. Something about the practice of spending time away from noise, distraction, technology and light has made it all fall away. You can choose to keep the light on if you want, but I float in darkness and total silence for true sensory deprivation. Sometimes it turns into time to work the worries through and let them go, sometimes the art of solace simply releases them from my consciousness through meditation.

Floatation helps me focus

Floatation and the relaxation it brings naturally helps to ease the mind and calm any stress from my day or week. The sensory deprivation also helps shut out the noise from daily life and focus on solving problems as well sometimes. Floatation has helped unblock stuck creative energy, seeded writing ideas, and sparked new solutions for all sorts of projects for me and my clients as well as ideas to make my business work better.

Floatation fuels creativity

I now take a notebook into the post float room for me to take note of new ideas that come up as a result of floating. This weeks creativity was three blog posts drafted, a tonne of ideas for my business and an NGO I work with and a poem. I've never written poetry before, so as well as nurturing existing skills spending time in the post float room has helped me reach a whole new frontier of creativity!

The floats themselves cane be very creative as well, in some I go on what I call an Alice in Wonderland type adventure. Where my subconscious will take me on a flash tour of what it needs to tell me in order for me to use it, deal with it or let it go. It's generally obvious depending on what comes up. 

What comes up changes every float as it's based on whats going on with me at that point in time. Or sometimes I intentionally bring in something that I want to meditate on. "Love" and "Letting go" provided a lot of material recently, my little brain went into over drive with adventures into past lives and future states. It was incredibly powerful.

Floatation helped me access new levels of consciousness

An unexpected but wholly welcome new development has been that I slip into altered states of consciousness when I float. This can either be through self hypnosis (see below for more on that one!) or through combining it with other natural therapies. I noticed that I was particularly sleepy on the days that I had acupuncture so I decided to combine the two. I now float the evening of acupuncture as a rule so whatever gets stirred up or healed is continued and/or settled when I float.

This has also meant that the Alice in Wonderland style floats where I see images flashing from all over the place have been replaced by the show reel style messages. The process when these ones come up is quite special. I drift off to a state where my body is asleep but my mind is still aware of what is going on, like in hypnosis. My body “locks in” as if it knows it’s ready to receive something that I might resist in a conscious state. The water around the edge of my body starts to fizz as if its turned to Champagne, and my breathing quickens. I think this is the anxiety of not knowing what’s going to come up.

A word, image, or showreel will then appear. Once it was a cine style image of me as a little girl, being inquisitive about a decision that I had made when I was very small. I had a conversation with that little girl to tell her it was OK, she smiled and I spontaneously burst into tears at the relief of having that conversation and felt a deep sense of calm and healing as a result. It’s bonkers but calming at the same time so I just roll with it.

Floatation helped me travel in time

You heard me right! I used self hypnosis to regress and have chats with little me like the one above as well as go on visits to past lives. Being in a sensory deprived state allows access to that state quicker and the post float room gives me time to process what comes up afterwards. It was interesting to help understand some entanglements in current relationships on two occasions as well as fun to explore what that time was like. 

In the last time travel adventure I was a woman from Napoli and my coupe de foudre was an American GI, we had met when he was stationed there in the second world war. Again it’s bonkers, but for me it’s better than watching TV.

Floatation brought me premonitions

Most of my float messages are obvious as soon as I see them in their theme at the very least. But there was one that I couldn’t really make sense of. It involved a pretty and luminous starry night sky, filled with violet and cerise hues. It wasn’t a sky that I had seen before and was not linked to anything else that I had see before that day or in the float itself, it was just a sky on it’s own with nothing associated with it. I was lost in space.

I didn’t think much of it and went to see my kiniesiologist the next day. She did muscle testing as normal and we talked about a few things then she asked me if she could do something different. I am generally up for any kind of natural healing and have a very open mind so I said yes. She put a card in front of me with that sky on it. The very same sky that I had seen the night before my float that I couldn’t make any sense of. 

It’s bonkers right?! But all makes sense at the same time.

Plus floatation makes my hair and skin really soft!

Flotation can help me access some next level stuff, but at a base level it also always makes my hair and skin feel amazing without fail. It’s those Epsom salts again, they get everywhere. For this reason alone sometimes it’s nice to just lay there and know that will happen as a spa like treat. I have no idea how but your skin doesn’t wrinkle after being in there for an hour, just comes out smoother than it will have been for while.

So if nothing else everyone will feel that benefit and I will keep going back for more. Thanks to the team at Floatation Life in Milton Keynes for bringing the joy of floatation to my life!

Sarah Potter