Floatation therapy is one of the latest trends that I’ve heard about but been very unsure about, so as usual when I come across something that scares me, I give it a try!
Floatation is basically just that- floating in water for an hour which can help both your body and mind. It’s supposed to be good for reducing stress/anxiety, reducing tiredness, improves the skin and can even help with weight loss and addictions.
I went to The Float Spa in Hove, which is the first space in this area that offers floatation and it’s been open for six months.
When I arrived I was given some cucumber water (which is now something I’m definitely making at home as it was surprisingly refreshing!) and I completed a questionnaire to make sure I was healthy enough to use the pods whilst the lady talked to me about the floatation experience.
I was then shown some of the rooms such as the toilet and vanity room (which looked rather posh I might add) before I was taken to my private room.
In the room there is a shower, place to hang your clothes and of course the pod. The lady showed me how to open the pod and that inside there was a neck pillow if I needed it, a button for the lights, a water sprayer in case the salt got into my eyes and a button I could press if I needed anybody to come in.
The pod is filled with 10 inches of warm water and 1000 pounds of Epsom Salts, and the water remains at body temperature so you don’t get cold.
Epsom Salt is known to have a healing quality and it is thought to draw toxins out of the body through the skin, so I was looking forward to seeing how this worked! The salt also replenishes the skin and can help counteract any magnesium deficiency a lot of us naturally have.
The pods have a light switch inside so when you close the lid you can enjoy the pitch black or alternate, soothing colours.
Gentle music is played for the first ten minutes of the float to help relax you and prepare you for the float, and then it remains silent until the last five minutes of the float where the music resumes to get you ready to finish the session.
I was asked to put in some earplugs and have a shower before I got into the pod and to shower afterwards to ensure the salt was removed.
The lady left and I did as I was asked and got into the pod.
I won’t lie I was slightly nervous as it was a small space and even more scary, I had nothing to keep my mind occupied.
Like most people, I am in a world of constantly occupying my brain with things I need to do, especially as a single parent I tend to use any spare five minutes to get chores done, chase clients, do some DIY or plan the day ahead and even when I try to wind down I put myself in front of my TV or phone so I never have time to just sit in silence.
So this was going to be a huge challenge for me, as it was an hour in silence in a pod. I have dabbled in meditation and mindfulness so knew I could try to do some of this in the pod if it got difficult, but I was also intrigued to see where my mind would take me.
When I first got in I tried to float and noticed my neck didn’t feel comfortable so I used the neck pillow and then floated fine. My neck felt very stiff and apparently when you float you notice the areas of your body that have a lot of tension. This makes sense as I spend a lot of time working on my computer and sitting hunched up so my neck would be the most affected area.
After a couple of minutes I stopped feeling like I was floating and felt like I was lying in bed as my body felt still and held which was a strange, but comforting feeling. I liked the music as it gave me something to focus on, but when it stopped I found my mind began to race and wander about lots of random rubbish.
It felt very freeing to be naked in a small pod and not claustrophobic at all. I did wish it was a couple of inches longer and wider just because I’m so tall and occasionally my foot or hand would touch the side and it would bring me back to reality again which didn’t help, but I imagine over time my body would relax quicker and wouldn’t move so much anyway.
At times I managed to calm my mind down but at other times I noticed I distracted myself a lot, as I kept opening my eyes, looking at the lights, stretching my body and hearing it click, and even at one point I sat up and opened the lid as I got salt in my eyes by moving around. So my tip would be to avoid moving about as it doesn’t help you to get in “the zone”. If I analyse it I wonder if I was doing those things to avoid getting into that zone because I was scared about what thoughts might appear from my deep unconscious, so if I got the chance to float again I would definitely stop myself doing these things again so I could face my fear.
Afterwards I had a shower and used their lovely jojoba shower gel and hair products before they have me some more water and some fruit sorbet. The owner, Camille, then came in and talked to me to find out how my experience was and I got to chat with another lady who had a float session at the same time as me.
It was her second time and she seemed to have a similar experience to me during the first one, but the second one she managed to quieten her mind a lot more and she relaxed better. Camille said the second float tends to be better and by the third float the mind completely gets what to expect and allows itself to switch off, and that’s when a lot of the mental benefits start to happen.
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