Floatation is something I had wanted to try for quite some time. The concept of floating weightlessly in dark still silence sounded both intriguing and terrifying but I knew the benefits of epsom salt first hand and I was eager to see if such an experience would help ease my frantic/chaotic mind.
WHEN I POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT MY FLOAT I FOUND THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE INTRIGUED BY MY EXPERIENCE AND WANTED TO KNOW A BIT MORE ABOUT MY SESSION AND FLOATATION IN GENERAL. SO I PITCHED SOME QUESTIONS TO THE LEGENDS AT THE WELLNESS STUDIO IN GEELONG TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA ABOUT WHAT IS INVOLVED, WHAT TO EXPECT AND HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM A FLOAT. FOR THOSE OF YOU INTERESTED I HAVE ALSO WRITTEN ABOUT MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
1. For those who have never seen a flotation tank before, can you please explain a bit about the tank and how it works ?
The Floatation Tank is large and enclosed, and designed in a way that feels spacious and open. Inside the Tank, 360kg of Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) is dissolved in 30cm deep water that is warmed to 34.5degrees, which is exactly skin temperature. This solution is dense enough to allow people of all body types to float effortlessly and give the sensation of no gravity. The unique environment removes most external stimuli that keep the brain constantly moving, allowing access to the theta brain state effortlessly.
2. What are physiological benefits of having a flotation session?
There are multiple benefits that come from the Floatation, most of which can be experience from the first session alone. With frequent session these benefits will progress.
The benefits to Floatation include:
· Pain management of muscles and joints – From minor to chronic
· Relief from migraines
· Accelerated recovery and enhances performance
· Reduction and even elimination of the ailments in pregnancy
· Reduces stress, anxieties, and PTSD
· Assists with sleep disorders and fatigue
· Enhances creativity, learning and increases brain function
· Promotes spiritual discovery and meditation
3. What kind of experience do people report having in a 1hour flotation session?
The first experience of floatation is always a bit strange and may take time to adjust. The brain isn’t used to the lack of stimulation, so it’s not uncommon for the mind to be busy and the body tense. After a short period of time the tension will release, sense of the body will fade away, leaving the mind in a meditative brain wave state and may cause the floated to fall into a deep sleep. After an hour session floaters feel relaxed, their bodies feel loose and without tension. Some people report feeling drowsy, while others may feel refreshed and energised. It’s also common for floaters to experience a deep and refreshing night sleep the same night after floating and in days following due to the mass magnesium absorption. After frequently floating people have experienced deeper states of relaxation, visuals, lucid dreaming, pain relief, improved performance, accelerated recovery, stress management and more. The Floatation Tank provides is a unique experience each time.
4. Who are the individuals likely to benefit most from a session in the tank?
Floatation is an experience that everyone can try. All individuals can take something beneficial away from their floatation experience. At The Studio we have floaters coming in with the purpose of aiding their skin conditions, improve and recover from athletic performance and sports, reducing their stress, anxiety or PTSD, others may be seeking to get some peace and quiet to themselves, spiritual exploration and more. For people who may practice meditation, yoga or mindfulness tend to relax sooner within the first session, and for those who may be suffering from severe anxiety, pain and sleep conditions the benefits will only progress with each session.
5. Is it safe for pregnant women to float?
Floatation is completely safe at all stages of the pregnancy. It the perfect experience and environment to reduce and even eliminate the ailments in pregnancy. The soothing magnesium mineral solution inside the tank allows complete weightlessness, and even allows women to relax on their stomachs without any discomfort.
6. Am I likely to feel claustrophobic when in the tank?
The Floatation Tank is large and enclosed, and designed in a way that feels spacious and open. Floaters are in complete control of their environment, so if they wish to keep the door to the tank open or ajar they are able to.
7. Is there anything you recommend doing in preparation for a flotation session?
To familiarise yourself as much as possible will only better the experience as it won’t seems as foreign. To do this check out our website & online resources, ask a friend / family, give us a call or even visit the studio so we can show you around.
8. What do I need to bring with me for a float session?
At The Studio we provide everything needed (towels, shampoo & conditioner, moisturiser, hair dryer etc.) Bathers although optional, we recommend its best without as they can potentially be distracting and uncomfortable in the experience.
9. How much is a flotation session likely to set me back?
A single 1 hour Floatation session is $60, but we have on offer multiple passes which are more cost effective.
10. Can I just go once or do I have to go multiple times to reap the benefits of flotation?
You will be able to feel benefits from a single session alone, but these will only get stronger and progress the more frequent Floating.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:
When I arrived at The Wellness Studio in Belmont I was a little nervous. I had a million thoughts running through my head – Was I going to feel claustrophobic, panicked, trapped with my thoughts in such a confined space?! As someone with a mind that runs a mile a minute I was concerned that perhaps I would spend the entire hour chasing my thoughts around in circles. I have practiced meditation and yoga on and off for a few years now, however I have never been able to sit in meditative bliss for more than 10-15mins, so an hour seemed a little daunting.
When I hopped in the tank I started out with a blow up pillow under my neck to provide a bit of support as my body adjusted to its weightlessness. Some soothing music played for the first 10 or so minutes and during this time I kept my head above the water transitioning into a calm space, internally and externally. After the 10minutes were up and the music died off I removed the pillow and let my head sink into the water. What occurred over the next 50mins felt somewhat like a dream state. My mind would wander into thoughts, worries, “to do lists” and then it would stop mid-thought, dissolve and I was brought back to the stillness of my body, the silence and seemingly expansive darkness that surrounded me. I felt as though I was suspended in space with unlimited space below and above my body. I scanned my body for any sign of tension, any tiny piece of my being that was tensed, knotted, clenching or tangled, however not one part of me held such a sensation.
My mind would, every now and then, then start to wander again and I wondered how long I had been floating, was it 5mins or 30mins? Had I at any stage fallen asleep? There was a sense of haziness/nostalgia about my experience, like when you wake from an afternoon nap and you have heightened awareness about your surroundings, but you’re unable to get your mind to focus on any task that requires a logical sequence of thoughts.
After what felt like a long time, and a short time concurrently, the peaceful music recommenced, and a soft jet of water washed around the top of my head. I emerged from the tank feeling light, each step soft, each breathe deep, each sensation amplified. I took a shower in the room dimly lit by a salt lamp and it was the most blissful shower of my life. I was 100% present, calm & relaxed. I felt every drop of water run over my body and I wanted to stay in that state, in that moment as long as I possibly could. That feeling of presence, bliss and connection, to yourself and to your surroundings, is what will have me heading back for another fix. I highly recommend giving it a go!