Thursday, 24 November 2016

This could float your boat

float therapy, flotation therapy, wellness, health
Step right in...
this is what bliss actually looks like!
Ever feel like things are weighing you down? Stress, insomnia, injury or pain due to everything from recurring headaches to fibromyalgia? Well the answer could be surprisingly simple - flotation therapy. What's that I hear you ask? Well, just as it sounds, floatation therapy uses a session spent floating in warm salt water in a specially-designed tank to put you in a relaxed state.

This rather luxurious treatment typically lasts about an hour, during which time the body is able to enter into a deeply relaxed state. The beneficial effects are attributed to the temperature of the water, the floating posture, the difference in water pressure and blood pressure, maximised blood flow, the release of endorphins and the removal of toxins such as lactic acid and draining of the lymphatic system. Think of it as a very much upgraded deep, deep bath...bliss.

But what's it actually like to float?

To find this out (on your behalf natch!) I went to Floating Point in Pangbourne. With the ambiance of a spa-come-gym complete with relaxing music and pale blue interior, the interior houses two private float rooms - each with it's own tank and an enclosed shower (with toiletries) - plus a reception area, a quiet room for post-float relaxation, rooms used for other therapies and yoga plus a few vanity stations to dry your hair etc after you float.
float therapy, floatation therapy. wellness, health
This a therapy that's all about taking your time

Before you float, the experience will be fully explained to you - and you can chat through what you'd like to achieve through floating. You get to choose which music you'd like to opt for while you float (you can float in silence, with music, have music at the beginning an end, listen to motivational recordings or a combo of all these options!). You'll also have a chat about safety and how to actually operate the tank - things like using the interior lights and what to do if you get salty water in your eye for example - and the posture that best suits you fro floating. Once you are left in the private room, it's up to you to get undressed and get into the tank in your own time.
An immediate reaction to using a floatation tank is 'isn't it claustrophobic?' - but the tanks are actually larger than you'd think. I couldn't touch the sides with my arms outstretched - and there's plenty of room above your head even with the lid closed (don't worry you can leave the lid completely or part-way open if you think you'll freak out!).

Time passes while you float, you'll notice that your breathing has changed, and you'll probably be aware that your focus is there sometimes, and sometimes not. You'll bob about a bit too, but find everything calm and peaceful (not at all like real life!!!). More bliss.

What happens next?

float therapy, flotation therapy, wellness, health
You won't want to leave...
After you float you'll need a shower and hair wash. At Floating Point you also get to enjoy a homemade fruit sorbet and herbal tea in the chill out room afterwards. There's no need to hurry off, the room is set up for you to relax. These people are regular floaters you see - so they are ridiculously relaxed themselves! 

But as well as the immediate calming effects, you'll take all the good feels away with you too. I felt like I'd had a massage, my back, neck and shoulders - which to be honest are usually a whole heap of knots - were loose, and I was full of energy. 

For the rest of the day expect to be a nicer version of yourself - and sleep well that night  too (so you should also wake up the next day feeling great too!). 

So, go float!

You won't be surprised to learn I'd recommend flotation therapy - and the Floating Point if you're local to the Pangbourne area. It's a great method for dealing with everything from stress, anxiety and depression to insomnia, pain and fatigue. On one level it's about finally getting some peace and quiet in our hectic lives - and that's a pretty great thing by itself - but it's also about how that space and rest can help you both physically and emotionally. Floatation therapy - it's simple yes, but oh-so-very effective.