What is Floatation Therapy?

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When was the last time you paused for five minutes to clear your mind of everyday stresses? Or rejuvenate your senses? Or enhance your brain function? If you’re feeling sheepish, that’s normal – we really don’t take enough time for ourselves. But floating can help you to reset – and in just 60 minutes. So why not unplug for an hour, and just float?

I did, and this is how it went down…

Q. Where was the floatation therapy treatment?

At the newly opened Health Space Clinic on Bayswater Road in Sydney’s Kings Cross. The shopfront is packed with healthy treats and organic produce, and inside, you’ll find massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, nutritionists, kinesiologists, physiotherapists and of course, a floatation tank.

Q. What did the float tank involve?

Essentially, you get into the tank and float for 60 minutes. With over 500kg of epsom salts in it (magnesium sulfate), it’s impossible for you to sink or roll over. I even tried to force my arm underwater a few times to no avail – it was a bit of a workout actually! Built from fibreglass, the tank is designed to block out any external distractions so you can focus on relaxing and achieving wellness.

The water is heated to 35.5 degrees (skin temperature), meaning that once you’re settled in the tank, it’s almost impossible to distinguish where your body ends and the water begins, effectively “fooling” the brain into believing that you’re floating in mid-air.

As you float, the magnesium from the epsom salts absorbs into your skin, regulating blood pressure, aiding detoxification, helping to prevent cardiovascular disease and easing muscle soreness and sports injuries.

The benefits of the float tank are honestly endless, and include:

  • Promotes a feeling of total calm and relaxation
  • Eliminates fatigue and jet lag
  • Relieves pain from arthritis, migraines and injuries
  • Improves sleep and alleviates physical and mental stress
  • Energises and revitalises the body
  • Heightens visualisation and expands awareness
  • Boosts motivation and alertness
  • Decreases anxiety
  • Speeds the healing process and prevent sports injuries
  • Boosts immunity and productivity
  • Decreases the production of cortisol, acth and lactic acid
  • Increases the production of endorphins
  • Enhances meditative state
  • Reduces blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption

How did the treatment feel?

It takes a while to get used to the idea that you’re meant to spend 60 minutes just floating inside what is essentially a giant egg. As someone who finds it hard to switch off, I struggled to force myself to relax, meditate and sleep – but I eventually got my brain to stop ticking! It’s quite amazing – you really have no concept of where your limbs are, and you feel totally weightless. It’s strange, but it works.

And how did you feel afterwards?

Look, it takes a lot of patience and an open mind to really feel the effects of floatation therapy. I’ve been twice, and things didn’t get easier the second time around. Much in the same way that I can’t stop thinking once I’ve gone to bed, I still made mental lists of all the things I need to do and enjoyed the occasional flap of the arms (just to make sure they were still there). I think it’s a great way for people to strip back the stress and focus on just breathing, but right now, I’m still in the ‘beginners’ phase. I want to try to totally clear my head and fall asleep in the tank, so I’m definitely up for round 3.

Who would you recommend floatation therapy for?

Anybody who just needs a bit of time to themselves to unwind, clear their thoughts, rest and refresh. If you can turn off your brain and fully immerse yourself in the treatment, the benefits are incredibly rewarding. And if you enjoy meditating, you’ll love the float tank.

Have you ever tried floatation therapy or would you like to?

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