Trying Out: Floating!
Olivia Grimes try's out: Floatworks
I had never tried a float tank before and had no idea what to expect.
The idea behind flotation tanks is to create a totally weightless experience for the person floating. Each pod is filled with water and half a tonne of Epsom salt, allowing you to float with ease.
It is usually dark and silent in the pod, and with the absence of any sensory input, you are put into a deep state of relaxation.
The experience has been said to produce numerous health benefits including reduced stress, better sleep and overall body relaxation.
Following the months of pandemic stress and uncertainty, I was looking forward to trying out a new experience that might also help improve my mental health.
When I arrived for my float I was guided to a private room with a shower, complimentary toiletries, towels and the impressive 8ft by 5ft float pod.
Before you enter the pod you are advised to shower and use the provided ear plugs to prevent salt water entering your ears.
“Entering the pod was a strange experience”
It felt like my body was scared to let me float on the water.
A “halo” (like the neck pillows you have on the airplane) is provided to help support your neck and head, allowing you to lay completely flat on top of the water.
For the first 10 minutes of floating, calming music is played to help you settle into the experience. I found this to be particularly helpful in the initial stages of relaxing and would image that without the music, floating in the semi-dark pod could be somewhat overwhelming for most people. However I did feel in control throughout the entire float and never experienced a ‘trapped’ sensation. The door to the pod is mechanical and can be opened at any time, and you can choose whether to keep the light on or off, depending on your preference.
After 10 minutes of music, I was left to float in silence.
With my eyes closed, it was as if I could no longer feel my body at all, and soon I couldn’t tell if I had been in the pod for 30 minutes or 30 seconds.
I found that my arms and legs seemed to take on a life of their own, I would move them around and they would spring back into position no matter how hard I tried to stop them.
After I had overcome the initial weirdness of the experience I settled into my float, kept my eyes closed and entered into a meditative state.
I was still thinking about my day but somehow it was slower and more relaxed. I had heard stories of people seeing odd stuff or feeling uneasy whilst in flotation tanks, but I felt the total opposite. Just a lovely sense of calm and ease.
When the music came back on, signalling I had only 5 minutes left, I couldn’t believe that I had been floating for an hour.
In fact, I would have been happy to stay in the tank all afternoon!
After my hour long float, I headed upstairs to the Hair & Mirror room where there are hairdryers, straighteners and mirrors for you to use, before entering the ‘relaxation room’.
The ‘Relaxation Room’ provides a variety of teas and infused water to help rehydrate. I had been pre-warned to stay hydrated post-float due to the amount of salt used in the tank.
My body felt heavy in that good sleep sort of way, and I felt extremely zen.
As I sat thinking about the experience, I was struck by how light my body felt. It was like all the tension in my body had seeped out during my hour in the pod, and I was left feeling simultaneously physically relaxed and mentally energised.
The only thing I didn’t like was that I had to get the train home - way to ruin my chilled vibe!
Overall, my experience at Floatworks Vauxhall was amazing. I truly felt tall the benefits I mentioned earlier after only one session. My mind was clear, I felt more relaxed than I had in months and that evening I had a great night's sleep.
The staff at Floatworks made the whole experience easy and enjoyable too, especially as I was slightly nervous because I had never tried a float before.
If you are interested in trying out a flotation tank, I would highly recommend it. Floatworks offer various different memberships and deals, so you can choose what works best for you.