A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go and try ‘floatation’.
I know, I know. What’s floatation?
Well, I had some idea of what it was but when I was offered the opportunity to go I wasn’t entirely sure what it entailed.
Basically, the very cool looking tank below (also known as an i-sopod) is a floatation tank. It’s quite shallow, but deep enough to float in and it contains epsom salt water which holds up your body weight so you get to, yes of course….float!
I had decided quite recently that I needed to take a little more time out for myself. After all, to be able to look after everyone else, I need to take care of myself. And, as this is the advice I trot out to everyone else, (mostly my clients) I should take heed too. So, I wasn’t really in any position to say no!
Plus I love floating around in the sea or the swimming pool so the idea of floating without any effort at all sounded like bliss.
So off I trotted to visit the Beyond Floatation Spa in Handforth Village, near Wilmslow. I met Neil, the owner of the Beyond Floatation Spa, who is very lovely. And whom I also have a lot in common with as he braved leaving a profession to set up the spa. He’s now also self employed doing something entirely different to what he trained to do, which is great and exciting, but also a little scary!
The spa is extremely welcoming, and so is Neil. We chatted and he then took me to check out the floatation room, which is a quiet, peaceful little room where the tank is situated, as is a very lovely shower!
Neil explained how the tank and the session worked, i.e. I was to lock the door after he’d left, get undressed (yep, no need for swimming costumes, you get in entirely nekkid!) take a very quick shower first. Then pop in some earplugs, cover up any cuts or grazes with some vaseline to stop the salt water stinging and finally hop in the tank, close the lid, lie back and relax.
The tank has a very calming blue light, music plays for the first 10 minutes or so and then fades out into silence leaving you to float around in complete peace and quiet.
As a mum of a four and five year old (who I adore, but who also make my ears hurt at times), this itself is complete bliss!
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to shut the door, but soon realised I’d probably get a little chilly if I didn’t. The water is around body temperature but the outside air seems to mess with that a little. I was absolutely fine with the door closed. I also didn’t think I’d want to turn the light out. But me being the
nosy curious being that I am had to try it. I’m glad I did. Once, I’d got my bearings I felt completely at ease in the pitch black.
It took me a while to relax fully, mostly because I’m such a fidget. I kept sitting up, swishing and splashing about, trying out different positions, but I settled on starfishing and after all that really started to let go.
I was surprised that my mind wasn’t racing about, it usually whirrs into full on brainstorming mode the minute I have any quiet. I knew that lots of thoughts were floating around my head but wasn’t really aware of anything in particular.
When I really started to relax I found myself doing lots of twitching, which is what some clients do during Reiki sessions when they’re just starting to properly let go, but still fighting for that last little bit of consciousness.
At the end of the session the music starts to fade in again and gradually brings you back round. I felt great afterwards, the shower that you need to take at the end of the session leaves you feeling really refreshed and the salt water leaves both your skin and hair lovely and soft!
After I emerged all floaty like, from the floatation room, Neil gave me a very welcome cup of lemon tea and some raspberry sorbet, which was so delicious I’d happily take it over ice cream any day and that’s saying something!
I can definitely see why a course of sessions is recommended. While I felt lovely and relaxed afterwards and had a great experience, I’m pretty certain the benefits would be tenfold through regular sessions. And I also know that true relaxation is something of an artform. Doing it floating in a tank of salty water is brilliant, but I know I’d need a few sessions to get used to it (i.e. stop messing & fidgeting about so much) and really relax for the entire hour!
Plus, the more sessions you book the better value you get so if you’re going to try it, then I’d say do it properly and commit to a course of sessions. I’m sure the benefits you’d reap from it would be fantastic! You can book find out a little more about the pricing and book online here.
If you are tempted to try floatation (and you should!) then here are a few little tips to help!
1. Visit the toilet before you get in! Floating around in all that water does trick your brain into thinking you want a wee, and if you don’t go beforehand then you’re likely to have that feeling the entire session.
2. Don’t get overcome with excitement and rush to get in. You’ll only forget the earplugs and vaseline. Ahem.
3. Believe Neil when he says the tank will be pitch black if you turn the light off and you won’t be able to see your hand in front of your face. Holding your hands up to check leads to stinging, salty eyes!
4. If you do get salt water in your eyes, don’t rub them. Use the water spray in the tank to rinse them.
5. Be brave. Even if you think you won’t like it with the light out, TRY! You can hold onto the light switch until you feel comfortable and if you feel really disorientated you can sit up until you work out which way round you are. If you really need it, there is a panic button in the tank.
6. Travel light! Towels, slippers, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner are all provided.
Disclosure: I was very kindly invited to try out the Beyond Floatation Spa free of charge for the purposes of this review, however, all opinions are my own. I loved being floaty and I recommend that you try it too!