For my birthday this year, a few girlfriends chipped in to buy me an introductory float tank package which included 3 x one hour sessions. I was both excited and nervous about the prospect of this – supreme relaxation with minimal effort? Yes please. Lying in complete darkness in a small confined space for 60 minutes? My claustrophobia is not so sure…
Nonetheless, I booked myself in for my first session this morning. I was shown to my room which consisted of two tanks and a shower, and ambient lighting. The tank looks a little like a giant plastic coffin, with a small roller hatch on the side. Awesome. I checked my claustrophobia in at the door, put on some ear plugs and lowered myself into the tank, after taking a quick shower to rinse off any essential body oils.
The tank is filled with ten inches of water heated to 35.3 degrees celcius, and is highly concentrated with epsom salts (magnesium sulphate). I’m a huge fan of epsom salt baths; I order the salts online in 11kg tubs which get delivered to my front door and I try to take one at least once weekly at home. Except the float tank is about a million times more concentrated than my home attempts, which is why they call it a float tank: as soon as I laid back on the water there was no effort required on my part to stay afloat. This was very cool. I had always wanted to swim in the Dead Sea but for now this is pretty close!
I pulled the hatch door shut and found myself in complete darkness. I closed my eyes and succumbed to the experience of the sensation of pure weightlessness. This part was easy to do. The water is pleasantly warm and there is literally nothing to do except to lay there. Easy to do, until your mind starts to take over… as a first time floater, my curious mind began to wander and it was wondering how long the scheduled sixty minute session would actually feel like. Would it feel like 10 minutes? 2 hours? Would I be bored? What am I doing here?
I had been told that music would be played to signal the end of my 1 hour session, so I didn’t have to worry about falling asleep and not waking up. As I lay there wondering how I would pass the next 49 minutes, I began to experience what might best be described as a dream state. Thoughts came and passed, yet awareness of my physical body which at first felt like I was floating on a cloud began to diminish into complete non-existence, except for moments of a random jerk of the leg or arm (sort of like when you are falling asleep in bed).
It felt like another 5 minutes had passed when I heard the music coming through the water. I stretched out in the water and slowly sat up. Time flew! Had I fallen asleep? As I exited the tank I felt like I had just come out of a deep deep meditation. My body felt super relaxed, and my mind felt clear, calm and refreshed. I felt amazing! As I left the building, everything felt brighter and clearer and I’m pretty sure I was smiling at strangers on the street like a total loony. I was just on such a high and I can not wait to do it again.
This was quite a strange post to write for me because it’s difficult to find words to describe the experience, but it was just such an awesome experience and I thoroughly recommend you give it a try. 4 hours on and I am still buzzing (if one can be buzzed on relaxation). Floaty float float. Float!