Here I share the story of my first floatation tank therapy experience, the benefits and why you should try it too.
After having a shower in a private float room, I hopped into the space-age looking pod, sans clothing or bathers, and laid back in the water, feeling immediately buoyant. After pulling the lid closed, the sensors in the room switched off the lights and some soft music began to play for the first 10 minutes as I got acquainted with this new sensation, or rather, lack of sensations!
With the saltwater heated to body temperature, you don’t even have to feel anything on your skin. And with 500kg of Epsom salt supporting you, you can do away with pesky gravity or having to support your own body-weight. In fact, floating is probably the closest you can come to experiencing not even having a body.
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It took me a little while to realise that I was unconsciously holding my head up when I didn’t need to, so I let my shoulders and neck relax so that I could be completely supported by the water. What a feeling!
Initially, I became hyper-aware of the tension I must always be carrying in my neck and shoulders but that I’m too busy to notice. Gradually over the next 20 mins I could feel my muscles slowly letting go and my breath deepening. I began experimenting with this new feeling of floating, by trying out different body positions: arms over head; legs froggy style; I even did the savasana pose from yoga for a while.
I seemed to have no real concept of how long I had been in there, as I slowly melted deeper and deeper into relaxation. At one point I imagined that this is what it must feel like to be a foetus in a womb, how beautiful! Or to float in outer space, completely weightless. By the time the music chimed back in for last ten minutes, I was deep into an almost sublime trance state. I couldn’t believe I had been floating for a full hour, it only felt a short while. What a bliss-filled hour of relaxed, quiet, pure consciousness.
The benefits I experienced extended to the body, mind and soul.
After a rinse, a cup of refreshing vanilla green tea and a nice chat with one of the owners, I wafted back to my car and really noticed the difference in how I now felt. Despite having to drive back home in bumper to bumper peak hour traffic (which I would normally find stressful!) I felt like I had just come back from a 3 week holiday and nothing could shake my sense of vitality and wellbeing. That night, I slept like a baby.
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The next day I read some of the information the staff gave me on the benefits of floating and was amazed at what it could do. Apparently it gets better with each session as you get more familiar with the sensation and relax quicker. Your mind also goes down into a slower theta state, similar to when you are in a deep sleep, and starts to pump out happy hormones like dopamine and endorphins (I totally experienced that!).
In this state, the body begins to repair itself and release pent up tension, even back injuries have been healed and some people swear by the mental benefits including enhanced learning abilities, strokes of insight and sharper problem solving-skills.
After experiencing it for myself, I honestly believe that floating is the perfect antidote to modern day life. We are bombarded constantly with noise, electromagnetic energy and artificial lights while we race around doing a million things at once, all the while texting and twittering away as if we have no focus or mindfulness about us. A floatation tank experience is a luxe act of self care and one you should treat yourself to if you haven’t already. Unplug yourself from your external environment and truly relax – you deserve it.
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Have you tried or are you thinking of trying float tank therapy? If you have any questions about my float tank experience or want to share yours, use the comment section below – I love hearing from you!
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Sharee James is a naturopath and a yoga and meditation teacher dedicated to helping people like you to live your life with more calm and less struggle. You can start now with her free cheat sheet, 'Stress-Less: 10 Quick & Easy tips to Help You Slow Down, Find Calm & Enjoy the Moment' (grab it now at http://www.ashimaliving.com/freecheatsheet).
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