Having heard a little about floating from the Facebook posts of acquaintances, I have to admit it was mostly curiosity that drew me in. I envisioned how it could benefit some very important people in my life whom I felt strongly needed a little extra support—and maybe this was the silver bullet.
The idea of being in an enclosed tank of water certainly wasn’t appealing to me. I’m claustrophobic, after all, and while I love water, I’m not a great swimmer. But was that important? I really didn’t know but it was a genuine desire to help someone else that was the driving force to me to buying a gift certificate for a float. And my “guinea pig” emerged from the tank calling it a ‘weird experience’, but it made her feel better and was something she wanted to try again.
I’m not sure why hearing it was ‘weird’ kept the idea of floating weightless top of my mind, but I was convinced this was indeed an experience I needed to have for myself now. So with my friend heading into her second float, I raced into my first. And by raced I mean I literally forgot everything the employee has just told me to do ahead of time, because I was just THAT nervous!
I showered quickly and pretty much dove into the tank, with the lid closing behind me.
OH MY GAWD. The LID CLOSED. And it was darker than dark inside. I couldn’t tell if my eyelids were open or shut it was so dark! And suddenly my feet were touching foreign objects. And I was definitely panicking. My heart felt like it was about to explode through the walls of my chest, and just like that I burst out of that tank like a bolt of lightning … although nowhere nearly as graceful!
Standing completely starkers outside the tank, dripping salty water on the floor, breathing rapidly and feeling like a fool, I turned the light on and tried to regain some composure. Everyone on Facebook had been raving about this experience so what was wrong with me? I decided to shine a light inside the tank and see what my feet were bumping in to and what this tiny coffin-shaped box looked like on the inside.
Calming myself down, I devised a plan to try again but this time leaving the room lights on and propping the lid open with my face cloth so I could see a beam of light. I also put the earplugs in to help dull the noise of my beating heart, and said to myself “I can do this” over and over. I can do this.
So in I climbed and focused on practicing a calming yoga breath technique (thank you, yoga teachers everywhere!), and the next thing I knew I woke myself up with a snore. And then again I was woken up when suddenly there was music playing, alerting me to the fact that I had been in that tank now for 90 minutes. Where did THAT time go?
Joining my friend in the chill room afterwards, I distinctly recall feeling like I had just experienced the best massage of my life, but all I could utter for a very long time was “Well that was weird.”
Having slept like a baby that night and knowing my muscles hadn’t been this happy since who knows when, I knew I had to give this concept another try.
There is something to be explored when you feel that good after doing nothing. Literally nothing. Except floating on top of water with enough Epsom salt to make you forget that you even have a body.
My brain felt like we’d taken a vacation, without the airport stress! I felt as zen as a monk. My neck tension had not only eased but it disappeared completely for a few days. Wow. Now that’s what I call effortless therapy—minus the minor panic attack!
Teased with the amazing sensation that lasted a few days, I knew this was something I would try again. 6 years on from my ‘weird experience’ has me convinced that this effortless therapy can offer so much to so many. I keep uncovering more and more benefits and am quite honestly amazed this isn’t quite yet considered mainstream.
From sleep issues, chronic pain, injury recovery, headaches, anxiety, PTSD, and addictive behaviours, there is incredibly interesting research showing the amazing results that have arisen from floating. Many neuropsychologists are starting to recommend floating to help people with stress disorders in particular. Dr. Justin Feinstein operates a research centre at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA and has been at the forefront of much of this research, pushing this natural remedy over pharmaceuticals.
If you’re at all curious about getting your toes wet with floating, come visit us at saltsoak Float Studio on Darling Street in Balmain. We’d love to tour you through our studio and help you get tanked for the first time!
And just a heads up, I used my first experience as a catalyst when purchasing the biggest, sexiest tanks currently available in the world that have lights you can control from the inside, and we also installed motion sensor lighting in each room so you never have to feel your way around in the dark.
Kim and Keith Glover are the owners of saltsoak Float Studio, 337 Darling Street, Balmain, and can be reached at 02 9159 3065 or at www.saltsoakfloatstudio.com
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/saltsoakfloatstudio/ and Instagram @saltsoak