Earlier this week, my Mum and I went and had a session in a floatation tank. We had both been wanting to try it for a while, and decided to give it a go when she found a special at a newly opened floatation centre called Float.Life in the Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. What is a floatation tank, you ask? They’re also known as float tanks, isolation tanks, sensory deprivation tanks, and a variety of other names. It’s basically an enclosed bath, with warm water with Epsom salts added. The water is usually fairly shallow – at Float.Life it is 38cm deep, but the salt in the water means you float really well. The only time I touched the bottom was if I was wriggling around. Mum said that she tried to roll over in it, and the water wouldn’t allow you to remain that way, it naturally turned her over onto her back..
For the purposes of this post, I’ll give the caveat that I’m not an expert, and am merely writing about my own experience, as well as sharing what I’ve read about this. I’m sure that it varies at different places. Also, sorry that the photos aren’t great – they are just quick snaps since I wasn’t intending on writing a post about this, but people were soooo curious on Twitter that I decided to.
We spent around 50 minutes in the tanks, and it went past in a flash for me. It started with 5 minutes of relaxing music, with the light still on inside, and after the 5 minutes it was pitch black and quiet. At the end, the relaxing music starts quietly for 2 mins and then the little light came on. At first I wriggled around in the tank, and my mind was still very busy, but once the first 5 minutes passed I began to relax. I actually fell asleep for quite a while, and it was really relaxing. I’m usually a highly strung person and I had been particularly stressed in the week leading up to this, even experiencing a full blown panic attack at work. After this floatation session, I felt so relaxed. It was very similar to how I feel after getting a great massage.
You float nude – although you can choose to wear togs, I didn’t feel the need to. The room was private with a locked door so it was just like having a bath. The Epsom salts left my skin feeling really nice, my fingers weren’t wrinkled and my mum thinks my acne around my jaw has improved since it. I’ve also read that it’s great for sore muscles, and athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport use them as part of their recovery.
People on Twitter had a lot of questions about floating, so I’ll do my best to answer them.
Did you feel claustrophobic?
I didn’t – although I’ve never felt claustrophobic before. There was room to sit up in the floatation tank, and there’s the option to have a light on inside, or have the door/roof open if you’d like. I felt very comfortable in it, and you can get out at any time if you want.
What are the benefits of floating?
There are a number of different benefits – for relaxation, for sore muscles, or chronic pain – I can imagine it would have been great back when I was suffering from tennis elbow due to repetitive strain.
How much did it cost?
At Float.Life they had a special of $65 for 1 hour float, but their usual price is $79 – they also have various packages, so visit their website if you are in the Gold Coast and want to float.
After reading this, Float.life contacted me and offered a discount code for my readers! LENA25 will take 25% off the $79 bringing it down to $59.25.
In Auckland there is Float Culture, and whilst I haven’t been there, they informed me on Facebook it is $100 for a 90 minute session, or $225 for 3 90 minute sessions.
Would you do it regularly?
I would love to – doing it monthly would be amazing. However, at this point in my life, I couldn’t afford to do that. I would definitely like to float again in the future.
After our floats, we sat and enjoyed Green Tea and water in the lounge area, which was a lovely way to readjust to the outside world.
If you have any questions about floating, let me know in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer! Does this look like something you would enjoy?