What is floatation therapy?
“It sounds cheesy, but from the moment I emerged from the pod my overriding emotion was one of indescribable elation, and I remember driving home with the biggest smile on my face for absolutely no reason. “Coming out of a float feels like a new start for me: I feel re-energised, reinvigorated and at peace with the world.”
Floatation therapy has even been used alongside conventional therapy to support soldiers struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. In Sweden, there are over 120 float centres and the treatment itself is covered by the health service. Opinions in the UK seem to still have a little way to go, with it being seen as a luxury rather than a medical provision, but with more awareness of floatation, this could be set to change. If you’re keen to try it out for yourself, you can visit floatationlocations.com to find a floatation therapy centre near you. Once you’ve booked in for your first float, follow the guidelines below to make the most of your time.
Preparing for floatation therapy
- Try to avoid large meals before floating and use the toilet before entering - remember, you want as few distractions as possible.
- Avoid caffeine and any other stimulants before floating, these may make it harder for you to relax.
- Avoid waxing or shaving immediately beforehand, the levels of Epsom salts in the tank may irritate your skin.
- Avoid using hair dye or fake tan before you float, this could contaminate the tank.
When you’re in the floatation tank
- Try to be still as you float, rather than trying to move around the tank. Interlace your hands behind your head or have your arms stretched out.
- Keep your eyes closed and if thoughts pop in, acknowledge them and let them go. Breathe deeply and enjoy the feeling of weightlessness
- Remember there is no ‘right’ way to float. If closing the lid and having the light off doesn’t feel relaxing to you, experiment with leaving the light on, and/or the lid open.
After your float
- Try not to jump into strenuous work after your float. Take some time to enjoy the relaxing benefits and head back into your day slowly and with intention.
- Note how the float makes you feel just after, for the rest of the day and for the rest of the week. If you find it helps reduce stress, consider making it a regular thing.
Carving out time for relaxation and self-care is important for both mental and physical health. If this is something you’re struggling with, you may find our guide to overcoming self-care stumbling blocks helpful.
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