After doing some research regarding the health benefits of ‘Float Therapy’ (read all about this here), I decided to give it a go. Knowing that magnesium can act as a muscle relaxant, I waited until I’d completed a pretty sizeable workout and the delayed onset muscle soreness kicked in. At that point, 500kg of epsom salts never looked so good.
Before I recap my experience, there are a few things you need to know:
- Since I was 12, I’ve been a tad claustrophobic. It’s a long story, but I got caught in a dark tunnel on a “gym bus” for what felt like an eternity, (it was probably 3 seconds). Luckily, I managed to free myself and no one ever knew the psychological damage that had just occurred; but ever since then, confined spaces send me into a mild state of panic. Because of this fear, the concept of floating in an enclosed tank of Epsom salts was way too much to handle however, I decided to face these fears and give it a go. Why am I telling you this? All those mildly claustrophobic individuals who tell themselves they can’t do this, you absolutely can – the tanks are huge and you have complete control over how far you close the lid.
- Float tank therapy isn’t cheap (approximately $70 for a casual 60min session). As a result, I put this off for ever and a day, did I really need to fork out $70 for an Epsom Salt bath? The truth of the matter is, it’s so much more than that AND… a package of $150 for 3 floats sounds way more reasonable to me.
OK, let’s dive in (see what I did there? ;))…
After being shown to my float tank, I jumped in, turned off the light and ALMOST closed the lid (baby steps?!). As I lie there in pitch black, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Here I was, lying inside a giant jellybean and I wasn’t really sure why? After laughing uncontrollably for a few minutes, I started to settle. I played with the switches, re-set my ear plugs, tested the “pillow”, swooshed around in the water, un-tied my hair, re-tied my hair and took a few more deep breaths until I finally lay there still.
THEN THE GUILT ROLLED IN…
“Oh geez” I thought to myself “Why are you here? Your to-do list is HUGE, you’re wasting time; you should probably get out; you should be working on that assignment, you should be using this time to get ahead”. These thoughts continued for what seemed like an eternity before I realised how tense my neck and shoulders were. As I forced my mind to relax, I noticed that my muscles soon followed suit. I took some deep belly breaths and lay there still.
I WAS COMPLETELY DISORIENTATED…
After a few minutes of calm, my mind kicked back in. Were my eyes opened or closed? I couldn’t tell anymore, either way, everything was black. Which way was I facing? I honestly felt like I’d done a big 180 rotation in the tank, was I facing the wrong way? Were my feet at the wrong end? That’s bad feng shui no? After much deliberation, I turned on the light to check my position (control freak much?) and to my surprise, I hadn’t moved. This feeling, from what I’ve since been told, is the result of sensory deprivation AKA what I was paying for. They should definitely put that on the box. I took another deep breath and lay back down for round two.
AND BOREDOM STRUCK…
I closed my eyes and wondered how much time I had left? It felt like ten minutes had passed, which meant I had another 50 minutes of floating to do; could I make it? I’d accepted that float tank therapy wasn’t for me; I was going to be a one time floater, yep, one time only. Knowing I couldn’t leave any earlier, I took another deep breath and decided to enjoy my last 50 minutes for what it was. It was then, and only then that something changed….
I STOPPED FIGHTING MY THOUGHTS…
Perhaps you needed this Alyse? You definitely needed a time out; everyone says so. You’re go, go, go, but is it for the right reasons? Are you on the right path? The thoughts started circling, but for the first time in a long time, I had the time to process them.
AND IT WAS OVER, JUST LIKE THAT.
Before I knew it, I stirred to the sound of the gentle music indicating that my time was up. Where on earth had the time gone? I got out, confused and a little tired, had I nodded off? It honestly felt like I’d been in there for 15 minutes tops.
I left relaxed, and whilst I enjoyed the experience, I wasn’t convinced that ‘float therapy’ was for me. I knew I needed time to force myself to switch off, but did I need to spend the cash (it’s not cheap)? However, when push came to shove, I bought a 3 pack (seemed more reasonable price wise) and decided then and there that I’d need to give it another shot before I ruled it out completely. The next day, EVERY SINGLE one of my stiff and sore muscles had resolved, I felt like a new woman, could this be the answer to the stiff neck, back and shoulders we all get from chronic desk/computer overuse?
If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ll know I went back for round 2 of float therapy last night. My old right shoulder RSI was giving me grief and I knew the float tank would give me some relief. I jumped into the tank for round two and I noticed how much more relaxed I was. Yes, there were times I was juggling thoughts and feelings, but I came at it from an entirely different perspective, but I was at peace with the experience, the timing, the environment, I gained so much more than I did the first time. When I went to reception to pay, the staff mentioned that it takes more than one go to reap the full benefits of the therapy, I couldn’t agree with them more.
For those of you wondering, my right shoulder is feeling 100 times better. I highly recommend float therapy to anyone, especially those with musculoskeletal issues, elite athletes and those who struggle to sleep, the high doses of magnesium will work wonders.
A huge thank you to the team at Freedom Float Centre, Burleigh for the experience. For those of you wondering this is not a sponsored post, nor did I receive any freebies! Just my honest review and these guys deserve a mention.