Bit of a different one to what you would usually expect from us review wise, as we undertake a personal growth journey to consciously improve our mental health and wellness. Mental health has taken centre stage with young people in recent times and with good reason. We wanted to take the bull by the horns and jump right in at the deep end.
We had read and heard a lot about float tanks but hadn’t met anyone in real life who has used floatation therapy, so we dived right in.
So what is float tank and floatation therapy?
Floatation, also known as floating, is a practice where you float effortlessly in a special pod of Epsom Salt water. Without the constant noise of analysing the world around you, your body lowers its levels of cortisol (which is the main chemical component of stress) and your brain releases elevated levels of endorphins.
Sounds great right!?
We found the highest reviewed ‘float spa’ in Brighton and Hove and stumbled upon The Float Spa. A whopping 97 reviews and a 4.9 rating! Intrigued we found a little more information on their website…
"During a flotation, your muscles, joints, and bones take a well-deserved break. Your mind becomes still and your body suddenly has loads of extra resources, which allows it to focus on things like healing and resting – the stress simply floats away. The spine lengthens an inch, chronic pain is relieved, and your muscles are allowed to fully recover. Unlike lying on a mattress, lying in water allows blood to flow freely all throughout your body.
About 40 minutes into your float at The Float Spa in Hove, your brain stops producing its normal Alpha waves and starts churning out Theta waves. The Theta state is typically associated with advanced meditative techniques and provides an immense clarity of thought and an experience of the pure essence of being. Floatation is a tool that makes this state easily accessible to anyone"
Furthermore "Just like Yoga, Meditation, working out and any form of active wellness, floating is also a practice, the more you float the more you will enjoy floating's cumulative benefits.”
Before going to the float spa I practiced meditation and yoga but by no means would considered myself an expert or a regular practitioner. I was a little apprehensive and nervous with the fear of the unknown.
When I arrived my fears were instantly eased. I was greeted by Sarah who is the spa’s most experienced 'floater’ she has racked up easily way over 200+ hours and talked me through what to expect. She explained how they have clients as young as 9 years old who reap the benefits of floating, as well as a tale about a Builder who was renowned for his anger on site and after just one session was at peace the entire next day and his shouting and anger ceased almost overnight! (Said builder has became a regular of The Float Spa since his work colleagues all chip in for him to have regular floats)
The Spa is relaxing with nice aromas and ambience throughout. After a brief pep talk I was shown to my room. Inside the room there is the floatation tank, a shower and a chair and table with everything you need. Towels, shower gels and ear plugs are provided. I hopped into the tank and my session began.
Within a few moments I instantly felt at ease. The water was body temperature and the salts easily supported my entire body weight. During the first 10 minutes natural sounds are played into the tank to help put your mind at ease before a further 50 minutes of complete darkness and silence. The tank is pitch black, a light is provided for those who prefer it but we elected for no light. It is an extremely unique experience. It is rare that even if your eyes are wide open or completely shut, you see and experience the exact same. With the ear plugs and complete silence a wave of relaxation came over my body and mind. It sounds scary but once you experience it you will find comfort, an odd way to describe it but very accurate it is almost as if you have climbed back in to the womb.
I expected my mind to be working at a million miles per hour and work to dominate my consciousness but it was deeper more meaningful thoughts that came and went, as family and close relatives popped into my thoughts. Not once did I feel anything other than calmness and peace and even thoughts of family members lost didn’t disrupt that feeling. It is an odd thing to try and put into words but it’s almost as if you are in control of your emotions and can see your thoughts for exactly what they are… just thoughts! A few times I felt close to a deep state of relaxation and content before another thought would wander into my consciousness before drifting off.
As my session came to a peaceful end I hopped out and had a shower. Never has a shower been so relaxing - I didn’t want it to end. An incredible feeling of relaxation as the noise that your brain constantly makes by just being awake and on had completely lifted. After getting dressed and exiting my room I was ushered into a quiet seating area and allowed to choose from a fantastic selection of natural tea’s. It was there I met a lady called Linda who uses floatation therapy for the physical benefits as well, something I wasn’t previously aware. The weightlessness of the tank can help people with spine difficulties and offers a chance for the pressure on the spine to be relieved if only for an hour. After chatting away, in a great mood, for half an hour I reluctantly made my way home. Whilst the Floatation therapy was a rewarding and beneficial experience in itself it is the profound effects outside of the tank that really make a difference. The little things didn’t bother me as much, I felt like I had an extra second or so before deciding how to react to things... the fog had lifted. I went to bed and for the first time in forever there was no noise, no mind racing at a million miles, just peace.
After sleeping as well as I have done so in many years and walking into the office at 8am with a smile on my face it suddenly hit me… maybe there is sometimes to all this wellness stuff, there is merit in looking after your own mental health and maybe I could enjoy life a lot more by making some small changes. Sarah recommended 3 ‘floats’ before deciding if it is for you but all it took for me is one. My next appointment is already booked and whilst especially for students it isn’t the cheapest way you can spend an hour of your life it is definitely one of the most beneficial and rewarding. They say you can’t put a price on health and up until now I didn’t know that should include mental health. I now consider myself well and truly converted from an almost epiphanic experience and all cheaper than a day or night out too.
You can find out more information about The Float Spa by heading over to their website www.thefloatspa.co.uk