By Sally Symonds
It was the end of a particularly stressful week for me. Apart from being the busiest time of the year for me (work-wise) a close friend’s disabled son had had major spinal surgery so I had been up at the hospital every day offering support, cooking meals, picking up odds and ends they needed from the shops and so on. Of course to cope with the added stress I’d also done a few mega-training sessions at the gym and (because I am a time-poor idiot) I hadn’t really stretched enough at the end.. so I was sore-as as well!!!
Enter: The Float Space!
The first thing that impressed me when I arrived was the fact that it was easy to find a park right outside. I hate driving and I’m a bad driver as well… and even worse when it comes to parking. So easy access parking right outside the front door is a big bonus to me whenever I am going anywhere. Plus, there’s nothing more annoying that turning up to any kind of anti-stress treatment only to be stressed because you can’t find a park before hand and you don’t want to be running rate and then, after the treatment, having all the stress-relief quickly dissipate as you have to trek a million miles back to your car.
As soon as I entered I was struck by the calming influence of an amazing blend of aromatherapy oils, mood lighting, comfy chairs, a chill out zone.
My first stop was the Infrared Sauna. I’m not a big fan of traditional saunas – I prefer to get my sweat in other ways! But Infrared saunas are different.
They are said to detox you at a rate 6x greater than other saunas, resulting in deep cellular cleansing. I don’t know whether that is true or not (and I must confess I think my cells would be pretty clean anyway! lol!), but did I feel like it reduced my stress and fatigue levels? Did I feel that it reduced pain? `Did I feel like it reduced water retention and bloating? Yes! Yes! And Yes!
Again, the secluded room was extremely clean, calm and peaceful. 30 minutes to sit around and do nothing sounded like both a mixture of heaven and hell. I took in some magazines in case I became bored. I didn’t! It was just so relaxing I nearly fell asleep – and the 30 minutes went by in the blink of an eye-lid (maybe I did fall asleep???)
After that I watched a quick 5 minute video about how to float. Normally I don’t read instructions – but this one was really helpful in order to get the most out of the float experience.
Then I was off to my private float room for a quick shower in my own individual shower.
Then it was time to jump into the pod.
Stepping into the pod itself was not as weird as you might think. You can leave the lid open if you like and have the lights off or on. I decided to go the whole shebang and turn off the lights and close the pod lid. I must confess that sometimes I can get a little bit claustrophobic, but there was none of that sensation as I was inside. It’s very spacious.
The head and neck rest (along with the water-tight ear plugs) mean that you are totally comfortable inside and can really relax without the fear of drowning.
For the first 10 minutes inside the pod relaxation music gently plays in the background. I also used this time to experiment with some of the different float positions I’d seen in the pre-float video. And (although you aren’t really supposed to do this) because I was revelling in the supreme sensation of anti-gravity I did a few snow-angel type movements accompanied by wiggling hips etc. (Ok I am really just a child at heart). I think you could also get a great oblique workout in here if you really wanted to…
After 10 minutes the music stops then there is 45 minutes of silence before the relaxation music comes on again in the last 5 minutes to show you that your float time is up. What the hell did I do for 45 minutes??? I relaxed. No seriously, I relaxed. I’m not one for traditional meditation. My mind wonders too much. My “meditation” usually involves balancing on some kind of Swiss Ball and getting to the state of flow needed so you can’t fall off!! One day later, and I’m still a bit perplexed that I was able to switch off so easily. Certainly, I had a couple of spots of thinking (I remember imaging a seafood crepe half way through… ensure you eat enough before you go so you aren’t hungry half way through!) but, as the video suggested, I concentrated on my breathing and just breathed and relaxed for 45 mins!
Originally developed in the 1950s, float therapy has been the subject of much academic study and there are actually over 80+ studies published to date proving its effectiveness in reducing both pain and stress.
The float pod contains a shallow super-saturated Epsom salt solution, which creates an environment similar to the Dead Sea, letting you float effortlessly and enjoy a feeling of complete weightlessness.
The buoyancy removes all forces of gravity and the pod’s unique environment allows minimal sensory input to enter into your nervous system. This creates a natural bio-feedback which initiates a self-regulation process that encourages relaxation.
The consequent relaxation is augmented by the full body absorption of the magnesium that elicits the release of muscle tension as well.
I’m a big fan of Epsom salts baths to relax in and a big fan of magnesium (again to relax the muscles) as well. So when you are floating in a big, clean, giant bowl of the two its difficult not to be transported to another planet (aka the planet of supreme relaxation).
I must confess I was a bit disappointed when I heard the final music start to play. I couldn’t believe that I’d been in there for nearly an hour. I know you can also do 2 hour floats – maybe I will give that a go next time.
Anyhoo, I hoped out and showered again. The Float Space provides wonderful smelling toiletries full of essential oils plus everything else you could need to get yourself ready for the outside world again (big fluffy towels, ear cleaning solution, shampoo, conditioner, hair products, face and body moisturizers, hair dryers and straightening irons + a selection of aromatherapy mists for you to choose from depending on if you wanted to continue the state of relaxation or be uplifted or energized).
Then there’s the chill out lounge where you can enjoy a cup of home-blend tea (I had the tummy digestive one – yummy!) and read a magazine or do some colouring in, perhaps while you wait for a friend to finish re-readying themselves for the outside world as well.
The staff were extremely welcoming and professional. The whole experience was just so soothing!
The Float Space has only been open for a couple of weeks here in Brisbane but they have been running a very successful branch in Maroochydore in the Sunshine Coast for a couple of years – and it’s easy to see why.
Not only did I feel psychologically re-charged after the whole experience, my muscles felt rejuvenated and not sore at all (ready for the next training session!)
I rang my friend later that night to see how her son was going:
“You sound terrible,” she said
“No, I’m great!” I replied, “I’m just all dopey from the float.”
“Oh, then you sound really good then!”
And I was!!! And that night I slept like a baby!!!
Apart from Infrared Saunas and Floats, the Float Space also offers cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy exposes your whole body to temperatures between minus 150 degrees celsius to minus 170 degrees celsius for 2 to 3 minutes.
This stimulates your body to go into survival mode by shunting blood from the extremities to the core where the blood is enriched with oxygen, enzymes and nutrients. As the bods re-warms, this nutrient rich blood floods the body, promoting internal organ regeneration and detoxes damaged cells and toxins. Pain is minimised or gone and the body feels refreshed and energised. It also accelerates your collagen production!
Sadly, because I suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome (a circulation disease which makes me more susceptible to cold temperatures and chilblains and frostbite and cellulite) I wasn’t able to try that.
However, as I entered the Float Space the two males leaving had just done Cryo and they seemed to be as enamoured with the Cryo as I had been with my float! (So give that one a go if you can as well!).
I must confess that I’d been a complimentary guest of the Float Space (a lot of my clients suffer with chronic pain and stress). But the afternoon was so simultaneously relaxing and rejuvenating that I’m going to go back… I think you can buy in bulk and save… so that’s what I’m going to do!!!
P.S: The week after I wrote this buying in bulk was EXACTLY what I did – I bought a pack of 8 floats. Bliss!!!!
For your chance to experience the Float Space and win one of 5 Double Detox and De-Stress Packages comprising of a 60 min float therapy session and 30 min farinfared sauna (valued at $117 each) simply enter your details here. Good luck!!!
With courtesy from Sally Symonds – Repost from Sally’s blog at https://sallysymonds.com/would-you-like-to-detox-de-stress-and-win/