The story of The Float Space starts in early 2014 when Janina Hildebrand and Felipe Galler were searching for a cure for Janina’s ongoing mysterious health problem and stumbled across floatation therapy. Floatation changed Janina’s and Felipe’s life and they became so passionate about this truly unique therapy, to the point that they made it their life’s purpose to share floating with as many people as possible to help them improve their quality of lives safely and naturally.
A former elite athlete in the disciplines of modern pentathlon and Olympic distance triathlons, Janina was born in Bonn, Germany and raised in West Africa. After obtaining a BSc in Health Sciences at Hamburg University she moved to Perth in 2008, to work as a health promotion project officer at Curtin University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, where she commenced a PhD in Public Health.
Waking up daily to go for a run along Perth’s beautiful beaches, cycling 40km to work to smash out crazy long work hours only to head to the pool after work and finish off the day with a 4k swim – for Janina, this was living the ultimate dream. Life couldn’t have been better, until early 2012 Janina suddenly began experiencing health issues, such as fatigue in the mornings, an inability to concentrate and blurry vision. Symptoms extended into extreme migraines, insomnia, gut issues, short term memory loss, migrating joint pains and over 50 other health symptoms which led her to seek the advice of doctors, who consistently advised her that she just had a ‘virus’ that would pass.
Janina knew something was seriously wrong when she couldn’t get out of bed one day, and remained bed ridden for the next 3 months battling not just a mysterious illness, but the scepticism of the medical authorities who could find no obvious reason for what she was experiencing.
No amount of rest alleviated the symptoms she was experiencing and any type of mental or physical activity, no matter how little, threw her back so she would end up in bed again for days, weeks, sometimes even months.
Frustrated by the lack of answers, Janina decided to take matters into her own hands and over the next two and half years experimented with a suite of natural medicines and therapies including homeopathy, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, naturopathy, hormone therapy, supplements, heavy metal chelation therapy, ozone therapy, a complex battery of IV and oral supplements and herbs, and even travelled to see specialists in the US, Germany and an Ayurvedic clinic in Sri Lanka, with no real improvement to her health. On the contrary, as the months went by, Janina’s health was rapidly declining and she was so debilitated that she remained bed or house bound at best, barely able to do simple chores most of us take for granted, such as making a meal or cleaning the house.
It was only when a friend who had experienced similar health issues, suggested she get tested for Lyme disease. Janina had her bloods sent for testing to Germany, which came back with a positive answer. However, after months of aggressive treatment protocols, she still saw no significant improvement and continued her research, which is when she found floatation.
Curious about this concept she booked in a session for herself and Felipe at the only float centre in Perth at the time, and already during her first float she realised that something incredible was happening to her.
When emerging from her float, for the first time in the past 3 years she felt truly energised, had mental clarity and was able to sleep through the night.
This motivated Janina to start a regular practice of floating twice per week to see where this could take her. She initially floated at this frequency for several months and her health started improving dramatically to the point that now, two years later, she feels healthy and vibrant again.
It is also interesting to note that besides detoxification methods including daily far infrared sauna sessions, juice cleanses and a raw vegan diet, Janina discontinued all other therapies and supplements she was on soon after she started floating.
Looking back over the past years before Janina got sick she realised that her illness was likely attributed to burn out and a constant state of too high stress levels, anxiety and due to this being stuck in fight or flight modus. The constant stress would have caused an increase in the body’s acidity levels, which can be the true cause of many chronic health conditions.
It makes sense that no matter how healthy she thought she was fitness and diet-wise, the lack of active recovery periods over years caused a serious strain on the body to the point that it forced her to literally stop everything.
Felipe has had a long career in the hospitality industry as a chef on cruise liners in ,and at exclusive hotels in London before moving to Perth, Australia in 2007. He made a switch to sharing his knowledge as a chef lecturer at the Australian College of Applied Education from 2008 and then went on to feed hungry workers on offshore oil and gas projects for several years.
Towards the end of his time working offshore he discovered floating accelerated his recovery time after long fly-in-fly-out shifts, and it also helped him relieve tired muscles after his surf sessions fast. Towards the end of his career in the hospitality industry, Felipe had also developed work-related tendonitis in his wrist from cheffing. After no improvement for months, he was forced to take nine months off to have surgery and undergo physiotherapy. While the surgery helped to some extent it still did not relieve the pain he was experiencing and only when he started floating did the pain finally disappear.
What is the floating effect?
Floating benefits the healing process through 3 key aspects:
1. Epsom salt: The huge amount of Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) in the float tank acts as an alkalising and detoxifying agent. With over 600kg of Epsom salt in the float tank, its effect is so strong that 1 hour floating is equivalent to a 3 day fast!
2. Zero gravity: The density of the water creates a very unique environment, because when you float, all forces of gravity are removed from our body. Our body is constantly putting a significant amount of energy into resisting gravity. In fact, 80-90% of the brain’s energy goes towards sitting, standing, walking, and keeping your body upright without us barely spending a thought on this. When we float, huge amounts of energy is freed up by your body when you spend an hour in a gravity free environment which the float tank provides.
3. Automatic relaxation response: The perhaps the most beneficial aspect of floating for anyone struggling with a chronic condition is that floating produces a natural biofeedback which initiates a self-regulation process that encourages deep relaxation and healing for the mind and body.
- With all external stimuli removed, floating allows your brain to easily shift into a theta brain waive state.
- This state profoundly enhances the rejuvenation of the brain and all cells in the body, giving you a chance to truly rest and heal.
- According to Dr Justin Feinstein, Director of the Laureate Institute of Brain Research in the US, floating shuts off the amygdala, or ‘ancient brain’, where the fight or flight response originates from.
- This doesn’t happen when simply relaxing, meditating or even sleeping, and nowadays is being done through the use of pharmaceutical drugs like anti-depressants such as Ativan, which obviously come with a host of negative side effects whereas floating is perfectly safe and natural
While it might sound like a simple concept in comparison to the super complex treatment protocols out there for Lyme disease, adrenal fatigue and other chronic diseases, it could also be the simplicity of this concept what makes floating so effective. Floatation gives your body a chance to fully focus its energy on mobilising its healing energies, something that is pretty rare under usual conditions.
Floating as a life style
Floating is now a crucial part of Janina’s and Felipe’s life to maintain their health and well-being, something they believe should not be a luxury, but a necessity for everyone. If you live a stressful busy life, floating gives you the chance to reboot your mind and body, preventing burn out and other chronic health conditions to manifest.
If you struggle with health issues, committing to a regular float practice can accelerate your body’s ability to heal, calming the nervous system and bringing the body back into homeostasis.
For others, such as athletes, business people, professionals and students, floating can help you reach your full potential both mentally and physically.
Intrigued by the versatile application of float therapy, the creation of The Float Space has first and foremost been realising Janina and Felipe’s dream of sharing this incredible therapy with as many people as possible, and raising awareness about the many benefits this safe and natural therapy has for all aspects of our lives.
Passionate and deeply invested in their services, Janina and Felipe are driven by providing others with access to alternative tools so that they can find ways to help themselves and become empowered to shine bright too!
Contact us to find out more how we can help you elevate your health and well-being or book in a float today!