FLOATATION WELLNESS CENTRE REVIEW BY ADELE CARMICHAEL
Situated on the historical Woodbine terrace amongst the parade of shops is the newly established Floatation Wellness Centre. As I open the door, I am greeted by a smiley man named Mark, joint owner and accomplished ‘floater’ who starts off with a quick introduction and a chat about what I would like to get out of this experience.
For me, I have always been interested in sensory therapy. My interest in music has focused on areas such as music therapy, binaural beats, Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). Floatation was the next on my list.
A sensory deprivation tank also called an isolation tank or flotation tank is used for restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST). A way of closing off all environmental elements to help stimulate the senses.
Mark takes me through to the floatation room and explains the area and how the pod works. It is a private light space, with whites walls, clean lines and the smell of lychee oil fragrancing the air. There is the super futuristic pod – not do dissimilar from the ship from the flight of the navigator! A spacious shower area and a separate dressing room – complete with dressing table, hairdryer, toiletries, fresh fluffy towel, and brushes.
Mark hands me some earplugs and explains that before stepping into the pod, its best to pop in the ear plugs and shower first. He then gives me the option of music, I choose to have music the first five minutes of the experience, then the last five minutes – as recommended.
Mark steps out and leaves me to the room, and so the floatation experience begins! Popping the earplugs in then showering first is a brilliant way to not only keep the salty water out of your ears but to also gently ease your body and mind into the sensory element.
Inside there is a button for light, a dry face flannel, and some water spray. There is also a button to contact the therapist outside if you needed. The light is a lilac light which is incredibly soothing. The warm water is filled with huge amounts of Epsom salts which gives you the ability to float. I climb in and close the pod behind me – (if you are not great in small spaces the handle is an easy push design)
I remember being a kid and reading about the Dead Sea, how the amount of salt vs water can support the whole body letting it bob like a cork. As I lay back, even though I knew I was able to float but the sensation was still a pleasant surprise! I bob along exploring positions as the music weaves in and out. It was recommended as a ‘first floater’ i try to relax my neck – as most first-timers tend to tense not letting the water take the weight. After about ten minutes I experiment with the light and eventually turn it off to explore the darkness. In the past, I have suffered panic attacks and anxiety – not in a million years did I think I would be able to close the door and float about in a dark isolation pod. I flicked the light off and away I floated!! It was amazing! It was brilliantly disorientating, at one point I thought I was one way up but then feeling the light buttons – had discovered I had bobbed in a different direction. Imagining I was in space floating – the water is the perfect temperature and with the pod closed, the temperature helps keep the body the same temperature encouraging the sensation of being completely emerged but relaxed – thinking of absolutely nothing at all was the best way to spend a winter Sunday.
I could have possibly nodded off or reached the great realms of meditation but my experience did not feel like 50 minutes – I could have spent hours in there! As the music started for the last 5 minutes, I gently stretched out (had the most satisfying bone cracking stretches too!) the lights soon warmed the room back up and I was ready to shower.
Now showered and changed, I was also able to dry my hair properly – no visions of swimming pool damp hair when leaving! The Flotation Wellness Centre provided a state of the art air dryer with clip and barrel brush.
I was able to catch up with Mark with a glass of water and have a quick chat. Mark and his wife decide to open the Flotation Wellness Centre as an alternative to medicated treatment. After a back injury, Mark decided to try holistic therapies to try and help get to the root of the problem. The pair swears by the flotation experience, they have many clients that suffer from Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Anxiety and the feedback from these clients has been nothing but positive. Mark explains that one of the best bits about the job is seeing clients leave so happy and rosy-cheeked.
The couple are incredibly down to earth, it helps that they have experienced the benefits themselves. I felt so at ease and was confident to ask any questions I had without feeling silly due to my inexperience.
For me the experience was excellent, my skin feels super smooth too! will definitely be booking another.
Top tip – the music at the start and finish was a great way of soothing you in and out of the experience. Try to keep the rest of your afternoon free so you can feel the benefit of the experience. I was lucky enough to be able to walk home which was a nice way to wake from the zen state.