I recently experienced a half hour float in the Floatation Pool at Life Day Spa in Cape Town.
Being a water a baby, I was quite excited to give it a try. The Floatation Pool is a small, shallow pool, about knee deep that has had a serious amount of salt added to it (I think the term ‘tons’ was thrown around). The therapy simulates zero gravity that delivers many benefits to your body.
All you need to do is get in, and literally lie in the water, that is heated to body temperature, for half an hour. Just one session, the experts tell me, is equivalent to 4 hours sleep! Make mine a double, thanks!
You lie on your back, and because the water is so dense, you will float like a cork in in the shallow water, with your face and the top of your body actually poking out of the water. This will happen to you regardless of your body type or your ability to float in a normal swimming pool. You also don’t have to worry about rolling over, as this is virtually impossible – it is very difficult to keep your body under the water.
There are many benefits of floatation therapy, the biggest of which is that as opposed to a swimming pool where gravity is lowered, gravity in a floatation tank is essentially nullified by the extreme buoyancy caused by the ridiculously high salt content (just like the Dead Sea). This provides a rare opportunity for you to experience complete weightlessness. This is especially beneficial for people who are suffering from skeletal tension and joint or muscle pain. Without the constant pressure of gravity, you are able to relax and unwind.
This break from gravity, incredibly, also triggers changes in the brain. Our body’s own happy pills, endorphins are released in this state. They are also great painkillers, further helping those with chronic pain.
Through the release of endorphins, you are able to achieve a very deep sense of relaxation without having to do anything. I promise you will find it impossible to stay stressed in the warm, candle-lit chamber. There are even fiber optic ‘stars’ in the ceiling!
I’m sure I nodded off for a while, but can’t know for sure, as I was so relaxed. After 30 minutes, the lights come back on to signal the end of the session. I had meetings and deadlines to meet, but as I stood in the shower rinsing off the salt, I just didn’t care. I’m trying to work-out how I can get one at home…