Walking into The Float Room at Marion the ambiance is pure peace, the décor is modern and the staff hold an angelic like approach with their warmth, nurture and genuine inviting approach.
I am not going to lie, my first experience I was anxious, but not for the reasons you might imagine. For me the first hurdle was the naked factor, I know there are a lot of you that are nudists by nature … but alas I am not one of your people. The first thing I did was line up my clothes at the door in a military type procession that if indeed there was an evacuation, I had the best possible opportunity for safety minus the nudity!
The float tank was bigger than I imagined and I was relieved, the first few minutes were all about getting myself “sorted”; face washer, light switch, roof open, and then the “horizontal jumping jack ” movements to test out how solid this salt actually was. Once I established there was no way of sinking or drowning I decided to lie back and begin my relax, that is after taking a quick last minute check that my clothes had not moved.
And then it began … the silence, bar one little sound … my heart beating, almost echoing in the water: it was incredible and eerie all at the same time. It really stopped my mind for a moment as I began to listen to the rhythm, count the beats and realise that very sound echoed life itself. What was even more pronounced was that it was the sound of ME as in JUST ME, no one else, not a mum, wife, sister, daughter, friend … just ME the woman. It had been a while since I had heard her – the heartbeat and she was sweet.
I’m guessing around the 15 minute mark I decided to get brave, I grabbed hold of the two handles to close the roof of the tank to experience the enclosure and lay back down. “This is all good, I got this” I told myself, and just like that I decided to “rip the band aid off” and turn the mini lights off inside the tank to bring complete and utter darkness so I placed my finger on it 3.2.1 and……………………………………………………………………………………..
Pitch black as in the blackest of black, me floating naked, the sound of my heart beat was no longer calm and melodious, it was growing in rhythm I started panicking, as in flapping my arms around, seriously if there was a camera in there the footage would have gone viral. Sounds funny, but no word of a lie you would think I had just been buried alive … that one minute, possibly 5 seconds (but who’s counting!) until I found that little button to reset the light was confronting and I didn’t like it. NOT ONE LITTLE BIT!
My second float I experienced a couple of weeks later changed things for me. I realised that I was good at promoting “me” time, practising mindfulness and having time out, all of which I truly believe in. BUT the float tank was unlike any other experience I had ever had when it came to any of these practises. It created the essence of silence, thoughtfulness, stillness, and it was forced albeit by choice.
Lying in the tank the goal is simple: sensory deprivation or as I like to refer: reducing all external stimuli to a complete minimum. The “pure” physical relaxation of floating is known to trigger the body’s natural powers of healing and regeneration, which can be suppressed by the day-to-day stress of our competitive western life and the busy, busy, busy epidemic.
By my third float I noticed something, firstly my clothes were strewn all over the chair in the corner, not remotely on standby for an emergency! I climbed into the tank, closed the lid fully and turned out out the lights immediately. I was READY to do some business. That business was a cross between unraveling my mind to a place of nothingness, a few conversations with God and ultimately a place of ………………………………………
The experience is something that is hard to express, there were moments where I was unaware if my body was in or out of the water, a sensation of complete and utter weightlessness. My mind raced from the grocery list I had to pick up on the way home, to imagining being lost at sea in the middle of the night – and just how would I survive the sharks, right back to “I wonder how much longer I have got in here, surely its been an hour!” (probably the 12 minute mark)
All time is lost in there. And yet lost it really isn’t. What perfect way to nurture your body and all of its aches, pains and stress, allowing your mind to do somersaults, jumping train tracks and unraveling some of your deepest thoughts – all whilst your soul is being fed, spoken too, held and challenged. An hour so worth having!
There are countless proven medical benefits: it diminishes depression, anxiety, decreases cortisol, improves sleep, migraines, arthritis pain, reduces blood pressure, back pain. And that is just the physical.
I had no expectations walking into my experience. For the majority, my guess is after their first experience many might not return. The reason for this is similar to why people choose not to use counseling as a form of therapy or come once and never again. Why? Because it is confronting, challenging and chances are if you have a heartbeat, you have some unfinished business, self-development, working through some of the “stuff” to do and how many CHOOSE to dive on into that without hesitation?
No therapy is easy, BUT so completely worth it if you want to live a healthy and happy life.
So I dare you, commit to three floats as I did as a starting point. Step outside of your comfort zone, treat your body to the most divine relaxation and see where your mind, body and soul floats away too…
You may be pleasantly surprised … because floating … it really is the new black and not just because of the darkness….
The Float Room
69 Finnis Street Marion SA
0418 854 022