A few months ago I talked about my top Three Ways To Try Mindfulness, and promised a follow-up on one particular area – floatation therapy. If you follow me on Instagram or snapchat (@iamnotivana) you’d know I’m no newbie to floating, but Sunday morning I woke up at 5am and headed out to Rest House Float Centre for a 3-hour session (my longest yet). This post is split into two – the basics, and how floatation has affected my life. I’ll start with the basics.
BASICS AND FAQS
Floatation is a form of stress relief and relaxation through sensory deprivation where, upon entering the Dream Pod tank, you’re submerged in around 500kg of Epsom salt dissolved in a shallow (30cm) pool of water. The pod itself is heated at water temperature for a comfortable session, and in my experience makes you feel as if you’re floating on air because your mind can’t distinguish where your body ends and water starts. Your body is naturally buoyant in this salt-water solution, so it’s a mission to even try push yourself to the bottom (not pictured above is me bobbing around for 5 minutes trying to sit up).
So you’ve given into curiosity and made it this far – what do you do? Lie down, lid closed, mind open and lights off (recommended). What are you left with?
Silence, and Yourself.
Scary? Your mind may buzz for a hot minute until you adjust. Claustrophobic?
The Dream Pod’s are spacious and don’t have a latch on the door, so relax you panic stations – there’s no way to get stuck inside.
In case you do need assistance – there is an assistance button that will alert a staff member and a light switch with 3 settings (a blue light, changing colours, and off) for comfort.
Typically, people either sleep or go in to focus on anything from life to business, exams, creative projects etc. Others flow with whatever organically happens and can experience heightened visualization, coming out feeling exhilarated, as if they were on another planet.
While relaxation is the most common benefit associated with floatation, what tempts you may be different. Maybe you need some form of muscle relief or recovery. Or maybe suffer from fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression, stress, migraines, high blood pressure, or chronic pain. Maybe you just want to gain clarity. Floatation is the only way to completely disconnect and focus, without distraction from external stimuli. There’s nothing to smell, nothing to see, nothing to hear, and nothing to touch. Imagine that.
MY FLOATING EXPERIENCE & BENEFITS
Creativity is most relevant to my day-to-day life, so an aid in that area is where it gets interesting for me. I’ve always been a creative person and have linked happiness and freedom to the creativity of what I do and my ability to do it as much and best I can. I’ve always been a writer. Ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed story-writing, journalism, song writing, and of course, blogging. It has always been the primary way I expressed myself and strived to do uniquely.
My biggest roadblocks have been of my own making – I’ve procrastinated, gotten easily distracted, did things in a hurry just to get them done, and downright avoided things I loved because my end goals were harder to obtain in comparison to distracting myself with whatever was at hand. The list could go on and on for you.
Personally, I can’t force myself to do anything pre-conceived in the tank. While I’ve had plenty of sessions that were productive, I’ve had just as many (or more) where I’ve gone in hoping attain something and ended up in a deep sleep up until the end. Even then, the benefits make themselves known later on. I become more focus, determined (especially if my brain decided to reevaluate life choices and habits in the tank), inspired, and most importantly, I am encouraged to take action.
The proof for me is in the fact that these days, once I write, it continues to flow freely in a fresh perspective and in different formats, when in the past I’ve struggled to write 50 words on a blog post. The proof is in the pages and pages of notebooks I’ve filled up for other creative projects, and have gotten the courage to begun publishing here and there. My writing has improved, I find inspiration in the smallest things, and have begun finding my voice again after losing it among trying to do what other’s were doing (which inevitably brought on my hiatus). I still get that little voice inside of my head that tempts me to check Instagram, or watch another episode of The Mindy Project, but there’s another one that’s asking rhetorically if my desire to achieve everything I want is stronger than my desire to do the easy thing in that moment – be lazy. The answer is always yes.
I’m yet to have an out-of-body experience or hallucinate – but I’m open to it and quite frankly, hope to. Imagine having an outside perspective on you, and life itself, via an experience that’s hard to explain? Imagine the clarity you can gain from giving yourself “me time,” something that doesn’t involve obsessively scrolling through your news feed.
I’ve reassessed my life, become a little more ballsy in the past few months, and turned myself from a heart (doing what I want) over head (pleasing everyone else) person for once in my life when it comes to the decisions I make with my life.
Ultimately because I’ve gained a better understanding of myself, how my mind works, and how to do what I can with what I have, so that even my weaknesses work in my favour. Really the only “issue” I currently have with floating is how to beat my personal best. Next goal… a 5 hour session.
(If you live in Melbourne or are coming down to visit – I high recommend stopping by at Rest House Float Centre. The staff are incredible, and the space will give you interior envy for days. And just quietly, they’re also giving away 3 float sessions and 3 tickets to Joe Rogan’s show on Saturday night. If you’re interstate or overseas – chucking them a follow on Facebook or Instagram doesn’t hurt.)