For years I’ve thought this whole mindfulness thing was a fad.
I’d downloaded Headspace, I’d tried to clear my brain but nothing worked – I just couldn’t meditate!
But, while researching cryotherapy for this blog, I stumbled across floatation therapy, which involves lying in sensory deprivation tank filled with salt water, the latest ‘wellness’ trend.
The science behind floatation therapy is largely anecdotal but it is often used, alongside other therapies, to treat people with PTSD, inflammation, joint and muscle pain, as well as anxiety and depression. In Sweden, it’s part of their free national healthcare, here it’s still considered a luxury.
I was sceptical at first, but having recently discovered Stranger Things and not wanting to turn down an excuse to emulate my inner Eleven, I went to give it a go.
Floatworks is an unassuming centre in St George Wharf, Vauxhall, London. You’re escorted to your own private room with dark lighting and shown how to use everything. The pod itself is a white, plastic, egg-like shape which opens and closes like a clam.
There’s a shower for washing before and after, some earplugs to prevent the water getting in, petroleum to protect cuts and even a float for your head, in case you want some extra support.
You’re then left to your own devices. Floatworks recommends that you try the experience naked but, if you’re a newbie, you might prefer to wear a costume for the first time!
Inside the pod, there’s a switch for turning off the lights and a button to call a member of staff, in case you feel like you need rescuing!
You immerse yourself in the water, which is 35.5 degrees Celsius, the same as skin temperature and saturated with Epsom Salts, allowing you to float effortlessly. The air in the pod is also kept at the same temperature.
The thought of being left in the dark with nothing but my own mind to entertain me was a slightly scary prospect, but I surprised myself and found the experience hugely enlightening.
As I turned the lights off and the relaxing ambient music began to fade, I found myself in complete nothingness. Within minutes, I had no concept where my body ended and the water began.
The sensation is like those moments before you fall asleep, where you’re only really present inside your head. I must confess, I think I dozed off for a bit and had some strange lucid dreams.
Despite my reservations, I emerged truly relaxed and zen – I was taken aback at how easily I managed to switch off, despite being in the centre of London. My muscles and back also felt relaxed, as if I’d spent the day at a spa.
After your float, you can take a shower and dry off, then relax in the Floatworks’ chill room, complete with bean bags, books and bags of herbal tea!
There’s also a room with hairdryers and straighteners, so you can leave Floatworks feeling and looking great.
An hour-long float session costs £50, which is quite steep but I genuinely felt the positive effects of it and would be tempted to return. When you compare it to the cost of other spa treatments, it’s not so bad!
So, if you’re struggling to get some headspace, or looking for a quiet moment of respite, I would definitely recommend!
To find out more and to book a float, visit the Floatworks website here
I received a complimentary float from Floatworks for the purposes of this review but all opinions are my own