I'm a professional web developer and copywriter from Melbourne, Australia.
Published March 2nd 2018
Recently I have been taking some time out to visit what is known as a floatation centre, the one I have chosen is called Rest House Float Centre in Hampton East, Melbourne.
The business offers a boutique style relaxation therapy, which involves floating in a sound-proof, light-proof tank, filled with 50% epsom salt and 50% water solution. The amount of salt in the tank causes you to float on the surface and, being without sound or light, it makes you feel like you are floating in a zero gravity environment.
It seems that comparison isn't too far from the truth either, as the salt does effectively cause the forces of gravity to be unable to draw you down into the solution, hence producing the floatation effect.
Rest House Floatation Tank Centre in Melbourne, Australia
Floatation therapy has a number of benefits, however what I have found most beneficial is the effect upon the mind in terms of stress and anxiety relief, along with relief from back pain and muscle tension.
There is a range of known benefits and proven science behind floatation tanks, which were originally, and to some extent still, viewed as questionable.
Floating inside a floatation tank produces a significant reduction in overall stress signals, including relief from anxiety, everyday stress, and work related stress, along with reducing the possibility of work related burn-out. Hence floatation tanks are a cost effective solution for people looking to increase work productivity and hours.
I knew about the research before taking part, and also knew about the perception that it carried in its early years, when it was tagged as just a hippy invention with no proven benefits.
Personally after each float I feel less stressed. Floats of around 2 hours allow you to get accustomed to the tank, but when starting out, just 45 minutes to 1 hour is all you need. You can build up to longer sessions over time.
When floating, the best idea is to just focus on the feeling of floatation itself, and on your breathing. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to focusing on the feeling of floatation, the soundless tank and your own breath. Your heart beat can also sometimes be heard pumping through the water below, and this can at times echo inside the tank, especially if you are really stressed out. Don't let this freak you out, it's all part of the experience.
So far the only negative reports I have heard about floatation tank therapy is from people who are claustrophobic, but this can be remedied by leaving the tank open while floating, keeping the light on, or a combination of both.
For me the effects on stress and anxiety last around 1 month after each float. Floating regularly, such as every 2 weeks, can prolong this effect so it lasts indefinitely. Working in a high stress office environment in a highly competitive industry makes my stress levels high. I was on medication previously but after floating I found I experienced the same level of calmness from the tank as I did taking the medication, hence I have opted to choose floatation tank sessions rather than medication now in the long term.
If you are looking for more information on this type of treatment, I highly recommend you visit the Rest House Float Centre website here.