I have always wondered what it would be like inside a floatation tank. The very fact that one hour’s float is the equivalent to four hours’ deep sleep is enough to appeal to almost everyone I know.
Just before we went to Blighty for the Christmas holidays, I gave it a go. There are only two float centres here in Singapore and this one came massively recommended by a friend who has trouble sleeping. He floats twice a week.
I really didn’t know what to expect; I half-imagined a dark room with a sort of coffin-shaped box in the corner. Are you starkers? Do you have to wear a swimming costume? Are you alone?
I got a nice surprise when I walked in to my very own room, (phew – that hurdle jumped) dominated by a big, egg shaped pod.
My fears began to slowly ebb away: it looked more like something Thumbelina was born in vs Frankenstein’s coffin. The picture (above) doesn’t lend much perspective but you can properly stretch out in there, rather than have your hands pinned to your side.
Beautifully clean, there is a limestone-clad shower area in one corner of the room. You shower first, before popping in some ear plugs – put them in properly, the water is so salty you don’t want it anywhere near the inside of your ears.
The idea is to completely relax when inside the pod. The immense amount of salt means you float as soon as you lie down; your whole body is weightless (perhaps I don’t need to do Clean & Lean after all?). It’s almost zero gravity in there which means absolutely no pressure on any parts of your body. It. Feels. Amazing.
I went when I was really pooped so managed to doze off almost instantly. I really recommend doing your first float with a bit of a hangover as there is much less temptation to over think it all (which I am told can happen on your first float: I must relax, I must relax etc).
There’s a bit of music for the first five minutes which keeps you nice and calm and stops you feeling like you’ve been cut off from all forms of life; you can get familiar with it all and try out various floating positions until you find one that works. The lights in the pod change from pink to blue to green at various intervals. The idea is that once the music has stopped, you have found a position that works, you have the pod lights off and the pod lid shut.
You are in complete control of the lights and the lid at all times and can snap them on or push it open if you get too hot or feel panicked (try not to though as it’s hard to regain composure after a panic). It’s all about sensory deprivation and creating an undistracting space in which you can totally and utterly relax.
The salt in the water is meant to be great for the skin as well as any muscle aches and pains as it draws out lactic acid (having been somewhat slack of the exercise front recently, that benefit doesn’t really apply to me).
I am champing at the bit to get back there sometime this week – feeling rotten with a horrible cold and sore throat. I can fall asleep while sitting on the sofa so I assume I will have just as good a float second time around.
The best bit? There is an incredible value first timer trial price of $50 for an hour’s flotation. Do it!
I am fully a paid up member of Float and have not been paid or comped to write this article.