WHO - - Wellness - LAU­REN IRVINE

If you’re not a fan of ly­ing half-naked on a cold ta­ble while some stranger mas­sages your body, then float ther­apy may be the al­ter­na­tive for you. Float tanks are often called sen­sory de­pri­va­tion tanks, which at first, can sound a bit ex­treme. But fear not; it sim­ply means the tanks block out sound and ex­ter­nal light to make your ex­pe­ri­ence more re­lax­ing. I got to try out the 75-minute pam­per ses­sion at Flow Revive in Padding­ton to es­cape the mid-week mad­ness.

The one-per­son tanks are filled with warm wa­ter, which is highly sat­u­rated with salt and mag­ne­sium. Ath­letes often use mag­ne­sium (some­times in the form of Ep­som salts) to help with mus­cle re­cov­ery and sore­ness. Some pre­fer to take the sup­ple­ment as a tablet, but when ab­sorbed through the skin – in ei­ther a float tank or spray – none of the min­er­als are lost through di­ges­tion so you can reap more of its ben­e­fits.

While I’ve heard of oth­ers fall­ing asleep or go­ing into a deep trance state while in a sen­sory de­pri­va­tion tank, I didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence ei­ther. But what I did feel was an in­ter­nal re­lax­ation that lasted for hours af­ter.

Some of the ben­e­fits of float ther­apy in­clude stress re­lief, sleep im­prove­ment and in­jury re­cov­ery. As well as hav­ing ex­tremely soft hair in the weeks fol­low­ing, I def­i­nitely felt like I’d had a quick R&R hol­i­day for the rest of the evening. Hav­ing re­cently suf­fered a soft tis­sue in­jury in my knee, the float ther­apy helped to re­duce the in­flam­ma­tion and re­laxed the tight­ened mus­cles around my knee.

The only thing that slightly spoiled my ‘in the mo­ment’ en­joy­ment, was ac­ci­den­tally splashing some of the salt wa­ter in my eye – which was very un­pleas­ant, but luck­ily I had a spray bot­tle with clean wa­ter to rinse it out.

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