Flota­tion tank ex­pe­ri­ence

Cheshire Life - - Inside -

‘You’re sup­posed to float in dark si­lence, the Ep­som salts en­sur­ing your

body stays sus­pended’

Can be­ing sus­pended in salty wa­ter re­ally help im­prove men­tal well­be­ing? Katie Mulloy finds out...

My very worst fear, is that it will feel a lit­tle like be­ing in a cof­fin. Or, at the slightly, bet­ter end of that scale, an MRI scan­ner. Ei­ther way, for a mild claus­tro­phobe it’s some­what of a con­cern.

But I have come to Zero Grav­ity Float Spa in Al­trin­cham, push­ing all of that aside, be­cause be­ing en­cased in a float tank for 60 min­utes – your en­tire body sus­pended in a mix­ture of wa­ter and half a ton of Ep­som salts – is, ap­par­ently, the lat­est path to inner calm.

Like many stressed-out work­ing moth­ers I’m prone to anx­i­ety and as I get older it only seems to be­come more acute. So I’ve tried med­i­ta­tion. I’m an ad-hoc yogi. I take deep breaths when­ever I feel things spin­ning.

Float tanks are one step on from all of that. They were ac­tu­ally de­vel­oped way back in the 1950s. But our new aware­ness of men­tal health has seen as sud­den surge in their pop­u­lar­ity. And in Cheshire, Zero Grav­ity Float Spa is ahead of the curve; the North West’s only of­fer­ing out­side of Manch­ester and Liver­pool.

The the­ory is that thanks to their sen­sory de­pri­va­tion – you are sup­posed to float in dark si­lence, the Ep­som salts en­sur­ing that your body will stay sus­pended with­out any ef­fort on your part – the brain reaches deep lev­els of re­lax­ation.

But for some­one who doesn’t like con­fined spa­ces and could turn over-think­ing into an art form, is it re­ally go­ing to work?

Af­ter fill­ing in all the nec­es­sary pa­per­work, I am shown to my float room. You shower be­fore­hand and then climb into the tank com­pletely nude.

Thanks to the de­sign of the tank (it’s large and the han­dle is right above your head), my mild claus­tro­pho­bia wasn’t an is­sue. That might also be be­cause I chose not to turn off the lights - I simply closed my eyes while the soft mood lighting changed from one pas­tel hue to the next.

Af­ter a cou­ple of false starts – don’t wipe your eyes when you have salt wa­ter drip­ping from your hands – I was able to re­lax. And then re­lax a bit more. To the point where, when I was gen­tly brought around by white lights, I won­dered why it was all end­ing af­ter what must have been 20 min­utes.

Nope, I’d been in there an hour. Even with­out the darkness and to­tal si­lence (I chose to lis­ten to waves sounds) it had been the most re­laxed I’d felt in ages. Of course after­wards I rushed off to a meet­ing, check­ing my email, tex­ting my hus­band to make sure baby and dog were all well, and the spin­ning mind started up again. But the sixty min­utes I’d left all of that out­side the tank? Ut­ter bliss.

Let your trou­bles float away

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