I Tried Out A Floatation Tank To Help My Anxiety
For anyone not in the know, a floatation tank is basically a giant pod filled with water and Epsom salts, which allow you to float. I experienced my first session in a floatation tank at Floatation Life, a family run business in Milton Keynes, to help reduce my anxiety symptoms. Their tanks are filled with 400-450kg of Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulphate, which allows you to float unaided.
Floatation Tanks Benefits
The tanks are said to have many mental and physical health benefits and are used for all kinds of reasons. Some people use them to soothe sore muscles, while others use them as a form of therapy, as they offer a deep sense of relaxation. I tried the floatation tank for anxiety. I’ve struggled with it recently, my mind constantly racing a mile a minute. I’ve been desperate to quiet my anxious thoughts.
When I first planned to undergo a session of floatation, I was skeptical. I imagined myself simply floating in the water, struggling to switch off my brain. But it worked a treat. I arrived at Floatation life in the afternoon, and the journey to relaxation started almost immediately. Firstly, I had my shoes taken off me in replacement for some crocs. Sure, they’re not that fashionable, but they were much comfier than the boots I’d arrived in.
Begin Relaxation Process
I was told to sit down into a massage chair to start the first part of the relaxation process. I sat back in the massage chair and was given a remote so that I could control its functions. I was then given a pair of headphones that played calming music so that I was able to block off the rest of the outside world for ten minutes. As I was listening to the music, I was told to watch a screen, which played videos of calming surroundings – at the time, the video played a field of sunflowers slowly drifting in the breeze.
Then I was taken through to the floatation tank.
The floatation tank sat in its own private room, which also had a shower and a table of things such as earplugs – which must be worn in the tanks to ensure no water goes into your ears. There was also some Vaseline, which is to be put on any open wounds so that the salt doesn’t sting them. If like me, you suffer from dry hands in the winter, you’re going to want to absolutely smother them in Vaseline.
I was told to shower thoroughly and to wash my hair with shampoo to make sure I was getting into the tank totally clean. The tanks are large, like an oversized sunbed. They have a swinging door, and the roof of the tank is adjustable. So, if you’re at all claustrophobic, you can decide how much you want to close the lid – if at all. The lights in the room are operated with sensors. As soon as you get into the tank the outside lights go off, so you’re surrounded by utter darkness. When I first stepped into the tank, the water felt incredibly silky because of the salts. I closed the door behind me and decided to leave the roof open a little. Even so, the outside lights still went off. I laid down in the water, and my body began to float.
It was a strange sensation, I can’t describe it as any more than becoming totally at one with the water. It’s not like having a bath or floating in a pool. You’re able to lay your head back, with the water coming up to your cheeks, and you just float.
As I floated, the outside lights went off. At the start of the float, some music played from the tank to tell me that my session was starting. After around three minutes, I was in silence. At first, it was hard to switch my mind off. I think this was because I was a little anxious. I began to think about my day, and what I had to do after my session was over. This meant the first ten minutes of the session wasn’t that satisfying.
Eventually, as the session went on, my mind switched off. I was left floating in the water, my body becoming numb as I embarked on total relaxation. Apparently, some people get so relaxed that they fall asleep – which is totally safe; your body will continue to float and there’s no way you can sink or drown. I didn’t fall asleep. But this didn’t mean I wasn’t in a state of relaxation.
My session lasted an hour. Though I was wide awake, it went so quickly. It’s amazing how much you lose your sense of time when you’re floating. As my session continued, I felt the built-up anxiety lingering in my mind slowly drift away. For the first time in weeks, my brain was silent. I was focusing on nothing but my body and the water. Staring up at the tank lid which reflected my body, I stopped thinking, and just focused on my body feeling light in the water.
Floatation Session Flew By
When my session was finally over, the music played again. I was sure my session couldn’t be over – it felt as though I’d only been floating for twenty minutes. But when I got out of the tank, ready to shower the salt off me, the time proved that I’d been in there for an hour.
I couldn’t believe it.
After showering, I felt at total ease. Floating had completely relaxed my mind and remove most of my anxiety symptoms. In fact, I felt a little tired – not groggy at all – but I was so relaxed that I could have easily gone to bed and napped. Apparently, because of the state of relaxation you can get with floating, it’s not a good idea to simply head off and go about your day. You need time to adjust back to your surroundings.
To do this, you walked into another relaxation room.
The room features two large massage chairs – again with a functioning remote – a screen displaying soothing scenarios, bottles of water and some adult coloring books for those who want to relax back in the chair and doodle. I opted to sit in the chair and close my eyes for a little while. It felt like the ultimate pamper session, except I wasn’t having to interact with anyone else – it was brilliant.
How Floatation Helped my Anxiety
For the first time in a long time, I was focusing on just enjoying myself without anxiety. I wasn’t having to talk to anyone or worry about what someone else was doing. I didn’t have to think about my life or any day-to-day things. I just had peace, quiet, and the satisfaction of floating. I’d really recommend floating to anyone yet to try it. Especially if like me, you struggle with anxiety. While talking to therapies are brilliant, this is a kind of therapy where you’re able to not think about everything. You switch your mind off and just focus on relaxing – it’s great.
Even if you don’t have a mental illness, floating is a relaxing therapy perfect for anyone who just wants to indulge in a bit of me-time – which everyone should treat themselves to. My whole experience was incredibly positive – and I’d be happy to book in again and do it on the regular – which some people actually do. While it didn’t cure my anxiety – and while I have other means of help including a psychiatrist and some medication – floating just gives you a break from life.
And we all need that once in a while.
At Serenity Waters, you will find a variety of services to improve your well-being. Stop in to visit us at 208 S Holmen Dr Suite 103 Holmen, WI and take some time for yourself to relax.