A while back I got an invitation from Float Culture to try out their flotation pools where you lie in a super-saturated Epsom-salt solution.
As I finally had a spare day in Auckland last week, I headed along to them to try them out.
You fill in a quick medical form and they take you into one of their five rooms which consist of a bathroom and another room with the pool.
In the bathroom you shower and clean, remove any piercings (not an issue for me!), and put ear plugs into your ear (to block out the water).
Then you enter the pool room.
The pool has around 30 cm of water in it. It’s heated to 35.5 degrees and as there is so much salt in it, you easily float on it. The temperature means you can’t tell what parts of you are under water and on top.
You then close the door and turn out the light, and the room goes pitch black.
For the first ten minutes they play soft music, and then it stops so you have near total sensory deprivation with no light, sound or feeling for the next fifty minutes.
The aim is to remove all stimulation from you so you destress and muscles relax.
So how did it got for me?
Some people can’t handle it and freak out. That definitely wasn’t me. Enjoyed the sensory deprivation.
It took me a fairly long time to relax though. That is more due to me. Ask anyone who has ever shared a bed with me, and you’ll hear complaints about how I twist and turn and roll over. I’m not good at not moving – even when asleep!
So by the time the music ended I was still not entirely relaxed. I was enjoying it, but still fidgeting a bit. And the movement would sometimes have me brush against a wall and then you lose the effect.
But after I guess 20 or 30 minutes or so, I got there and was just not moving or thinking but totally relaxed on the water. I know this, because suddenly the music started up again which meant the hour was up.
So overall a very pleasant experience. I’m someone who actually really enjoys sensory deprivation, so loved that aspect of it. Once I fully relaxed, ended up nicely in my own little world and was sad when the time was up. Would definitely do it again at some stage.