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By Martyn• 25 Oct 2016
When was the last time you were alone? And by alone, I mean truly alone. No distractions, no smartphone, no pressing tasks, just you and your thoughts? These are some of the questions I asked myself earlier in the month, when I spent an hour in darkness, silence, and warmth, floating in incredibly salty, buoyant water inside one of Float Well's float tanks. I realised it had been a while, and having this sort of time to myself was pretty nice.
During that hour, time moved incredibly slowly, the seconds stretching out into forever. You can do a lot in an hour, but you can also essentially do nothing, and sometimes doing less will do more for you in the long run than being busy ever could. By the end of the session, I was the most relaxed I'd been in months. My head was clear, my muscles were relaxed, I was calm, and I'd also answered another bunch of questions that had been kicking around in my head for a few weeks.
First off, though, a bit of background info: Float Well is a floatation therapy, massage and craniowave treatment center located on the first floor of the James Smith Building at the bottom of Cuba Mall. At about five months old, although they're a young business, the owners Kevin and Samantha bring a genuine and sincere passion to the table. Coupled with beautiful interior design and an abundance of comforts, it's hard not to feel relaxed around them.
After arrival, you're treated to a complimentary cup of herbal tea, after which one of them or their staff shows you to your flotation tank. This is where my first question was answered. Tank probably isn't really the right way to describe these units, all smooth curves, they're closer to pods, with an easy to open and close lid. So throw away any ideas you have about claustrophobia.
Once you've showered, you climb inside the pod, where you can decide between a lighted or pitch black float with the press of a button. You also have the choice between music playing right through your float, or silence. So, if you don't want to be completely alone, there are options. This all said, being inside a pod for the first time is definitely a new experience. I can't help but feel that you'd really hit your stride relaxation wise on a second or third float, much like the process of getting used to a new bed.
When float tanks hit the public radar in the 80s and 90s, they were associated with consciousness expansion. The Float Well team is happy to discuss floatation as a tool for this sort of thing, but they also understand its power as a simple no-frills relaxation tool. As such, everything about a visit links into the idea of relaxation. From start to finish, it's a calming ritual where your personal wellbeing is the star of the show. Also, it's about as close to spending time on a space station as most of us are going to get. Drop past Float Well's website, get in touch with them and try it out. It's worth it.