From the day I learned to swim, water has always held a fascination for me. Family holidays - I'd practically live in the sea or a pool, retrieving coins from the deep end, learning to dive, and inventing underwater games for me and my brother to play together. I even used to joke that I didn't eat fish because I was one of them.
Floating is one of my favourite aquatic pastimes, one that can't really be indulged in a municipal pool for fear of being mown down by a front-crawling, cap-wearing, serious swimmer. The feeling of weightlessness is like no other, the ears-in-the-water sensation blocking out the rest of the world, half in and half out makes for a curious combination of temperature and water/air juxtaposition.
Turns out floating is a thing; an pursuit of its very own, a therapeutic activity that promotes deep, deep relaxation. Last week, I went to Bristol Floatation Centre for my first non-holiday floating experience.
Already part of the way to relaxation nirvana, after the Mobiliser it was time to float. I showered and rather gingerly climbed into the cabin, where the warmth of the water welcomed me. Huge quantities of epsom salts are the secret ingredient, meaning the water can hold you afloat. I lay back, arms above my head, and tried to relax. A bit like previous attempts to meditate, my brain began to whirr. I hummed a bit of Taylor Swift. Must relax... MUST RELAX I told myself. I spent several minutes focused on my lack of relaxation before it happened.
The dark, warmth and weightlessness of a float makes any concept of time or the outside world completely impossible to fathom. So it could've been 2 or 20 minutes into my float that I dropped into the deepest state of relaxation. You know that bit when you're between sleep and wake? It was a little like that, but less fuzzy. When the hour was up, a filter gently began to purr, alerting me that the session was over. Rather than feeling groggy, I sat up, bright as a button, and went for a shower.
Afterwards, I felt energised and perky. I went for a work meeting, and felt extra alert and motivated. And then I came home. Around 4pm I had an overwhelming need to go for a little lie down. An hour later I awoke from a deep, restorative nap. And since the float, I've slept so well every night. Epsom salts are one of the best ways to absorb magnesium, which is the number one mineral necessary for proper sleep. They're also rather good for the skin, and there's a noticeable creaminess about my complexion since the float.
My job takes me to many places and affords me such exciting experiences, for which I am always grateful. Floating was a treat and I can see how it could become addictive. I may well be going back for more...
Thanks to the team at Bristol Floatation Centre for their hospitality,
and for providing me with a Mobiliser and Float session for the purposes of this review.
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