52 Weeks 52 Tests – Week 21 – Floating

After 2 weeks of musical abundance with Hardwell and, on the other side of the spectrum, The Wailers, it was time for some introspection and quiet.
In what would be the 9th most powerful economy in the world, California, the stressed out and hyper active show business people and start-up artists have long been experimenting with ways to wind down. One of the latest hype comes in the form of spending some time in a sensory deprivation chamber. Yes, you read correctly.

Why sensory deprivation?

You are right, it would probably make no sense at all if the said chamber did not come in the form of a giant, light therapy equipped, bathtub. What’s most important, is that the tub is filled with a water saturated with Epsom salt, and that makes you float like a buoy on its surface.
The goal here is simply to put you in a quiet environment, preserved from external stimuli, and let you exert not doing anything for one hour, whilst letting your body receive the claimed benefits of Epsom salts:
Relief for pain/inflammation: helps relieve stress, muscles aches, headache/migraine, joint pain
Improves skin condition: relief for acne, eczema and rashes; reduce wrinkles by promoting skin hydration
Detoxification and recovery; improves blood circulation, draws out lactic acid to relieve fatigue
Sensory deprivation allows the mind to rest better, shutting out the stress and stimulus that wears us down over the course of a day. Quality rest in a flotation pod is the best remedy for insomnia, jet lag.
(information above from the website of Float Singapore, where I had this experience)

The process

Upon arrival, I was given a glass of Alkaline water, and after a quick briefing on does and don’ts, was showed to the floating room.
A shower is there for good hygiene, as it is recommended to float naked.
Apparently, motivational grand master Tony Robbins had been floating in that very bathtub the day before me. I did not, and still do not know what to do with this information, except that Tony’s ball sack and mine technically floated in the same liquid within a 24 hour time span. Maybe I’ll derive some benefits from that too, who knows? 🙂
It is a strange sensation when you get in that tub: the temperature is close to your body’s, and you are not floating unless you lie down and spread your body completely.
In accordance with the warning I received, I first experienced some pain in the neck, due to our habits of having the head tilt down/forward, sleeping with pillows, and watching our smartphones / computers / tablets… Passed the initial discovery of the floating, I tried to meditate and really relax, so I focused on my breath. And it worked really well… I fell asleep, and with the body forgetting temporarily about gravity, I woke up feeling I was falling from my bed!! So I tried to grab something, but there is nothing to grab in the chamber, and it ended up in some ridiculous splashes and me trying to regain stability.

Did it work?

Well, I can’t really tell for the long term benefits, but I felt really well rested after the session, and my injured right knee (ACL torn last year) felt really better as I walked up some stairs shortly after. I also slept like a baby.

Will I go again?

I would not say no, and might consider if I feel I truly need some relaxation in a period of stress. But at about 80-100$ per session, it is not some kind of everyday indulgence for everyone…
A good test nonetheless!
For the comprehensive list of my weekly tests so far this year, click here

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