In this ‘gravity free’ environment the body balances and heals internally while all the senses are rested. Research shows that floating measurably reduces blood pressure and heart rate whilst lowering the levels of stress related hormones in the body. Old injuries and aches, (especially backache) experience relief as floating helps blood circulation and raises the levels of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killer).
Floating is used widely in the treatment of stress, anxiety, insomnia, jet lag and to improve concentration and creativity. Sports performance and recovery are also enhanced by floating.
During a float, you produce slower brain-waves, known as theta waves, (normally experienced only during deep meditation or just before falling asleep). This is often accompanied by vivid imagery, very clear, creative thoughts, sudden insights and inspirations or feelings of profound peace and joy, induced by the release of endorphins, the body’s natural opiates.
Due to these effects, floating is used effectively in the treatment of depression and addictions, including smoking and alcohol. It is also used in schools and universities as tools for Super Learning.
Anyone who floats regularly will tell you how blissfully comfortable and deeply relaxed they feel whilst floating. You’re as close as you are ever likely to be to an experience of weightlessness; and, surprisingly, there is no feeling of being confined in a tight space.
It’s OK… many people are, but we don’t use float tanks or pods, rather, float rooms… you can stand up inside them. The light is controlled from inside, giving you total control of your environment. You can leave the light on and you can even leave the door open.
You do not need to be able to swim. You’ll float like a cork; it doesn’t matter what shape or size you are.
Yes, you float within your own individual room so there is no requirement to wear a swimming costume or trunks.The Float room has its own shower and changing area which is for your exclusive use for the duration of your session.
An open mind and a tired body! We provide soft towels, earplugs, organic shampoo, conditioner, shower gel a hairdryer and herbal tea fro free after the session.
Many people ask us if they have to wear swimsuits in the float room. The room is for your exclusive use as long as the session lasts, so we recommend you do not wear anything throughout the session, but that is up to you. If you finally have a swimsuit with you, we suggest that you carry a plastic bag with you for your wet stuff. If you do happen to forget it, we have plenty of spare ones here at the spa just in case.
The float session lasts an hour in the water, plus showering and dressing time, plus, it’s important for you to relax for at least 10 minutes after your float. To ensure relaxation, we developed a comfortable lounge for you to use afterwards.
Many of our clients are sleeping during the session, either deliberately or because of deep relaxation. One floating hour is equivalent to 4 to 6 hours of deep sleep. Many of our clients who suffer from insomnia or jet lag are relieved immediately after the session.
Yes, it is best for you to book in advance. We may have availability later in the day, but please call us before you come in order to avoid a wasted journey.
There are no known side effects of floating. Even the magnesium-based Epsom Salts we use at Thess Floatroom are good for you. They soften and replenish your skin, and help counteract the magnesium deficiency that most of us have due to depleted magnesium levels in our soil and food.
The water contains high salt content and is meticulously filtered between each float session (and 24 hours a day when not in use). The water is filtered through a stronger pool filter (which is 1/100th the diameter of a human hair) and disinfected with a small amount of UV disinfectant. Finally, we are in line with strict health and safety regulations.
Of course. Many celebrate their birthday here either by making a unique gift to themselves or to their partner, giving them moments of complete relaxation.
Of course. Just follow the same process you would for swimming.
Absolutely. In fact heavily pregnant women probably achieve as many, if not more benefits from floating than anyone else. Just lying on a bed can be extremely uncomfortable for women in the later stages of pregnancy due to the massive gravitational strain placed on the body. The float tank is a wonderful haven to which pregnant women can escape. We do however recommend to get doctors approval before floating and that pregnant ladies only float after their first trimester.
No. The water contains high salt levels however, it does not rob your skin of salt, (which is what causes wrinkling). Rather, it leaves your skin soft and silky.
No! The door simply pushes open. Also, the light switch is located inside the Float room. You can open and close the door as you wish; likewise, it is your choice if you turn off the light.You have the control of the room that moment and not us.
The buoyancy afforded by the dense Epson-salt solution brings the floater close to an experience of total weightlessness. Gravity, which has been estimated to occupy 90 percent of all central nervous system activity, is probably the single largest cause of human health problems – bad backs, sagging abdomens, aching feet, painful joints, and muscular tension result from our unique but unnatural upright posture. This theory asserts that, by freeing our brain and musculoskeletal system from gravity, floating liberates vast amounts of energy and allows the brain to deal with matters of mind, spirit, and recovery.
The human body has an exquisitely sensitive self-monitoring and self-regulating system that is constantly working to maintain the body in homeostasis ─ an optimal state of balance, harmony, equilibrium and stability. We can define stress as a disruption of internal equilibrium, a disturbance of natural homeostasis. Research now indicates that many of floating’s most powerful effects come from its tendency to return the body to a state of homeostasis. When we view the mind and body as a single system, it becomes clear that external stimuli are constantly mitigating against the system’s equilibrium; every noise, degree of temperature above or below the body’s optimal level, encounter with other people, everything we see and feel can disrupt our homeostasis. But when we enter the float room, we no longer need to adjust to outer stimuli. Since there are no external threats, no pressure to adapt to outside events, the system can devote all its energies to restoring itself. The normal state, of course, is health, vigour, enthusiasm, and immense pleasure in being alive.
Neuroscientists have recently discovered the brain is an endocrine organ that secretes numerous neurochemicals which influence our behaviour. Our brains secrete hormones that make us happy, anxious, depressed, shy, sleepy, and sexy. Each of us creates different amounts of these various neurochemicals, and those who create, for example, more endorphins ─ natural opiates ─ experience more pleasure as a result of a given experience that those who create fewer endorphins.
Floating research has shown increases the secretion of endorphins at the same time reducing stress-related neurochemicals, such as adrenaline, nor adrenaline, ACTH, and cortisol ─ substances that cause tension, anxiety, irritability, and are related to ailments such as heart disease, hypertension and raised cholesterol.
One other neurochemical theory is the “return of the womb” explanation. Since pregnant women produce up to eight times the normal endorphin levels, the foetus experiences true prenatal bliss. When a floater is suspended in the dense, warm solution, enclosed in darkness, body pulsing rhythmically and brain pumping out endorphins, it’s possible that subconscious memories are stirred, and profoundly deep associations called up.
Due to biofeedback research (including Johns Hopkins researcher John Basmajian’s conclusive study of subjects consciously firing off single motor-unit neurons), we now know that humans can learn to exercise conscious control over virtually every cell in their bodies. Processes long thought to be involuntary, such as the rhythm and amplitude of our brain waves, healing, blood pressure, the rate or force of heart contractions, respiratory rate, smooth-muscle tension, and the secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters are now thought to be controllable.
The way biofeedback machines work is by enhancing concentration; by focusing on a single, subtle change in the body, which is being amplified by the machine, we can shut off our awareness of the external environment. This shutting-off of external stimuli is exactly what the floatation environment does best ─ almost as if in an “organic” biofeedback machine, in the tank every physical sensation is magnified, and because there is no possibility of outside distraction, we are able to relax deeply and focus at will upon any part or system of the body.
In a series of studies over the last twenty-five years, Paul MacLean, chief brain researcher at the National Institute for Mental Health (USA), has produced convincing evidence that the human brain has three separate physiological layers, each corresponding to a stage in our evolutionary history. In this “Triune Brain Theory,” the most ancient layer is called the reptile brain, and it controls basic self-preservative, reproductive and life sustaining functions. Sitting atop the reptile brain is the limbic system, which MacLean has dubbed the visceral brain, because it generates our emotions. The most recent part of the brain to develop is the “thinking cap” of convoluted gray matter called neo-cortex, seat of our abstract, cognitive functions; memory, intellect, language, and consciousness.
While these three separate brains have overlapping functions, they are all quite different in chemistry, structure, action, and style. Three brains should be better than one, but unfortunately, due to a ruinous design error, there is insufficient communication and co-ordination between the neo-cortex and the two older levels. This lack of communication results in a chronic dissociation between the higher and lower brains, which MacLean calls schizaphysiology, and which we experience in the form of conflicting drives ─ unconscious and conscious, savage and civilised, lusty and loving, ritualistic and symbolic, rational and verbal. There are times when the levels do act in harmony, as in peak experiences when body and mind unite in exhilarating moments of vitality, when our actions come effortlessly, spontaneously. But it’s hard to predict when these perfect moments will occur.
Now there is evidence that suggests that, due to heightened internal awareness and decreased physical arousal, floating increases the vertical organisation of the brain, enhancing communication and harmony between the separate levels. Floating, it has been hypothesised, can provide us with peak experiences almost at will.
The two hemispheres or the neo-cortex operate in fundamentally different modes. The left hemisphere excels at detail, processing information that is small-scale, requiring fine resolution: it operates analytically, by splitting or dissection. The right hemisphere on the other hand, is good at putting all the pieces together; it operates by pattern recognition ─ visually, intuitively, rapidly absorbing large-scale information.
Just as in the sunshine of a bright day it is impossible to see the stars, so are the subtle contents of the right hemisphere usually drowned out by the noisy chattering of the dominant verbal/analytical left brain, whose qualities are the more cultivated and valued in our culture. But recent research indicates that floating increases right-brain (or minor hemisphere) function. Floating turns off the external stimuli plunges us into literal and figurative darkness ─ then suddenly the entire universe of stars and galaxies is spread out before our eyes. Or as brain researcher Dr. Thomas Budzynski of the University of Colorado put it, “In a floatation environment, the right hemisphere comes out and says, ‘Whoopee!”
More interesting than the well-known alpha waves generated by the brain in moments of relaxation, are the slower theta waves which are accompanied by vivid memories, free association, sudden insights, creative inspiration, feeling of serenity and oneness with the universe. It is a mysterious, elusive state, potentially highly productive and enlightening; but researchers have had a difficult time studying it, and it is hard to maintain, since people tend to fall asleep once they begin generating theta waves.
One way of learning to produce theta waves is to perfect the art of meditation. A study of Zen monks conducted by Akira Kazamatsu and Tomio Hirai, in which the monks’ brain-waves were charted as they entered the meditative states, indicated that the four meditative plateaux (from alpha to the more sublime theta) “were parallel to the disciples’ mental states, and their years spent in Zen training.” Those monks with over twenty years of meditative experience generated the greatest amount of theta, the monks were not asleep but mentally alert.
However, since many of us are unwilling to spend twenty years of mediation to learn how to generate theta waves, it’s good to know that several studies (Texas A&M and the University at Colorado) have shown that floating facilitates theta waves. Floaters quickly enter the theta state while remaining awake, consciously aware of all the vivid imagery and creative thoughts that pass through their minds, and after getting out of the float room, floaters continue to generate larger amounts of creativity-promoting theta waves for up to three weeks.