'How do you switch off, kick back and really relax?' a question that I, as a busy technology-addicted Londoner, had been struggling with for a while. I'd found myself when I wasn't in the office, or on a train, or squeezing a spot of socialising into my jam-packed schedule, constantly on my phone or my laptop (I'd have been on my iPad too if I had one). I could never just sit down and do, well, nothing. This had to stop.
I'd heard about floatation therapy from a friend, who more or less said, "It's like a coffin filled with water. You lie in it and like float and you like totally forget about everything and it's, like, really amazing." After that, I had to find out for myself what this off-the-wall relaxation method was all about.
When I arrived at Floatworks Wellness Centre for my one-hour float session I was a little anxious at the prospect of being detached from my iPhone (and my Blackberry – yup, I'm one of those people) and left alone in a watery coffin-like tank with just my thoughts for company, but I put on a brave face. I'd prepped for the occasion, no caffeine, no alcohol, I'd been to the loo, I'd eaten but I wasn't too full, I was ready.
I was shown to my private room by Floatworks manager Peter, and upon seeing the Fiat Punto-sized tank with its soft glowing neon lights I couldn't help but excitedly exclaim, "Oh my days. That is SO cool," to which Peter laughed and I cringed inside. All my preconceptions had vanished in a flash and I couldn't wait to climb in and shut the lid.
After a quick shower and inserting a pair of earplugs I took a dip in the epsom salts. Peter had warned me that I might end up with super-salty water in my eye during my first float... He was right. Upon discovering that I could actually float in this silky water without any effort, I sat up in shock and splashed myself in the face (schoolboy error), fortunately for me the tanks are kitted out with a fresh water spray bottle for mishaps such as these.
I spent the first few minutes playing about in the water, pushing myself off the sides and giggling, but soon turned off the lights and tried to relax. Now, I'm a real skeptic and was utterly convinced I wouldn't 'switch off', but lying there completely still in water tempered to match the human body I felt like I was drifting through space. I forgot it was a Monday, forgot I had to go back to the office, forgot I even owned a mobile phone – it was brilliant.
I felt the real effects of the treatment once I was back to reality at the tube station wearing a massive grin on my face feeling like I didn't have a care in the world. The shoulder and neck pain a lot of office workers suffer with was alleviated and in sum I was a new woman. I floated home (sorry) without a care in the world.
A single one-hour float session at Floatworks is £45.
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