14 Jan Keep Calm and Float On
Disclaimer: Girl in photo is not me. Source of photo: Google images. #justmakingsure
I went floating on Sunday. A friend recommended me to try it out since I need to shed some weight for the upcoming competition in Japan. Or perhaps he was just indirectly implying that I need to lose weight? I don’t know, but I hope it’s the former! HAHA!
So I have never heard of floating therapy in my life until he mentioned it to me and it got me interested so I went to Google it up. Found out that many athletes are floating for many reasons; for recovery, for preparation, for the plenty of benefits salt water can give to our body! So I thought, why not just go try it out? WhatsApped Derrick- the owner of the floating tank- and got myself an appointement slot immediately. Awesome!
Tucked along one of the roads around Siglap (which seems like a million lightyears away from where I stay in Woodlands), the floating tank is located in Derrick’s house. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the tank was, “How did it get through the doors?” But I didn’t ask Derrick though :/
Derrick is superbly friendly and nice and he was explaining to me thoroughly about the benefits of floating, what got him interested, the Dos and Don’ts in the tank and pretty much everything I needed to know! So basically, this tank is filled with really salty water and what you have to do is step into it, fully naked, close the dome-shaped door and just float! The therapy lasts for about 60-90mins and it supposedly gives you plenty of medical, physical and psychological benefits. To mention a few, the fact that you are floating on water regulated at your skin temperature, you won’t even feel the water, the room is in total darkness, there is absolutely no sound or smell of any sort- all these factors would create an environment that temporarily deprives you of using your senses, so you can focus on thinking, visualising, relaxing, without the distraction from the environment around you. How cool is that? Other benefits include relaxing the body, perfect for a recovery after training or it is even used for pre-competition rituals where athletes use the tank to shut away from the world to visualize their game plan. The salty water provides plenty of nutrients to the body as well which I won’t bore you with the details, you can just look it up yourself.
I WAS PRETTY EXCITED TO FLOAT.
It was necessary to take a shower with soap and shampoo to clean the oil from my body so as not to “contaminate” the water in the tank. So it was pretty odd at first, having to shower, strip naked and lie there in the dark in someone’s home I barely knew! But Derrick ensured me that there was nothing to worry about, the doors will be locked, there’s a shower room right next to the tank, everything was in place where they ought to be!
So I stepped into the tank filled with salty water and pulled down the door like I was in a Lamborghini Murcielago. Slowly lied down and naturally my body started to float. SO COOL. Derrick mentioned a few things before the therapy like taking some time to get used to floating before switching off the lights in the tank for complete darkness (there’s a button in the tank for this). He also mentioned something about relaxing the head on the water so as not to strain the neck- you wouldn’t want to be in head crunch position for an hour, do you? I settled into “floating” mode immediately, hit the light buttons and started to float.
Thing is, meditation is not something you tell yourself to delve in. It requires years and years of practice. The more I tell myself to keep calm and meditate, the more distracted I got. Like for instance, I started to think about how my hands should be placed- palms facing upwards or down, what happens if i sway my body (which I actually embarrassingly attempted) and felt like a stingray for a moment. Cheap thrills- LOL. But you know, you’re supposed to be sensory deprived but other distractions came to invade your mind instead. NO GOOD.
I forced myself to think about the race I was going to participate in next week. But it was too far ahead and it doesn’t make sense to visualize a race a week before, does it? I’m not sure but I didn’t had the mood for race visualization. So I started to think about other things like work, life and what nots. And then, I fell asleep.
You know the session is over when the lights outside the tank is switched on. There’s a gap between the doors for you for the light to seep in. Got out of the tank, all salty and wet, and went to shower.
I love it. I don’t know what makes me love the experience of floating- maybe its the “Ahhhh” feeling I got at the end of the session, maybe its how relaxed my muscles feel after 60mins of being soaked (yet my fingertips are not wrinkly), maybe its the fact that I get to sleep after a long morning of trainings. There’s just something about floating that makes me want to do it again. Like hot yoga. Hot yoga can be painful at times because the room is heated to 40 degrees and you contort yourself into these tough poses holding the pose for half a minute or for a full minute which seems like forever. At the end of a hot yoga session, you’re drenched in your own sweat, tired from the poses you had to hold, muscles sore, lethargic- but refreshed. An odd combination. But something you want to come back for more. At with every session, you get stronger, physically and mentally. You get better and it makes you feel bulletproof- like nothing can be harder than hot yoga. I feel the same way about floating. Strange, but addictive. And you want to float more to better your ability to concentrate and focus without getting distracted. I WANT TO FLOAT MORE.
I didn’t weigh myself before and after the session but I reckon I felt lighter. Maybe its just that “feel good” feeling, I’m not sure. Other than almost knocking on the wrong door because I got confused between Palm Road and Palm Avenue (are there no other names for roads???) and having to google, “How to get rid of excess salt in ear?”, I enjoyed the experience of floating.
It’s definitely something everyone has to experience at least once in their lifetime.
You can check out Derrick’s home-based floatation therapy here.