Thoughts

Tried and tested: Using flotation therapy for deep relaxation

What is flotation therapy? I share my first experience at Float in the Forest

I had never heard of flotation therapy before, but just the words ‘float in the forest’ were met by enthusiastic¬† ‘I am in!’ response from me. Turns out this isn’t a new fad; it’s been around for years. It was invented in the 1950s by neuroscientist Dr John Lilly, and has been the basis of fascinating research.

It’s thought to have both mental and physical benefits, and is a simple way to induce deep relaxation.

Fortunately, I have a friend who knows me well enough to spot an experience that is right up my street – and the good sense to buy it for me as a gift (thank you, Rhian!). Rhian met the beautiful soul that is Shari at an event, where she told her all about the recently opened Float in the Forest, a floating centre in the Forest of Dean. Rhian must have heard the word ‘relaxation’ and thought ‘I know a friend who’s into that!’

It’s thought to have both mental and physical benefits, and is a simple way to induce deep relaxation.

What to expect from a floatation tank experience

We were greeted by Shari and Will, who were fantastic hosts and ooze calming energy. Their tour and explanation of the floating tanks was so reassuring and answered all our questions.

Basically, you get an hour in a tank of perfect temperature water that’s denser than the Dead Sea. There’s calming music to start, but then silence. Beautiful calming colours of light can fill the tank, but the advised way to experience it is in pitch black. Of course we took expert advice, so enjoyed our floatation experience with no light or sound.

Will you feel claustrophobic? And other concerns…

I was wary that an hour may be too long, and that I might get too hot. I always think a bath is a good idea, but then I can just about stick it for 10 minutes. I was worried I might feel the same in the tank. But surprising as it may sound, this is NOTHING like a bath. It was the perfect temperature and an hour passed by in a flash.

Ian was worried he might get claustrophobic, but the size of the tank is similar to being inside a spacious car, so he did not feel any anxious thoughts about lack of space. (For anyone with true claustrophobia, the tank door can be left open throughout). Also the complete darkness and floating result in having no perception of where your body is in space.

It was the perfect temperature and an hour passed by in a flash. The complete darkness and floating result in having no perception of where your body is in space.

The benefits of flotation therapy

The absence of any external stimuli led to an unparalleled level of relaxation.  It was exactly like some of my experiences during a deep state of meditation, but with no effort required. It felt like a journey to another dimension, or what I imagine being in outer space would be like (but without any uncomfortable astronaut gear, or fear of lack of oxygen!).

It gave me a huge sense of wellbeing, happiness and gratitude, and was a fantastic opportunity for uninterrupted solitary reflection and to gain perspective. I felt focused on manifesting my goals and experienced clarity like never before. As the music gently came on to signal the end of our session, I couldn’t help but burst into laughter, I was feeling such joy and positivity.

I couldn’t help but burst into laughter, I was feeling such joy and positivity.

As I stepped out of the tank I had an overwhelming sense of being purified. I felt completely healthy in mind, body and spirit. I wish everyone could experience floating, as I know now how beneficial it can be.

If only this was available on prescription!

Find out more at https://floatintheforest.co.uk

Yours in health and happiness

Dr Liza