Two weeks ago I went floating for the first time in my life and I loved it. I was invited by Chris, the co-owner of Floatworks, to try out floating in one of their I-sopod tanks for one hour and I can recommend everyone to give it a try.My appointment was scheduled at 10:30am and I arrived a little bit early. Floatworks Vauxhall is very easy to find, once you leave the Tube Station you see St. George Wharfs in front of you and walking up the stairs you will already see Floatworks. You can’t miss it.
The team at Floatworks Vauxhall
The team was very friendly and explained everything in detail to me. There was one more question I had: Was it okay to leave the light on during the session? While I am not claustrophobic, I have Nyctophobia. I am scared of being in the dark. When I am alone, I always sleep with a light on. I addressed this to the receptionist and he told me it’s okay, but I should at least try it once I am relaxed. I was reassured that I could switch the light anytime as there is a button inside the pod.
His colleague picked me up and we walked through a door leading to the lockers, where you change your shoes to comfortable Havainas flip-flops, get your towels and you can lock everything you don’t need in the lockers. I left my smartphone behind, something I usually never do, even when I sleep it’s always by my side. There is no need for your phone in the pod room and I actually think it is rather disturbing. One thing less to worry about.
What to do before floating?
The preparation for a relaxing and the successful floating experience starts at home. It’s best to avoid caffeine for a few hours before your session as it can prevent you from getting into the meditation zone. I had peppermint tea for breakfast and a bit of omelette. You also shouldn’t eat too much before the session, a light meal a few hours before the session is ideal. If you exercise before the session, the relaxation will be more pronounced. Ideal is yoga or a good run, but any form of exercise is fine.
What to avoid before a float
Also, if you smoke, don’t smoke just before the float. Nicotine is a stimulant and ideally not enjoyed before the float or best never. I also didn’t shave before the session, the salty water won’t feel great on freshly shaved skin and the team provides you with vaseline to cover up any cuts and scratches. Pre-float it’s best to drink some ice-cold water. It’s important to stay hydrated and yet, you have to go the bathroom before the float. You don’t want to get out of the tank once you are in it.
You don’t need to take anything but yourself to Floatworks. They provide everything you need from super comfy towels, high quality moldable ear plugs that actually stay in your ears, robe to SLS free organic toiletries. After your float, you can go upstairs where you not only find a chill out area, but also a vanity room with lighted mirrors, hairdryers and GHD hair straighteners. You can wear a bathing suit if you feel uncomfortable going in naked, however it’s best to go nude.
Inside the pod room
Every pod room has its own shower, so it’s all very private and you won’t notice that there are other people floating in other rooms at the same time. I undressed, put in my ear plugs and had a quick shower. It’s important to put in the ear plugs before you shower or at least, before you climb into the tank. I had a quick shower and dried my face properly before getting into the floating tank.
Inside the pod was a blue relaxing light on and I was ready to climb in. I wondered whether I would actually float, but all I had to do was to relax and lay back. Unfortunately, there was no music as promised and for a minute I thought something was wrong. After a few minutes I forgot about it and I enjoyed the feeling of warm water on my skin. I chose to not wear a swimsuit and I would recommend everyone to do the same.
The floating experience
So, there was I in the floating tank and I had so many things on my mind. What happens when I fall asleep and won’t hear the music at the end? How will my job interview be? Hopefully I don’t get salt water in my eyes (Don’t worry, unless you touch your eyes like I did, the water will not go further than your temples when you lay back). As you can guess, I find it very hard to relax and not to think about anything.
After a while I had to open the lid a bit, as it was too warm for me. It’s not too hot actually, but if you know me, you know how much I hate heat and I am rather too cold than too hot. Once I had a bit of fresh air on my face, I started to relax. I completely lost my sense of time. I can’t remember how long I had been in the water. Was it half an hour? Forty minutes? I wasn’t sure and I didn’t care.
After a while, the music started playing and I knew it was time for me to slowly leave the tank and have a shower. I was so relaxed coming out of the pod, I actually got a bit scared when the filter started cleaning the tank. It’s important to have a really good rinse afterwards and to condition your hair. Floatworks provides everything you need, organic shower gel, shampoo and a lovely smelling conditioner. After the session, I went upstairs in the Hollywood Room to blow dry and straighten my hair.
Unfortunately, my weekend in London was rather busy and I had to rush out for an interview following the session, hence I couldn’t enjoy a cup of tea in the Chillout room. I am in London again next month for over three weeks and I will probably be very stressed out from my intensive driving course, so that I have at least one session during that time.
After the session, I felt very relaxed (I find it hard to relax, so that tells us something) and with my interview straight after my Floatworks visit I should have had every reason to be nervous, but I wasn’t. I also noted that my skin felt great after, I have very dry and rough elbows and it actually hurt a bit while I was in the water, but for a week after the session my skin including my elbows felt great and not dry at all. It’s been nearly two weeks now and I can still an improvement.
The benefits of floating
Floating has other benefits too. Research has shown that floatation therapy has a significant impact on mood enhancement. It promotes total calm and peaceful relaxation, eliminates fatigue and jet lag and improves sleep. I can vouch for that one, I slept like a baby the night after and I usually struggle to fall asleep. Further, it diminishes depression, anxiety and fear and increases motivation.
Floatworks was found in 1993 and since then the company has sent more than 150,000 customers back into the world feeling happier and healthier than they arrived. To find out about more about Floatworks and floating, you can visit the Floatworks Vauxhall website.
Disclaimer: I received one complimentary floating session in exchange for an honest review. Most pictures in this article are by Fabio Zaveti - My iPhone didn't take the best pictures.