Enjoy an incredibly peaceful, yet mind-focusing experience with Floatation therapy at the Float Spa. Book a spot today for yourself and/or for your family & friends.
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What is Floating?
Floatation, also known as floating, is a practice where you float effortlessly in a special pod of Epsom Salt water. Without the constant noise of analysing the world around you, your body lowers its levels of cortisol (which is the main chemical component of stress) and your brain releases elevated levels of endorphins.
How Floating Works
During a flotation, your muscles, joints, and bones take a well-deserved break. Your mind becomes still and your body suddenly has loads of extra resources, which allows it to focus on things like healing and resting – the stress simply floats away. The spine lengthens an inch, chronic pain is relieved, and your muscles are allowed to fully recover. Unlike lying on a mattress, lying in water allows blood to flow freely all throughout your body.
About 40 minutes into your float at The Float Spa in Hove, your brain stops producing its normal Alpha waves and starts churning out Theta waves. The Theta state is typically associated with advanced meditative techniques and provides an immense clarity of thought and an experience of the pure essence of being. Floatation is a tool that makes this state easily accessible to anyone.
Even the magnesium-based Epsom Salts, we use at The Float Spa in Hove 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.
One significant cause of insomnia is stress, if you can reduce stress levels then this can be incredibly effective at helping people sleep at night. In addition to this, many people have trouble falling asleep because their brain has trouble downshifting from their Alpha waves into the Theta Waves that act as a gateway to sleep. Floating helps people’s brainwaves naturally drop into this Theta State, meaning their body can easily make the transition into the Delta waves required for sleep.
Although your body enters a level of physical relaxation that is even deeper than sleep, in the float pod your mind remains awake and dreamily alert, just above the threshold of sleep. Large areas of the brain are suddenly liberated from their normal workload of processing signals from the nervous system and sense organs. There is a sharp drop in the level of electrical activity of the brain (measured on an EEG) from the usual 20-25 Hz down to 4-8 Hz. EEG readings show a slow, rhythmic wave pattern known as the theta state.
This is where your learning abilities are at their highest and powers of visualisation and autosuggestion are greatly enhanced. Measurements of the brain waves produced by experienced Zen meditators in deep satori show large amounts of theta activity across the cortex. For most people, however, the theta state is almost impossible to enter without falling asleep. In the float pod, you enter this elusive state effortlessly and enjoyably, and stay in it for most of the float session.
The term “relaxation” is vague and subjective. It can be used to describe any activity that brings temporary release from the pressures of life – watching TV, pursuing a hobby, drinking alcohol, surfing the internet, soaking in a bath, dancing until dawn…
Floating is different, by turing off the outside world, allows your body to reach a state of pure relaxation which is unlike any other experience.
Stress is rampant throughout our culture, the havoc this can have on the human body is well documented. Floatation therapy is possibly the most relaxing environment we can put our bodies into. Relief from stress comes almost instantaneously whilst floating and lasts longer the more you float. Consistent floating may help alleviate all of the following:
- Apoplexy or stroke
- Coronary heart disease
- Migraine or tension headaches
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Burn out syndrome
- Fertility issues
- TMJ syndrome
Research has shown more and more ailments to be closely related to stress.
The main benefits derived from floating in muscular-skeletal and rheumatic conditions are initially based on two factors.
The first is the reduction in the force of gravity that the body experiences inside the float tank. This allows a better blood flow that will improve the general conditions of affected joints. This is particularly affective for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, traumatic injuries, and also chronic degenerative problems like Osteo-Arthritis.
The second factor is the release of endorphins into the system. Endorphins are natural painkillers that block the transmission of pain at the synaptic level.
These decrease markedly the perception of pain, helping to break the vicious circle of chronic pain/depression that we often see in these cases.
- Myofascial pain release
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Those suffering with Fibromyalgia will know there are very few remedies, research has shown that Fibromyalgia patients found a significant decrease in pain both from the beginning to the end of a float and in-between float session to float session.
Floatation therapy allows the body to fully relax, and without external stimuli the body resources are freed up and energy can be reallocated towards building up our defences, giving us a nice boost of immunity during and after a float.
Overeating is very complex. A sensory deprivation session with weight-reduction messages is very effective. Studies show that people who underwent the therapy were able to lose an average over six kilograms over the following half a year compared to those who were equally determined to lose weight. The most striking aspect of the study is that the people who combined the sensory deprivation with messages continued to lose weight steadily, month after month, and were still losing weight after six months when the study was completed. In fact, in the last four months of the six-month study period, the sensory deprivation group lost about two kilograms while the other groups gained some weight. In addition, amazingly, this continuous and extended weight loss was the result of only one session of REST.
In succeeding clinical studies, the technique was modified by personalising the taped messages played to the subjects in the Floatation tank, and found that the results were even more impressive, with some of the subjects losing as much as 30 kilograms within two months.
In addition to the constant pain, physical injuries keep many people from working effectively. Floatation therapy can help your body to heal injuries twice as fast whilst floating and people have seen the recovery process speed up significantly. This can bring sports players back onto the field faster, and is an ideal treatment to coincide with many forms of physical rehabilitation.
- Expediting healing in fractured bones and in sprained joints
- Relief from back and neck pains
- Spinal alignment
- Structural Alignment
Floating maximises the benefits of fitness training, exercise, and workouts. Although exercise stimulates muscle growth, the growth occurs during relaxation, some 30-40 hours after exercise. The deep relaxation of floating improves blood circulation, and accelerates the growth and regeneration of muscle tissue.
In the London Olympics in 2012, some athletes used floatation therapy in order to improve their performance.
Parents and Mothers-to-be often hold in tension from changes happening in their lives and bodies. Floatation is a wonderful respite and great for a quick rejuvenation to help mothers-to-be prepare for their impending new arrival. In some cases women have noted a greater connection to the baby whilst in the floatation pod and some tell of babies becoming more active during this time.
People with Autism generally have a lot of trouble filtering the sensory information around them, Floatation therapy can help to make an especially chaotic environment relaxing, with time this can aid daily routines.
Addiction is simply a compulsion to continue doing something. It’s not the initial giving up which is the issue, it’s the ongoing stopping which is the difficult part.
In the period immediately after quitting a habit, the floatation pod alleviates the pains of withdrawal and enables the user to feel some pleasure. Floating also reduces the level of such anxiety-related biochemicals, which are released in great quantities during withdrawal.
This is very similar to smoking, getting someone to initially stop taking dugs is one thing, but getting them to stop for lasting periods of time is the main obstacle. Floating has a very unique way of making a long lasting change in the mind and behaviour of people, this combined with the initial willingness to stop taking drugs, sees great success stories. At The Float Spa we will be teaming up with a Life Coach to help provide positive messaging in the floatation tanks, this will help to change the mindset of people into stopping drug taking. For more information on these positive messaging, please speak to a member of the team.
Similarly successful results have been obtained in using the tank to help heavy drinkers reduce their alcohol intake, or stop drinking altogether.
The Floatation tank can be used as a self-assessment tool to devise programs:
- For the first time you can even work on coming up with solutions.
- What you want to say to yourself in the tank, which is in its self very therapeutic.
- Then each session that follows becomes a kind of booster session, adding power
to the suggestions you have already incorporated into your life.
This way the behaviour modification programmes can have their greatest effect.
The BBC reports that 14,800 deaths a year, related to prescription drug abuse, more than Heroin and Cocaine combined. This number is rapidly growing. Float tanks have been an incredible tool for assisting in the process of breaking a pain killer addiction, see addiction tab.
Floatation therapy is an ideal environment for working through traumatic or painful memories without the emotional charge they usually carry. The reduction of stress hormones prevents the body from triggering the same emotional stress cycles usually created when reliving painful memories, allowing us to reprogramme our brains to dissociate these traumatic memories from the stressful neurochemicals they usually release.
We use large portion of our mental and physical resources counteracting the force of gravity, the relief of this effort leaves our body with a surplus of energy and processing power at its disposal. The floatation pod is the only easily accessible place to counter the gravity, and allow your body to truly rest and recover.
Your Floating Experience
Here’s what you can expect and what to do to get the most out of your floating experience:
- Book your float, choose which day and time works for you here, this can be done online, by phone or on The Float Spa App available by iPhone app (download this here) or Android app (download this here).
- Show up, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your float, to allow you to start the relaxation process and enjoy your welcome drink.
- We will be providing you with all the necessary information prior to your float.
Shower prior your float – Shampoo, conditioner, body wash and towels will be provided, lay back and enjoy your float.
- After your float, rinse off the Epsom Salts, get changed, use the hairdryers provided within the Vanity Room.
- Enjoy some Organic tea, sit, relax and reflect, if you are ready to; talk and share your experience.
Dehydration any time is not great for your brain and even more so whilst you are floating, we do provide you with plenty of ice cold water to ensure you have the best experience in the tank.
We do find performing physical activity (yoga, cardio, or resistance training) before you float enhances your floating experience. As your body has expended pent-up energy, muscles and tissues are loose and flowing with blood, your mind is clear and calm. Floating in this state can potentially create a deeper state of meditation.
Due to the high concentrate of Epsom Salts in the water this can cause a stinging on any cuts or lesions. Therefore we would recommend men avoid shaving at least 6 hours before you float and women avoid shaving at least 12 hours before your float.
If you have a cigarette just prior to the tank, it may stimulate you. You may find that during your float any cigarette cravings are suppressed.
Virtual Float Consultation
Listen to tips and advice to get the most our of your experience.
Best Practices in the Pod
Your breath is the most effective tool for calming the mind and relaxing the body. Try to breathe primarily from your nose. At first, you can consciously take deep breaths, but once you settle into your experience try less to manipulate the breath and more just observing the breath. Don’t worry your body will always remember to breath. If you have practiced any meditation or breathing techniques, floating is the perfect opportunity to use them.
The most important thing is to get comfortable. At first try to position your body in the middle of the tank and try to avoid bouncing from side to side. Everyone’s body is different an often the back of the neck is an area of tension. Let your head fall back a little and your neck will relax, don’t worry about your head it will not sink. If the first position isn’t comfortable, try to move around until you find a more comfortable position, here are two of our favourite positions – With your arms at your side, palms down or Arms over-head with your palms up.
When you have found a position which is comfortable just lay, some experienced floaters ‘let go’ almost instantly. However for new floaters laying still in unknown surroundings can be daunting. There is no set of rules to advise what is the best to do in the tanks, we just advise to not force things. Try not to do anything. More importantly don’t expect something to happen.
You may become aware of your breathing – this is a great sign. In the absence of external stimulation, this awareness will help you to relax and ultimately ‘let go.’
Being physically still after finding a comfortable position you and remaining there combined with stilling your mind either through breath awareness or a focus word (mantra) can lead you into a state of holistic stillness. This is when the body is in a state of healing.
Without external stimuli, feel your arms, legs, torso, head, as intensely as possible. Cultivate as much sensitivity to these parts as possible. Feel the energetic uniformed consistency of these parts and observe them without judgment, without limits. Observe your thoughts, emotions and sensations.
It is recommended you float a minimum of 3 times before deciding if it is for you. It takes a couple of sessions to become comfortable with the newness, let go and realise the benefits. Once you realise the benefits, the cheapest way to float is with a membership.
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Our Float Pods
The Float Spa has the biggest floatation pods (the I-Sopod) on the market. They are a high 8ft 6″ long by 5ft 6″ wide. You have lots of space to manoeuvre around so you don’t feel claustrophobic and you can get in and out whenever you like. You control the opening of the pod, which you can have either fully open, partially open or fully closed and the light, which you can turn on or off at any time, to ensure your experience is right for you.
Each floatation pod is filled with 10 inches of water and 1000 pounds of Epsom Salts kept to skin temperature. When you enter the pod it creates an environment that is free from gravity and sensory input (light and sound). Not only are Epsom Salts naturally very good at eliminating germs, the water is filtered to 1 micron which is 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair and 30 times smaller than most float pod filtering capabilities making our float pods the cleanest ones available.
Each float pod is located in its own room with its own shower and a lock on the door for total privacy. Our staff are able to open the doors from the outside though if you find yourself in need of assistance and use the intercom system inside the pods to contact reception.
Floatation Therapy FAQs
Please try to avoid caffeinated drinks for several hours beforehand as it can interfere with your ability to relax. For men avoid shaving 6 hours before a float and for women allow at least 12 hours, since the Epsom Salt solution can irritate and sting your skin. Eating a light meal about an hour to and hour and half prior to your float should alleviate any hunger pains.
Your room is completely private so most people choose to float in the nude. Our float rooms are equipped with its own shower and is for your exclusive use.
Epsom Salts are naturally occurring pure mineral compounds of magnesium and sulphate. Magnesium plays an important role in regulating over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation and muscle tension. Sulphates enhance the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and ease migraine headaches.
Some of our clients do not want to leave our pods. A standard float session usually last for 60 minutes. However more experienced floaters book multiple sessions that can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. We do also have night floating options for advanced floaters – please enquire at reception for this.
Yes. We do require anyone under 18 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
We do not recommend floating for Epileptics, Heart Conditions and Ear Infections. You will be required to complete a questionnaire prior to your session to determine if floating is safe for you.
The pods are completely in your control and you can get in and out at any time.
The water is fully filtered 4 times between each float. A powerful pump and the very latest in filtration technology are incorporated in the design. Existing floatation tanks filter at around 30 microns whereas the i-sopod filters are fully effective to one micron which is an incredible 100 times smaller than a human hair!
Also the Epsom Salts are a natural disinfectant and are in abundance in the water – please do not worry you will not smell like you just came out of a public swimming pool or a hot tub.
Everyone has very unique float experiences. Most feel relaxed similar to wonderful massage. Be gentle and give yourself time after your float, we provide a post float sorbet, to help cleanse your pallet and also some tea but we understand if you want to enjoy the quiet and absorb the experience.
We all have expectations and are normal part of our instant and busy society. As a rule of thumb we suggest to not hold any expectations before your first float session and to have a neutral mind. Simply by letting go of expectations, the mind is a boundless clean slate.
Floating has been around for over 50 years (first developed in 1954) and has thousands of published scientific research papers to back it up.