Left alone floating in a dark bath for one hour with all your thoughts? That’s a daunting prospect. But I was assured this was not the case at floatation therapy specialist Astral Float Studio.
We live in a world surrounded by constant internal and external stimulation. Floating is the ultimate escape – like pressing ‘mute’ on life for a blissful hour (or more!). Now floating has come to Canberra and believe me when I say, you’ve got to give it a go!
How does it work you ask? Well, the float tank screens out these external physical stimuli, while 300 kilograms of Epsom Salt in the water creates the perfect zero gravity environment for your body and senses to rest.
Upon entry of the space you are immediately overcome with tranquility and peace, free of distractions and the daily grind.
After a brief run through of logistics and how the tanks work, I was escorted into a private room complete with a shower, toilet, neatly folded towels and everything I needed for my first sensory deprivation float tank therapy experience.
You can choose to enter the tank in your swimmers or, for those after the full sensory experience, with nothing on at all. Rest assured the room is completely private and you will not be caught starkers! If you do require assistance there is a switch within the tank that alerts staff to check on you.
At first the novelty of the float was distracting in itself, and I found myself splashing around in the exciting capsule of darkness before letting completely go of reality and enabling my body to truly relax and unwind.
In this deepened relaxed state the body’s natural abilities to heal, focus, and harness creativity are heightened. This makes floating a powerful learning tool for students, artists, or anyone looking to get the most out of their profession.
Owner Sarah Tisdell explains that floatation therapy has many benefits. It helps to reduce stress and pain relief, it can also help treat anxiety and curb addictions or habits. Floating can boost your energy levels and provide the mental clarity that you’re searching for. Plus it’ll help you pay back some of your sleep debt!
You produce slower brain-wave patterns, known as theta waves, while floating. Theta waves are normally experienced just before falling asleep or during deep meditation. This can be accompanied by vivid imagery, very clear, creative thoughts, sudden insights and inspirations. Your mind is free to explore thoughts without distraction and your brain pumps out dopamine and endorphins – the neurotransmitters of happiness.
The full hour passed, although it only felt like a short time. I had dozed off in a pretty moderate sleep, my brain turned off eventually which I thought would be quite impossible, and I lost touch with my surroundings. In hindsight, it’s difficult to describe the feeling, but your body is overcome with, well, nothingness, and you discover a whole new level of relaxation with no worry in the world.
If you’re feeling a little stressed out, after a bit of R&R or just want to catch up on some Z’s, then book in for a float to free your mind, ignite your spirit and rejuvenate your body.