Recently a good friend of mine decided to open a float centre in bangkok. From the initial idea to the opening of the beautifully designed space located in Avenue Mall, Sukhumvit 24 took about a year to complete. Whilst very popular in the U.S and and the U.K. the concept hadn’t yet caught on here. And if a new type of relaxation activity (or rather inactivity) was going to work in the land of massages and health spas, it was going to be floatation tanks.
I had seen them before in the U.K. and always wanted to try floating. I am always in the swimming pool and I simply love the feeling of floating, preferably in the sun. Its one of the most relaxing things I like to do. But it takes effort to float in a pool- if you’re not naturally buoyant that is, which I am not. In a floatation tank however, there is just so much salt that the water is actually very viscous. Not only is it effortless to float, it is absolutley impossible to sink.
It is an amazing feeling, incredibly relaxing and unlike anything else, except perhaps floating in zero gravity space – which just isn’t an option.. yet. The body is given the chance to completely reset, all weight and pressure taken away from every joint. In this way, it is truly unique.
Simple relaxation and a respite for the joints, whilst reason enough to float regularly, are not the only benefits. When I enquired about the benefits I was hit with a whole host of medical benefits. One that stood out to me however, were the benefits for expecting mothers and hence the writing of this post. It isn’t common knowledge yet many of our readers would definitely appreciate knowing that the float center exists in the city and also that it could be a much needed addition to their weekly routine, perhaps even replacing their weekly massage.
Carrying around any extra weight through pregnancy or obesity puts huge strain on the body. It brings with it aches and pains that transform and move around the body as the body tries to alleviate the pain through counter adjusting the body position. Back pain can quite often be attributed to a sore foot or leg since the body takes pressure away from any painful position and therefore putting the body into a completely unnatural posture, leading to even more and often worse problems.
As pregnancy develops into the second and particularly third trimesters, pressure on the lungs and internal organs can make sleeping difficult. Something that is arguably needed more than anything else during this exhausting period. Speak to anyone that has tried floating or who floats regularly and they will tell you that you sleep amazingly afterwards. Reason enough to try, no? But wait there is more.
The Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) solution in the tanks carries the most heath benefits. Stress actually drains the body’s magnesium reserves and increases adrenaline levels. The Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin during the floating process and replenishes this important mineral. This in turn helps to boost Serotonin (the chemical in the brain that is responsible for making you happy)
Many experts believe that regular floating (two to three times a week) can not only make you feel better, giving you more energy (this was my experience) but look better and younger (also something a female friend told me the day after my second float, not knowing that I had floated)
Epsom salt also relieves inflammation, sore muscles, cramps and can even heals cuts. Studies have shown that it helps regulate electrolytes in the body resulting in better functioning of muscles and nerves and a reduction in headaches and migraines.
The salts aid blood circulation, improve artery elasticity and prevent blood clots and hence reduce the risk of heart disease in this way. One other very important aspect of floating in Epson salt is the flushing of toxins from the body through the process of reverse osmosis that occurs, whereby salt and toxins are excreted through the pores.
So if you are pregnant, know someone who is or think you would benefit from any of the health benefits mentioned here, then book yourself a float with Theta State. It is an amazing experience, that improves each and every time that you float. For the meditational benefits associated with isolation through the depravation of sound and sight, head down to Theta State Float Centre (thetastatefloat.com) and have a chat with the guys. Its a great space to relax and chat to the very friendly Thai and Western staff. They will happily talk you through the floating process and exactly what you can expect to experience during and after.