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Life Chez Dee Episode #30: Floating

Well this is something a bit different … I went for a float.

For those who don’t know what that is, I’ll explain, but I think it’s probably best to rewind to how this all came about.

Rossco’s Float Rooms have opened not far from me in Ansdell. I noticed that they had opened fairly recently, and I’ve often wondered about what it was all about, as I’ve driven past. It’s always caught my eye, even late at night, when Ross is still there clearly attending customers with late appointments, or just catching up on paperwork.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I popped in to see what it was all about. I chatted with Ross for absolutely ages; about the charity; what we were about; what we were doing; being at the heart of the community; about what was coming up; and about so much more, to be honest I could have chatted longer; there was an ease to the conversation, and Ross seemed just as interested in all the charity was doing, as much as I was intrigued about the float rooms. Ross kindly offered a raffle prize for me to use at the recent Firecracker Ball #forEdward, but also offered a float for me to use personally. After listening to me and what I was up to he said he’d like to offer me a float, as he believed I deserved a bit of relaxation and “me time”. I wasn’t fishing at all for this I told him, which he knew, but in any event I left with the invitation to float, and with the feeling that deep down I knew that I needed that time out.

The day of the float came; I’d read some of the information which Ross had emailed out to me, which I was supposed to familiarise myself with before the first float. I was really looking forward to it; I felt I really needed this, and it had come at a perfect time for me as I was feeling rather exhausted; just general tiredness after some incredibly busy weeks.

The weather was awful; I didn’t even bother with a shower that morning; I knew I’d be showering before my float; I knew my hair would be washed before I could float; I knew that after the school run in that weather I’d look like someone dragged through a hedge backwards anyway. I read that I shouldn’t drink a caffeinated drink beforehand, so to get the best float experience, I refrained from my usual morning milky tea. I didn’t think that an odd tea would make too much difference to be honest, but I thought I’d do the session properly and follow the advice. So a banana and some herbal tea it was for me that morning. I looked through the packets of herbal tea which I have, and thought I’d go for Detox tea given what was lined up this morning. I have loads of herbal teas, I really like them, but I only buy the Pukka teas, and that’s because the guys behind this company are herbalists, so really know what they’re doing. In my opinion they’re the best tasting herbal teas around, and they were introduced to me by Mel Hornby, a medical herbalist, who I both trust implicitly and use regularly. She is my go to person for anything and everything; who has sorted out all manner of complaints and conditions for myself and the boys which the doctors couldn’t; or wouldn’t. I have total faith in her. Anyway, she has met the guys behind Pukka; she recommends the tea; all good.

So the time has arrived. Cold, tired, dishevelled and caffeine free, I turn up at the float rooms.

A warm welcome, a video of what to expect, and personally shown into the float room by Ross, I was ready for my float experience.

First job was to put my ear plugs in. I hate ear plugs. They never really fit my ears. I have endless problems with them falling out, but I was assured that they would fit as they were very pliable and would fit any shape. I had to mould the plug into a point and put that into the ear then press the rest of the plug until it formed a seal. I did this. Again, I thought I’d have problems as my ears are rather sensitive, and they felt a bit painful both being sealed up, but I left them in as instructed, and had a shower. Shampoo and body wash was provided, and the temperature of the shower was already set (apparently the perfect temperature before going into the float room). No conditioner was to be used on my hair before the float, as I was told that oils affected the conditions in the water.

I was told that getting changed and showering should take about 5 minutes and then I should step into the float room. Opening the door, I wasn’t surprised at how inviting it all was, as I’d already had a sneaky peek at the rooms when I’d popped in a few weeks ago, but the reality of being there, and actually having the experience, felt really special. I stepped into the water, it was really warm, it wasn’t deep, and I closed the door behind me.

Sitting in the pool and then lowering myself down, I was unable to do anything but float. The water is filled with half a ton of Epsom salts to support you. I lay back, head back, every inch of me floating and feeling like I was suspended and supported. The water temperature and the air temperature the same so you are not really aware of being in water, it feels as though the air and water are as one, and you are indeed floating.

A few minutes of meditative music with star lights in the ceiling it felt relaxing, but at the same time I was conscious that I was very aware of my surroundings, probably more to the fact that this was my first float and I didn’t really know what to expect. The music stopped, the ceiling lights dimmed, and I was left in a state of relaxation, floating, with nothing going on around me. Nothing. I relaxed, tried to clear my mind, thoughts popping in, consciousness creeping in and out. It’s hard to think of nothing. Those starting to meditate must feel the same, but I know that I was relaxed, I know that I had periods of drifting into nothingness, a stillness; I know I must have fallen asleep at some point as my body did that twitch as you suddenly wake.

With five minutes left of my float time, the star lights came on as did the relaxing music. Followed by the lights going off, and the pumps starting, indicating that it was time for me to get out.

A lovely shower with all products provided awaited, and I was able to go into a vanity area where mirrors and hairdryers were also available for me to use.

I returned to the waiting area and plonked myself on the sofa. A lemon and ginger herbal tea waiting for me (it wasn’t a Pukka tea, albeit very welcome, and lovely), and I chatted with Ross and others in the waiting room.

I felt so relaxed. Warm, at ease, calm, and feeling really good, I didn’t really want to move. I didn’t feel like I actually wanted to get up from that sofa at all that afternoon, and thought I was going to take root.

I would love for this float session to be a regular thing. I know many do float regularly to help with all manner of ailments and conditions, from aching limbs, bad backs, arthritis, and even fibromyalgia. The health benefits are phenomenal; the space and time, the time out, the ease of pressure on the body, and not forgetting the absorption of an enormous amount of magnesium through the skin, this mineral being so important for so many functions of the body, and which so many people are deficient in.

I don’t have any medical conditions, but for me this was a wonderful way to relax, me time, clear my head time, and scheduled time for this, which is so important. For me, money is the only barrier to me not doing this regularly, even though Ross has some amazing offers for regular customers, but having no income I’m not in a position to sign up to these offers, so for the time being I’ll have to save up and treat myself to that occasional time, space and nothingness, that bit of me time so I’m able to relax and recharge. Thank you Ross for this treat, it was very special, and very much needed and appreciated.

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