Do you love Nyepi like I do, a night without lights without sound? Pure peace. Now can you imagine that times a Godzillion? Total darkness. Total silence. This is what you’ll discover in a floatation tank, what was formerly known as a sensory deprivation tank.
The first tank was designed in 1954 by John C. Lilly, an American physician and neuroscientist. He designed the tank to study the origins of consciousness by cutting off all external stimuli.
His research took a controversial turn in the 1960s. That’s when he began experimenting with sensory deprivation while under the effects of LSD, a hallucinogenic, and ketamine, a fast-acting anesthetic that is known for its ability to sedate and create a trance-like state.
In the 1970s, commercial float tanks were created and began being studied for possible health benefits. The popularity of floating took off and you can now find floatation tanks throughout the world. It took a while for floating to come to Bali, which now has three centers.
My friend told me about this new spa on Drupadi, which I thought she said was called Flirtation. I drove up and down Drupadi looking but couldn’t find a spa named Flirtation. During dinner I asked her about it and she laughed, “Its Floatation.” She then described exactly where it’s located.
I used to float a lot in Vancouver in the early nineties and in Thailand so was excited to learn that there was a floatation center in Seminyak. Terapung Float Club is a very modern and Zen-like center consisting of four floors with six tanks, yoga, IV therapy, spa treatments and a Zen relaxation room to chill out in after your float.
After filling in a consultation form I was escorted to the media room to watch a three minute video explaining what to expect. Then I was taken to a hair wash station where I was treated to a shampoo and marvelous head massage for several minutes to get me in the mood. With a towel wrapped around my head we entered the elevator to the first floor where there are three tanks. The toilets were pointed out and I was advised to use them before my session. I was shown into my float room where a large open egg shaped tank, which doesn’t close, occupied most of the room. It’s about 2.5 meters long and 2 meters wide. Two lights kept changing colours in the pool which was less than half a meter deep. The panic button was pointed out to me in case I needed to get out before an hour was finished. There was a very modern bathroom with shower and amenities and was told to take a shower first. Going naked is the policy here for your comfort. It was explained that the light in the bathroom would go out in about six minutes followed by the lights in the tank and then the music would shut off. The door is locked for your privacy.
I carefully climbed into the tank making sure not to slip on the glass floor. The water is body temperature so it felt nice and warm. On the side is a spray bottle and small towel in case I splashed any water in the eyes. Easing into the buoyant water I was immediately floating. I closed my eyes and stretched out my arms and began some deep breathing to relax. A few minutes later the lights went out and I was in complete darkness. I took more deep breaths to enhance my relaxation. Then the music stopped. Black Silence.
My mind raced around for some time but eventually I came to a state of total relaxation and peace. Some people sleep but I remained awake in a dream-like trance. Far too soon I thought, the music started again and the lights in the pool came on. Shortly the bathroom became light and I resisted opening my eyes, wishing to stay in my Zen state. I slowly opened my eyes and took my time rousing myself to climb out of the tank. I felt completely spaced out. But my bladder was urging me to hurry.
After a shower I dressed and went to the toilets to blow my hair dry. Nothing felt rushed, I took my time taking the elevator to the third floor to the Zen room where an attendant was waiting with a small pot of lemongrass, ginger and cinnamon tea. She smiled and assured me that there was no sugar in the tea. Then I was left alone to collect my scattered thoughts.
What are the benefits of floating?
Studies suggest time spent floating in a sensory deprivation tank may have some benefits, such as muscle relaxation, better sleep, decrease in pain, and decreased stress and anxiety. It may increase originality, imagination, and intuition, which can all lead to enhanced creativity. Furthermore, due to the 500 kilograms of Epsom salts in the solution, makes floating a detoxifying process, as you absorb the magnesium which is great for the skin, hair, and body in general.
How does it work?
The water in a sensory deprivation tank is heated to skin temperature and nearly saturated with Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate), providing buoyancy so you float more easily.
You enter the tank nude and are cut off from all outside stimulation, including sound, sight, and gravity when the tank’s lid or door is closed. As you float weightless in the silence and darkness, the brain is supposed to enter into a deeply relaxed state.
How to prepare to float.
- You arrive at the flotation center or spa, showing up early if it’s your first visit.
- Remove all of your clothing and jewelry.
- Shower before entering the tank.
- Enter the tank
- Gently lie back and let the buoyancy of the water help you float.
- Music plays for 6 minutes at the start of your session to help you relax.
- Float for an hour.
- Music plays for the last five minutes of your session.
- Get out of the tank once your session has ended.
- Shower again and get dressed.
- To help you relax and get the most out of your session, it is recommended that you eat something approximately 30 minutes before your session. It’s also helpful to avoid caffeine for four hours beforehand.
- Shaving or waxing before a session is not recommended as the salt in the water can irritate the skin.
Friends have asked if floating is like meditation. Not really. It’s different. Your mind eventually stops racing without focus. For me, it was like being in a dreamy state. Feeling very pleasant and completely relaxed. It’s the best way to eliminate stress. Try it, you’ll probably love it and at Terapung Float Club they have packages of 12 floats to save you money.
Terapung Float Club
Jl Drupadi 99A, (next to Harris Hotel) Seminyak.
W : www.terapung.com
T : Whats app 62818180999 to book your first float.
Copyright spa inspirations 2019
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