Guest Post by Sarah Langford

I was excited when Ben told me he’d arranged a float session at Pure Zen. Excited and nervous. I’d been interested in having an isolation tank experience ever since I saw Ben Affleck’s Daredevil using one in the 2003 film. (Side note: it’s a terrible film, but the idea that the only way the hero can sleep is in a float tank, because of his heightened senses is interesting). I walked into the float therapy centre with expectations and some trepidation. I hoped the experience would be luxurious and relaxing, and that it might help kickstart some of my creative endeavours. I was worried that I would be bored for an hour floating in the dark or that I would fall asleep and waste the experience.

My expectations turned out to be correct and my fears unfounded. The Pure Zen Therapy Centre is a paradise tucked into one of those odd little southside courts. Each therapy suite has a rain shower complete with toiletries, fluffy towels and a comb in addition to the float pod itself. At the end of the hall there’s a bathroom with make up mirrors and hair dryers. The chill out lounge has resort-style lounges, books, chilled water and herbal teas. After my float I had some water and flipped through a book of artwork inspired by floating experiences. One of the artworks mentioned the sensation of rotating anticlockwise, which I found interesting as I had the same experience. It made me feel as if I were leaf caught in a gentle current.

I’d heard of people having hallucinations in the tank. I’m not sure if I was hoping for one or not, but either way it didn’t eventuate. I did, however, see bursts of colour similar to what you might see when you rub your closed eyes. I saw these even with my eyes open. I experimented with different arm positions and eventually found the hands-up/surrender position to be the most comfortable. I left the light on in the tank until the music stopped, about ten minutes into the float, to ensure that I wasn’t going to feel claustrophobic. Once the light was out, I feel like I was floating in infinite space. I tilted my head back and let my mind wander. Before I knew it, the music was back on and my float was over.

At the end I felt relaxed but focused, as if I could either take a nap or tackle everything on my to do list. The relaxed feeling lasted the rest of the day and I slept well that night. The next day at work I began writing an article that I’d outlined a month ago but been putting off actually starting. I will definitely be going floating again and I recommend you try it too.

Some Dos and Don’ts

Don’t

• Put on make-up or use hair products, you’ll just have to wash it all off before you enter the pod

• Be too worried about claustrophobia unless it’s severe. You can leave the pod open as the lights in the room automatically turn off when the music ends. There’s a button in the pod to summon a staff member if there are any problems

Do

• Try it!

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Disclaimer: While Sarah was provided with a complimentary float session by Pure Zen all opinions stated in this article are wholely her own and not those of Pure Zen or any other entity. 

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