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By Lauren Harrigan
October 21, 2016

Soak Your Stresses Away at Float Well

Caring for yourself is more important than ever.
By Lauren Harrigan
October 21, 2016

October can be a stressful time—students have the weight of final exams looming, everyone else just wants Christmas to hurry up and get here. In such a busy time, caring for yourself is more important than ever. Look out for those transeasonal colds, amiright?

Float Well is here for when you want to escape. The concept of float tanks are relatively new to New Zealand, but they're one of the best ways to switch off and blissfully relax. Perched above Manners street in the James Smith arcade building, Kevin and Sam have introduced a central spot for getting your floating fix. Their beautiful premises (it feels like a yoga studio, yet also a grounded day spa) are home to two float tank rooms, with an in-house massage therapist and a biodynamic craniosacral therapist available for treatments if you'd like to take your flotation therapy experience further.

The concept of flotation therapy is relatively new in New Zealand, but it's quickly becoming known as an amazing way to unwind, whether you choose to occasionally float or make it a weekly thing. At the centre of the experience is the float tank: it's a very large, egg-like bath with a lid. Inside is 500 kilograms of epsom salts, dissolved in 1000 litres of water. It creates a wonderfully buoyant environment, alleviating your body weight and suspending you in a warm environment only a couple of degrees above your blood temperature which allows you to fully relax.

To truly test this flotation experience, I went along to Float Well's studio to experience the pod for myself. Kevin and Samantha greeted me and introduced me to the concept and process of the day's float. Each flotation room has a shower and a tank. You take a relaxing shower to wash any substances from your body (in order to keep the quadruple-medical-grade-filtered saltwater clean), and sink into the pod, pulling the lid down after you. For those worried or claustrophobic, there's a metre of air between you and the top of the tank, and you can opt to keep the lights on or off. I went for full sensory deprivation and switched them off. After ten minutes of calming music played through the water, I settled in for my hour long float session.

"When you're in there, you feel as though time is only a construct," said Kevin. I absolutely understood where he was coming from. The first ten minutes were full of my own thoughts; of what I was going to eat for dinner that night and what I had coming up uni-wise, but after that I don't really remember a thing, other than a serene, deep relaxation. With nothing to listen to, nothing to feel and nothing to see, my body gradually and completely let go as I floated, starfish-like in the warmth. I think I even fell asleep for a bit, but maybe I was just so deeply relaxed there was nothing to capture my attention.

Kevin and Samantha have a diverse clientele who come to them to float. Businesspeople at the end of a busy workweek, sportspeople looking to alleviate aches and body stress, or pregnant women who just want some relaxation. The pod's conditions are also conducive to meditation, stimulating creativity and helping to ease anxiety or depression. After your float, their beautiful lounge is the perfect place to reflect and unwind with a tea and the living plant wall. I slumbered like a baby every night for the rest of the week.

Prices for floats vary; visit the Float Well website for further details.

Published on October 21, 2016 by Lauren Harrigan

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