Yesterday, I found a new favourite thing to do!
Yesterday, I went Floating.
“The Float Room” in the Finn Valley Centre, Stranorlar is recently established and going from strength to strength.
I’ve been meaning to try floating for ages now, having heard great reports, so I was delighted when Gary invited myself and the Hubby over to try out the floating chamber.
I didn’t really know what to expect. We arrived to a warm welcome from proprietor Gary Ramsay, who brought us through to the floating suite. The room is spacious, well appointed and clean; a bathroom and shower adjoins the changing room.
In the centre of the room was a big white door. The door looks like a fridge from a space ship, but inside is a little cocoon of blue loveliness.
Gary guided us through the process with simple instructions.
Once everything had been explained, he left us to it. What I really enjoyed about the experience was that you are left alone. You are completely in charge of your own experience. When in a spa, you’re always aware that the therapist will return in just a few minutes. Here, unless you need a member of staff, you are free to enjoy the experience at your own pace. (there is of course an emergency button should you need assistance. It’s never been pressed!)
The chamber is beautiful. The blue lights are soothing and calming. The ceiling has colour-changing LED lights which are a sensory treat. When you enter the bath, music plays for the first 15 minutes. This is followed by 30 minutes of quiet and then the music gently returns when there is 15 minutes of your session left. It is a clever system as you can allow yourself to forget time completely.
The bath itself is huge. Two people can comfortably share the chamber. The water isn’t overly deep and is toasty warm, and once you lie into it, you do indeed float! With over a tonne of Epsom salts in the tub, you are fully unable to sink. (I swim like a concrete block, so this was a very new experience for me!)
The most difficult part of the experience is actually relaxing! It took me quite a while to fully surrender to the water. I had to fully focus on relaxing certain muscles. My neck was automatically keeping my head above water, but when you consciously force it to relax, it’s incredible.
The lights on the ceiling can be controlled manually. We chose to turn them off. I think that when I go again, I’ll keep the music on throughout. I enjoyed the silence of course, but the music was relaxing and added that spa-like feel to the experience.
At the end of the session, when the filter begins to clean the chamber, you begin to spin gently as if on a whirlpool. This was weird, but fun! I think that with a few more sessions, I’d get better at relaxing and get further benefit from the experience.
As a couple, we don’t often get a full hour of uninterrupted conversation. I thought that we’d have a chance to talk, but obviously when you’re floating, your ears are under water, so there was no chatting! There are neck cushions that can be used however if you do want to chat with your floating partner. Goggles and earplugs are also available in the changing room.
The one piece of advice that I wish I’d paid more attention to, was to keep my hands away from my eyes!
Epsom salts + contact lenses = ouchee! But a dry towel beside the chamber door soon sorted that.
The shower room and changing room are fully equipped with robes, towels and toiletries. There is a powerful hairdryer and a basket of everything you might have forgotten! Bottles of water and “sucky sweets” were welcome after the float.
I have to say, by bedtime, my back and shoulders had the ache of having had a good massage. I slept like a baby last night.
So all in all, the experience was a lovely one. It was different. It was relaxing. It was very enjoyable.
I would happily go back on my own, or with himself. If nothing else, it meant that I knew that he had had a full hour of relaxation without his phone beeping!
I can fully understand why Floating can benefit everyone. It is proven to have immense benefits for pregnancy and Gary tells me that he has a number of clients to who bring their autistic children along as a form of relaxation.
Gary will be at my Bump and Beyond event on April 3rd so will answer any questions. Or if you can’t wait until then, call him on 0894428691 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
I am So-floating Mum 😆
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