Float Therapy

Do you even REST bro?

- By Luke Sparrow, Movement Coach and Remedial Massage Therapist

“I want to be stronger, get fitter, faster, feel less tired, have more energy, be in less pain …” sound familiar?

As a Movement Coach and Remedial Massage Therapist I hear these request regularly. The first thing that I say to my clients when they ask me such questions is, what do you mean by that? Almost all of them draw a blank, because if they knew, they wouldn't be asking in the first place.

As crucial as moving and improving the body is, in my experience, I have never been asked the one question that we should all be asking ourselves and that is, how do I rest?

STRESS COMES IN MANY FORMS

Whether you're training for a marathon, hit the gym a few times a week, climb mountains on the weekend, have a demanding job or lifestyle the one thing all of these have in common is stress!

STRESS IS NOT ALL THAT BAD

Stress is a word that has received a lot of insult in recent years but it is a very important part of a physiology. Stress (in any form) tells the body that it needs to be stronger and more resilient. It is this ability to adapt to the stresses in our environment that makes us the dominant species that we are. However for the body to make these adaptations it needs REST. All the intense strength training, sweat dripping boot camp classes and grueling runs are a big fat waste of time if you don't provide your body with the necessary rest it requires.

REST, WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS

So what the hell is rest? Firstly rest is subjective, I could write a whole article to try to convince you that something like meditation is incredible for rest and recovery, but if it's just not your thing then it's probably not going to be very effective in achieving the desired results (but seriously, meditation, wow!). Rest is that feeling you get when you can just let go and there is nothing, at least for the next moment or so, that you have to, want to or need to do. The result is a relieving blissful sigh that makes you melt inside just a little bit and nothing, it seems, could possibly bother you in the slightest.

Now ask yourself when is the last time you felt this feeling? If you know when and what it was that made you feel this way, perfect you now have a rest and relaxation practice. If you are struggling to remember the last time you felt like this, don't stress, you're not alone and there are many ways to find that feeling.

WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT

Remember, what relaxes and helps us achieve a resting state is different for all of us. For some it's after a walk, others a good chat with a friend or a float and a massage (or, floatage as we like to call it at CITY CAVE), some, it's meditation or just simply stopping for a second to do absolutely nothing. My advice to all rest seekers is to have an open mind and try lots of different things. However, there are two things that you must do:

1. SCHEDULE YOU REST: In our busy stressful lives, just like any other important part of your lifestyle, rest needs to be scheduled. You have the power to make a conscious choice to have time for yourself.

2. BE CONSISTENT: However you rest, keep it consistent. Just like you exercise your body, resting requires practice. If you knew how to do it then you wouldn't have drawn a blank on my previous question. But like any new thing start slow. Maybe put aside just a few minutes a day or a few times a week, whatever is manageable for you and increase it slowly.

I hope this helps and I look forward to seeing you in City Cave Paddington for a relaxing massage before or after your float.

If you have any more questions feel free to book a consultation with me.

Tune in or Tune Out? Part Two.

The tune out floats are the ones people chase, that feeling of nothing and nowhere. These are the easiest to find but the hardest to maintain.

Most of us will glimpse this float in our first or second try. If you have floated before you will recognise the ‘tune out’ by a sudden jolt or flicker like you have woken abruptly from sleep at the end. This state is called the ‘theta state;’ a deep meditative state before sleep where the left and right hemisphere of the brain fuse and leave you in an abyss.

This float is by far the hardest thing to explain as the truth of the matter is nothing happens.. But that is the goal. It’s in this nothingness that you find a true rest from the mind and the body. The best way to describe the nothingness is when you jump into a pool for the first time, as your head passes through the water you hear the explosion of bubbles and for a split second when your brain processes that you are underwater there is a silence, a nothing. It is very faint and happens in an instant but that moment there is what the ‘tune out’ feels like.

The beauty of this moment is if mastered, afterwards that rushing feeling of endorphins is amplified by how long you are “tuned out” for.

But you never know how long it is, nor where you've been, nor where you are right now. You become so disassociated from everything that you have no idea how to comprehend it. Imagine something with no time, space or matter. You can’t, nor can you explain where you go or what happens whilst you are gone.

Second versions of the ‘tune out’ can be experienced by hallucinations (whatever that means for you). Colours and visions have been described by longtime floaters but your mind will explore itself in ways no one other than you can describe.  The main point of the exercise is to really kick back into chill mode, you will find after this you seem to wear a bulletproof vest over your mind. It’s completely refreshing and addictive all in one.

Back to my original thoughts: it’s near impossible to decide what happens when you go in for your float, but they key is to not resist in order to make the most of it.  


I want to include some tips I use before and after to again maximise the experience;

  • Avoid the use of your phone for at least 30 minutes to an hour after your float. This helps you graciously migrate back into the world without being bombarded or struck with anything ‘over dramatic’.

  • Have gratitude for yourself for taking the time out and valuing your wellness above all else.

My key floating times:

  • 9.30am start your day right with this float. Generally after exercise or before a busy day. See how productive and energised this makes you.

  • 3.30pm & 5.00pm after work floats solidify a successful day or ease a stressful one. Its also amazing going in when its light and coming out in the dark!

  • 8.00pm for the night owls; It’s an extremely peaceful time to come out of your float and either set yourself up for the best sleep or relax into the evening.

  • Hydrate! Before and after your float make sure you are hydrated (A toilet is a good option beforehand always).

  • Like a good episode of ‘Cops’, STOP RESISTING! Resist and the problems persist.

  • Not all floats are created equal! Floating over a long period of time, I have had the good, the bad and the blissful. All serving a specific purpose regardless of how I perceive it.

If you have any questions about floating, my experiences or have shared a similar experience, please get in touch with me at jeremy@citycave.com.au

Tune in or Tune out? That is the question.

Float therapy is one of those things that progress with time. You get better and better at it and allows you to listen to your body and what it needs. We sat down with seasoned Floater and Co-Founder of City Cave Jeremy Hassell, to find out a bit about his experiences with floating. 


Part one. Tune in.

As a Co-founder of City Cave I have floated my fair share of hours. Every time is different and I learn something new every time I float, but something is to be said for a person that floats who owns a float centre. So here are some thoughts and realisations in the mind of an owner of a quite unique experience.

Firstly, what we all do as owners of a business, we critique everything. The first 10 minutes of every float the checklist goes through the head. How is the music? What is the light in the room like? How is the temperature? What was the cleanliness like? What do I need to change? Who do I need to tell? What's the urgency?...deep breath....ahhhhh
As I mentioned before every float is different and they generally consist of two mind frames; Tune in or tune out. Dependant on the lead-up, how life is or what's going on physically determines how it will go. Your mind and body will decide this on its own, you just need to accept what you actually need from this session. A common mistake is to fight what's happening.

Today I tuned in. What to expect from this mind frame? Initially, thoughts will be loud. As you progress through your float a thought process might come to you or a feeling in the body. Whatever it is will become clear and you may need to focus on an injury you have or ponder on a decision. This is all about tuning in. At some points in your world you need to listen to what your mind and body are saying to help maintain balance and control over your circumstance; Reducing a reactive mindset and helping you think laterally over your situations.

This float was in the morning before I started my day so I half expected it to be a tune in session. I felt amazing and ready to attack my day, cleared up any things that I was carrying mentally from the week prior and gave my body a good rest. I developed a scope over some niggling pains and discomforts in the body and created a plan for the week in my training to work to strengthen and avoid injury.

The benefits of the tune in float to a working week or stressful time are amazing. Giving clarity to decisions, productivity to the workspace and checking in with the needs and feeling of the body.

I feel grateful for these floats.

Take time for yourself and let your body and mind guide your next session.

- Jeremy Hassell

Stay tuned to for Part two, Tune Out next week. 

Want to chat with Jeremy more about his or your floating experience? Contact him directly on jeremy@citycave.com.au

 

How To Switch Off When You Float

We know that switching your mind off and practicing mindfulness when you float can be incredibly challenging for some people. So we asked one of our Psychologists, Kobie Allison to give us her top 5 tips for how you can prepare for your float experience by training your brain to switch off. 

Floating, Float Therapy, Float Therapy Brisbane, Brisbane Float Centre
  1. Opt for music on for the first 10 minutes and last 10 minutes to fully engage in sensory deprivation

  2. Prepare for the thoughts in your mind to race. This is natural and its okay.

  3. Take a personal inventory, by asking yourself "How am I feeling? How am I feeling now?" Repeat.

  4. Focus on your breathing: when you breathe in, your stomach expands, when you breathe out, your stomach deflates. When the thoughts start to race, keep bringing attention back to your breathing.

  5. Know that you can opt out at any time & enjoy a warm shower

Acknowledge your thoughts that come into your mind and allow them to pass you by. Mindfulness experts Head Space suggests treating the thoughts coming and going in your mind like a highway full of traffic. You can't stop all the cars that come past, but you can see them, acknowledge them and watch them go past.

For more information on Floating, check out our What is Floating? page or our FAQ page. 

We were on TV with Zoe Marshall! #madeit

We had Zoe Marshall and the House of Wellness Australia crew come down and visit us at the Paddington centre to find out all about the benefits of Epsom salt baths and float therapy. Check out the segment below that screened on 7Two and find out how Epsom salts have found their way back into fashion in the wellness scene as people re-discover how amazing they are for your body.  

Can I Float If I Am Pregnant?

We often get asked if it's okay to float during pregnancy, and the answer is yes! During pregnancy, there are many do's and don'ts that restrict the lifestyle you are used to living. Pain and discomfort can become the norm, but we have found Float Therapy can help to alleviate the discomfort and pain you generally experience in your 2nd and 3rd Trimester. 

Pain relief from pregnancy.

The float tank or float room is filled with four hundred kilograms of Epsom Salts that keep you buoyant. It takes the pressure away from all of you joints and muscles. Relief from gravity itself helps your body stretch out and find its natural curves and arches, allowing your spine to decompress. It allows better blood flow for your muscles and joints to repair quicker and your mind is removed from stimulation so it can focus on the problem areas. 

This can be a huge relief for anyone, but particularly for expectant mothers who are carrying around that additional weight. 

Float Centre, Wellness, Pregnant, Float Therapy, Brisbane wellness centre,

Connect with your Baby

Often people hear their own digestion and own heart beat when they are floating. When you are pregnant you can sometimes hear your baby. Stories are emerging of deep connections made with their child during pregnancy, from loud heart beats too fond movements whilst in floatation, allowing you to be in touch with your baby. When floating your baby can become very active and your babies responses can be felt more intuitively. Connections being made early on in pregnancy for mothers makes the process so much more personal.

Float Centre, Wellness, Pregnant, Float Therapy, Brisbane wellness centre, City Cave

Vitality and Immune System in pregnancy.

When you remove environmental stimulation and relieve body from gravity two things happen. Firstly your bodies blood flow increases dramatically through the spinal cord and neck straight from the heart to the brain. And secondly, when your mind has turned off from all stimulation it can focus on the fundamentals of repairing your body. Floating twice a week will keep your mind and bodies in routine of relief making the challenges of pregnancy that much easier. Your body and especially your baby will thank you for it.

We have also had some clients who have said that float therapy has helped ease morning sickness which is often experienced during the 1st and 2nd trimesters. 

Everyones experience during pregnancy is very unique in this time and float therapy makes it that little more of a unique experience. While we have many pregnant floaters, we do recommend discussing float therapy with your Obstetrician before giving it a go. 

 

Float Tanks Vs Float Rooms; What's the Go?

Floating is a new concept to most, so many don't know that we offer Float Therapy in two forms; Float Rooms and Float Tanks. In this blog, we break down the two types of floating experiences we offer so you can decide what works best for you. 

What Is A Float Tank?

A float tank is a pod designed around sensory deprivation. The human body rarely to never feels the relief of its own senses. At City Cave on James Street we designed it just for you. Sight, sound, taste, smell and feel are always effective in some way. Removing this constant allows the mind and body to reach deep relaxation. The content of the water is so rich of Epsom Salt (350kg-400kg) that you float effortlessly. The room and water temperature are resting at 34.5 degrees which is similar to your skin so you can't feel where the water starts or finishes allowing your body to take away its final constant, Gravity.

 

What is a Float Room?

At City Cave we designed Float Rooms so people that feel claustrophobic can have the opportunity to feel the benefits of sensory deprivation. The experience of floatation therapy is much the same in the float tank as it is in the float room, achieving deep relaxation and the journey through floating is just as easy, and you will find yourself feeling refreshed and energized at the end of your session. We have 2 Float Rooms at James Street, and 4 at Paddington that you can book in today.

Find out more about the benefits of floating and couples float services on our website linked here. 

If you have any questions or concerns about floating, give us a call on 07 3368 2207 and our staff will be more than happy to assist.