I was told about Floatworks a few months back and became intrigued very quickly. Living and working in London can be incredibly stressful. Your senses are often overloaded without you realising it. Not enough people give their minds and bodies time to relax. Roughly once a year a survey is released in the national papers that normally reads,
“Britain ranked 9th in the League of Happiness. Denmark wins again.“
Of course, British people put on their stiff upper lip, ignore these articles and indeed anything that reveals the truth when it comes to stress, health and wellness.
I visited Floatworks a couple of weeks back in the midst of Britain’s worst December weather for a century. Needless to say, it was dark around 4pm and my energy levels were flagging. I waited in the reception area and was invited to read a few notes about the floating pod that I was about to lie in for an hour. Shortly after this, I put on some slippers and was shown to a room. Inside is a shower and a floating pod. Each pod is almost full of water and due to the high levels of salt, you have to put ear plugs in. I lowered the hood of the pod so that the ethereal blue lighting began to shimmer in the water. You can turn the light off, have it on one colour or rotating through different colours. For the first ten minutes, there is very relaxing music playing. When you first lie back, it is a strange sensation. You are used to lying in a bath and assume your head and body will naturally sink. Like with the Dead Sea, the salt counteracts your body’s desire to sink and pushes you up. When you totally relax, it feels as if you are floating.
I was lucky enough to meet the owner of Floatworks, Tim Strudwick. He told me that he used to work in finance in the City. One day he slipped a disc in his back and was out of action for 7 months. He tried a floating pod in Notting Hill that sped up his recovery and the seed was planted. After talking to him, it became clear that floating is not something you do once and get instant gratification from. It is something you have to do over a period of time. Sometimes you feel the benefits of floating when you sleep well that night. Other times, the mental health implications will kick in the next day as you see something from a different perspective.
I can safely say that after two sessions at Floatworks, I really enjoyed the experiences. Like when you are a child, floating allows you to have fun, play with your surroundings and subsequently allow your mind to relax.
It is part escapism, part relaxation and self-indulgence. Because you can float in the dark, it is easy to drift in and out of consciousness without the fear of drowning as your head cannot sink due to the salt.
I definitely recommend this and will be returning for my next float soon.