Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Have you heard of this? I must confess that I had not until moving to London. The concept of "floating" had definitely not hit Dusseldorf, or the Hachie (that I am aware of).

Floating is a "new" way to reduce stress that is all the rage here in London. Supposedly by "floating", one relaxes totally and leaves the float experience feeling incredibly rejuvenated with all muscles feeling very relaxed.

So what is "floating"? Well, there are any number of float spas popping up in London, but a girlfriend and I frequented one in Notting Hill this last weekend. In addition to their normal services of massage and facials, a one hour "float" session can also be arranged. Essentially, one gets into his/her own private egg shaped pod with a closeable lid and floats in this contraption, in the dark with the pod lid closed I might add, for about 50 minutes or so. The water inside the pod is a warm salt water mixture which further enables the floating.

The closed lid took a little getting used to. I definitely found it easier to leave the light inside the pod off than on, as the close confines were a little claustrophobic in the beginning. Initally, I floated to "nature sounds" music for the first 10 minutes but then we were informed that "maximum float benefit" came from floating in silence. So what does one do for the hour? The simple answer is lie on one's back and float! Yep, that's it.

The other thing that challenged me was that I found myself getting a bit bored. Maybe it was the fact that I was a "first time floater" and with the experience being a new one, I was "learning" how to float. Sure, we had been told that we would probably fall asleep during floating, but in reality, I really just floated there for about an hour with my thoughts. Maybe I dozed a bit, I can't quite remember.

The other thing that caused me a bit of angst was the instruction that I must not get my face wet inside the pod because the salt water would dry and then start my face to itching. It seems seems I experienced a bit of tension just trying to ensure that this did not happen when in fact, floating is supposed to reduce the tension rather than add to it.

Whatever the reason, I failed to see the maximum restorative qualities that were listed as its benefits during my first foray into floating. I am not ready to write off floating as a way to relax just yet; maybe I simply need to give it another shot. Either way it was a unique experience.


Missy said...

That description stresses me out and makes me want to take a fresh water shower. I'd rather have an afternoon alone with my planner and a double espresso.

Hachie Gal said...

It was one of the oddest things I have done in a while. I take it that the "floating" concept has not taken SC by storm yet?