Floating my cares away

Most of the time, when you go into work and people say “Did you have a good evening? What did you get up to?” and you say you watched TV or maybe went to the cinema. It’s very rare that you say you floated naked in a sealed pod. It definitely puts a look of surprise on their face. But that isn’t the only benefit to flotation so I toddled off to investigate.

My knowledge of isolation tanks began and ended with the episode of Absolutely Fabulous where Eddie has one installed in her bathroom, so you could say this was a voyage of discovery. But that was one of the reasons I started this blog so in I went in all guns blazing.

Float Level in Manchester is on the ground floor of the CHIPS building in Ancoats and is like any sort of leisure centre spa. The lady on the front desk couldn’t have been nicer, she could see that I was a bit nervous and put me right at ease.

Thankfully you have a room to yourself which is dominated by the big floatation pod filled with very salty water and a shower to the side. There is gel to use pre-float which gets all the oils off your skin and ones to use post float which cleanse your skin. For your first visit, you do get an induction which is reassuring. Then you’re left in the room with the ominous pod looking back at you.

After my shower, I duly popped in my earplugs and climbed in. The water isn’t too hot or cold and once you lower the lid down, it is a strange experience. I was determined that I was going for this so after I positioned myself comfortably, I turned the light off and settled down to the business at hand.

I had been warned that at first you get a bit of anxiety and you definitely do, is it too hot? can you breathe? are you going to like this? I tried to clear my mind and breathe through these fears and sure enough, they soon disappeared, as did the gently piped music leaving me in pitch dark, floating.

To say it was relaxing is an understatement. Pretty soon I almost forgot I was even in water and was just floating freely. Beforehand I had prepared things I was going to think about but instead I found myself just letting my mind wander, I couldn’t tell you what I thought about because I don’t remember. What I wasn’t ready for was how quickly you can strip back all the noise and find that person that is right inside the core of you who doesn’t always get the chance to come out. I can totally understand how people get emotional in these pods.

Before I went I’d done a bit of reading on floatation and the health properties are countless, good for back problems, neck problems, anxiety, stress and sleep issues.

To become totally unaware of time is a luxury that we just don’t have in the modern world, something is always wanting something from us. It felt great to be released from this, even if it was temporary.

Afterwards I felt so chilled it was ridiculous. I ambled back home and was in bed by 9, fast asleep. I had a crazy busy day the next day in London for work but none of it affected me, it was like I had a shield around me, remembering how simple life in the pod was.

I will most definitely be back for a second helping. I’m intrigued to see what it’s like as you get more used to it. I can’t recommend it enough, I’m a changed man.



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