Feeling like all hope is lost? The saltwater will have you afloat in no time.
Whether you’ve accepted it or not, we already live in a stressful environment. Regardless if you’re at the workplace, home, or even on a date, stress seems to be present everywhere. And living with it, we’ve already created our own methods of coping—from retail therapy, traveling, to visiting the spa. But with so many options available, how do we know the best way to relax? Fret not, because we just found the perfect way to destress—cue the sensory deprivation tanks.
Flotation therapy is becoming more popular and accessible nowadays. While you’ve probably seen it first from Hollywood stars Jennifer Lawrence and John Lennon, floating pods are now actually in Manila. By simply floating in total darkness and silence, research shows that “restricted environmental stimulation therapy” (REST), helps reduce inflammation, anxiety, and stress. It also increases your creativity and is said to improve your sleep (thanks to achieving a deepened meditative state).
Although how does this therapy make its magic? The floating pods are both lightproof and soundproof. It is filled with a body-temperature warmed solution that is super-saturated with Magnesium rich Epson salt. Hence, given its extremely buoyant solution negating the pull of gravity, you can effortlessly float as if you’re in space.
Now you probably have countless of questions right now. What if I get stuck inside? What if salt water gets into my eyes? How do you know if I need assistance? Is it safe? And many more. Believe me, when I set my appointment, I had unending questions in my mind. However, as I kept on overthinking, it turns out I’m only stressing myself even more. Why? Simply because it was totally unnecessary which I only realized after my session.
Into The Trance
Upon entering the Recovery Spa at The Upper Deck, I was welcomed by a relaxing scent and ambiance that instantly made me feel like I was home. I felt like I was in a setting where I know I can relax and get my much-deserved time off from the stressful world. And when a warm ginger tea was served to me, it immediately reminded me of my weekday mornings with mom—a time where you only reflect on yourself and the people you love most.
Since I was now relaxed and distracted by the fact that I was about to float in an enclosed pod, it became easier for the therapist to orient me and what to expect once inside. First, you won’t get trapped inside without any help. Accessible on the right side of the pod is a red button that should be pressed in case of emergencies. “It’s seldom used,” Grace from Recovery Spa assured me. Although just in case the saltwater gets in your eyes, don’t rub it or else it will only worsen it. Instead, there’s a bottle of fresh water and towel readily available by the entrance of the pod to rinse it off.
Grace also explained to me that “you are in total control of your pod because it is your own pod.” So once you’re floating, she urged me to “just let go.” When I entered my pod, I just sat first. And when I was ready to channel George Clooney in Gravity, I closed my pod and floated naturally. For the first five minutes, music and light therapy accompanied me to make me feel comfortable inside the pod. When the music stopped, I pressed the green button on the left side of the pod to turn off the light therapy.
Lo and behold, I was only left with my breathing and the sound of my beating heart. The isolation pod amazingly submerged me in total silence. So when I just focused on my breathing just like what you do in yoga, I entered into a trance.
At this point, I’m not channeling George Clooney anymore, but rather Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception. I had several dreams in the pod, all of which ended after a flinch. In the whole duration of my flotation therapy, I thought I was awake. But I was wrong. Before I realized it, I heard music played which signaled that I only had five minutes left. After, the pod literally said, “your session is over.”
A Reinvigorated Body
My experience with flotation therapy was a much-needed time of tranquility. With so much stress coming from external forces, I must admit I needed a breather. In fact, every one of us needs it. And this floating pod seems like the perfect solution to calm the nerves.
When I returned to the lounge and was asked how I feel, Grace easily translated my positive aura: happy and contented. This was only possible because of the 60-minute break I had from reality. I had dreams not recreated, but a reimagined new place and experience which reminded me it’s okay to breathe. Come to think of it, stress won’t bring us any good, we still have tomorrow to solve the problem. But the next day, it surely would be easier since we have better concentration and focus. After all, we now have a reinvigorated body.