Floating in a pitch black tank full of salt might be your idea of a nightmare, but I promise you it’s a one of a kind experience that will help body and mind. I have previously tried a sensory deprivation tank, and although it was good, it didn’t impress me so much so that I felt the need to write about it. With my second float, I went to this new studio in London Bridge, 3Tribes. They also do yoga and pilates. Check out their FAQ if you want to know more.
Emerging yourself in a sensory deprivation tank is essentially a form of meditation. If you don’t get on with traditional meditating methods, this might be one for you to try! Cutting all external stimuli allows you to fully relax. There is no sound, sight or gravity once the tank closes.
Floating was first used as part of a restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST), designed in 1954 by John C. Lilly, an American physician, and neuroscientist. Commercial tanks started appearing in the 1970s and are now really easy to find around the world.
The 3Tribes experience
If it’s your first float, you will be taken through all the steps by the friendly staff upon arrival. It’s recommended to arrive 5 minutes before your appointment so you can get ready in time. The room is spacious and apart from your personal pod, features a shower, and some space to leave your belongings. You are also provided with a makeup remover by REN (who do amazing things for the environment by the way), as it’s not ideal getting makeup everywhere!
Take your earplugs before your quick shower. The water will help the wax earplugs to be sealed in. This is essential as you definitely don’t want to get any salt water in your ears.
If you have any cuts on your skin there is Vaseline you can apply to create a barrier so that the salt doesn’t get in the wound.
You get 60 minutes to float, with 5 minutes of relaxing music and lights that go from red to yellow to white to help you relax. At the end of the session, you get the same music and the lights go from white to yellow to red. The tank is then completely dark if you need to though you can press a button to turn the lights on – it does take away from the whole experience, but it’s there if necessary!
It is recommended you have your hands under your head, to support your neck, as it might be a difficult position to get used to. That’s what I did for the most part and also moved my hands and feet around a few times. The perfect moment is when you ‘balance’ with the space and water around you, completely still, without touching any walls, in complete peace. To be completely honest I didn’t manage to shut off my mind for the whole hour, but that’s common considering the high amount of external stimuli we experience daily. The more you float the easier it becomes.
The water is in body temperature. It is recommended that you undress completely to get in the pod – don’t worry the door locks for extra privacy!
Once the 60 minutes are up, washing your hair and body is essential, to get all the salt out. The REN products in the shower are lovely and smell amazing. The changing rooms are also great, featuring the latest ghd products to dry and straighten your hair afterward.
The benefits of an Epsom salt bath
Imagine you’re in a bathtub full of Epsom salt, so much so that you float completely. Epsom salts are different from other salts and they come from a bitter spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. The minerals contain magnesium and sulfate.
Epsom salts are incredibly beneficial for your body. Taking a bath actually creates a reverse osmosis effect and it releases toxins from your body. It also:
– relieves achy muscles and pain relief
– decreases stress and anxiety
– helps with sleep issues and disrupted sleep patterns
– calms your nervous system (and thus your mind!)
– supports sugar balance
– reduces inflammation (thanks to the magnesium)
All in all, this was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it. It’s great to get away from everything once in a while and this forces you to relax, away from technology and the loud noises of the city. The only thing I would change would be to have an option for a shorter float, as at moments it felt quite long, particularly when you don’t know what time is it! Doing nothing in our days is very rare, so this is an amazing and unique 1-hour just for you.
3Tribes, Unit 1 Brandon House, Borough High Street, London SE1 1LB, +44 (0)207 378 1001
Floats are £55 for a 60-minute session, and there is a 20% launch promo with the code LAUNCHFLOAT, book here.