I am a sucker for wellness tools. I have tried, reign, crystals, meditation, listening therapy, psychology, yoga, natural health supplements like wheat grass and LSA among many other things. I think we are starting to open our eyes to the fact that, whilst prescription medications are ABSOLUTELY essential in some cases, there is also an emerging field of wellness tools and options that tap into the spiritual and emotional and are available to us. Reiki, yoga, natural health supplements, and now floatation and salt therapy, are currently some very popular options available. I went to the Geelong Wellness Studio to find out what all the fuss was about in relation to the latter.
As soon as you park your car behind the Steven street shops and enter via a back ally, a small sign is the only indication you have arrived at your destination. You immediately get a sense of the studio bring tucked away. You are greeted by a friendly staff member, they always know you by name and seem prepared for your appointment. For some people, floating in a tank or sitting in a salt room may be outside of their comfort zone, so the girls go out of their way to take you through everything calmly and with plenty of information.
You are then taken to your floatation room and they take you through the process before you settle into your floatation experience. The tanks are located in a shipping container, you are by yourself and behind a locked door. Inside it is as comfortable and clean as a modern apartment. The process is; shower, covering any cuts and grazes with Vaseline and getting your ear plugs ready. You then enter the tank. For those of you who are claustrophobic, you can leave the lid ajar.
The idea of floatation is based on sensory deprivation. Inside the tank it is pitch black and you have ear plugs in – leaving you with just your sense of smell and touch (and taste if you want it). You will also experience complete weightlessness, something your body doesn’t experience at any time throughout your average day. After half an hour or so I really started to relax – my limbs become strangely heavy and any slow movement of my legs or arms felt amazingly slow and exaggerated. My lower back felt really free and some aches and pains in my legs and feet would pulsate and burn for 15 seconds before calming down – it was a really satisfying experience. The second time was much better again, I relaxed a lot more quickly and, whilst still switched on throughout, I felt a really amazing, content sense of calm.
After a shower, regaining my composure and a short wait, I moved into the salt room. This is a calm, white environment and the floor is covered in a couple of inches of salt crystals. You take up a seat on a massage chair and for the salt rooms you may not be alone, in my case I was with one other person. Already relaxed from my float, I settled into my massage chair and flicked through a bunch of settings on the chair to find a setting that was best for me. Then, after a brief word from the staff member you will hear a hum start up from a machine beyond the wall next to you, which then starts slowly filling the room. This is a review of my experience so I won’t go into depth on the perceived medicinal benefits, but the theory is as the salt enters your lungs and airways, it can extract bacteria or moisture from your lungs, sinus and ears – helping prevent or clear infection and help with allergy etc. It is also very calming, something I didn’t realise going in. This lasted half an hour and was not as intense as the float, but it topped of my visit nicely.
I didn’t have any out of body experiences or awakenings during my float – some people do. Nor did I notice any massive clearing of my airways or lungs from the salt rooms. However, I left after my hour and a half completely relaxed. The sun was brighter and the smells were stronger, I had disengaged from the stresses of work and had an awesome nights sleep. The next day I felt great and I can totally attest to the fact that both, combined or alone, have an incredible calming quality and my body felt relieved from little aches and pains the few days following. Apparently as you become more accustomed to the treatments, your experience will intensify and the result amplify, so I will be back to continue the procedure. I would also highly recommend the experience to anyone interested.
Written by Alexander Lightfoot
If you are interested in experiencing a float or having a session in the salt room please call 0476 199 247 or visit 17 Stephen Street, Belmont. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.