What is it?
Zen Float Spa's pods, filled with water and more than 500 kilograms of magnesium (Epsom) salts allow users to escape gravity.
Floatation therapy restricts external stress factors that are constantly bombarding our senses and attribute to much of our physical and mental energy consumption.
The body's natural response to sensory deprivation is to gently slide into a relaxed state.
Free from external stimulation on the senses, your body has a chance to free itself from the stresses of everyday life and to rest and repair.
The large white capsule is equipped with an inside button for light control. If you're not ready to float in blackness with the lid closed, lie in semi-darkness with soft lighting and the lid ajar. Music plays the first 10 minutes, then it's totally quiet.
Clients can use time to problem solve, meditate or for creative thought. Users report pain relief, muscle relaxation and stress relief. Regular floating can help reduce stress related hormones which help normalise sleep patterns, provide pain relief, and decreased blood pressure.
Floatation therapy has also shown to help people quit smoking and other addictive behaviours as well as helping reduce cortisol related weight gain, and reducing migraines.
The Epsom salts contain the minerals magnesium and sulfate which aid in detoxification, help muscle and nerve function.
Regular floatation therapy is also thought to help your immune system, encourages the release of endorphins which are the body's 'happy hormones' and can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Flotation tanks have been used for decades by new-age devotees. They were developed in the 1950s to explore and experiment with consciousness. The cult 1980 film Altered States involved a scientist experimenting on himself in a tank using
Sarah Hirini tries out Zen Float Spa hallucinatory drugs. While some health claims made by flotation pod businesses have yet to be scientifically proven, studies using MRI scans have shown floating seems to quiet activity in the brain's centre of fear and anxiety.
How long have you been floating?
I have been floating for a year and a half now. I try and float every week I am in New Zealand.
What does floating help you with?
1. Muscle recovery — this is huge. I usually float on a Thursday (we would have training Monday to Wednesday). My body has had it at this stage but after a float I feel so much better and can get more out of training on Friday and Saturday.
2. Me time — and just being able to mentally switch off from everything that might be going on in my week or day.
3. Jet lag — I have just started floating the day after I get back into the country. It has helped so much for sorting out my sleep and to get myself into a better pattern after being in completely different time zones.
How did you find it at first? And now?
I had seen a lot of athletes overseas using the pods and always wondered what it was like so when I heard it was coming to the Mount I was really excited to try. After meeting the team and floating I have fallen in love and will continue to do it forever now.
What would you say to people intrigued about floating?
I always say they have to try and experience it for themselves. I tell them I love it and have had amazing experiences with it. I always ask if they are someone who takes a while to switch off as it does take a few times to be able to fully relax but once you get that it's so easy. I think you need to try at least three times before you start to learn to make the most of the time and experience all the benefits.
Who would you recommend floating to?
I would recommend it to everyone! The benefits I have felt since floating have been amazing for my body and my wellbeing.
Zen Float Spa
www.zenfloatspa.co.nz | 07 562 0833
43 Girven Road, Mount Maunganui.
Hours: Monday -Sunday by appointment only.
Cost: $65/45-minute float; $80/60-minute single float.