Suspended Animation – The Floatation Tank

Yesterday was my first time in a floatation tank.  Ever since I first saw the film Altered States, I have always wanted to try it.   On Saturday, I popped into Brightest Blessings to have a look around the shop.  It was my first time in there and I noticed that they offered floatation tank sessions.  One of the ladies in the shop had just had her first session and really enjoyed it.  I was asked if I wanted to have a look at the tank, so we went downstairs for a preview.  Everything looked clean and tidy, so I booked an appointment.

I had pre-conceived expectations.  I was hoping for an out of body experience or at least some enlightenment.  I undressed and entered the floatation tank.  It was more like an enclosed paddling pool.  There were little LED lights in the ceiling to imitate stars.  I sat down in about 10 inches of warm water, closed the door, put the earplugs in that were given to me to prevent the salt water going into my ears, put the neck pillow on (like the ones used for airplanes), switched off the lights, and proceeded to lie back in the water.  OK, I floated.  With my eyes closed it was completely pitch dark.

What next?  I have a very active mind and this time was no exception.  I tried to be in the moment and focus on what I was feeling.  Eventually, I wasn’t feeling much of anything.  My head seemed to be disconnected from my body.  Although I was floating, I also had the feeling of being supported.  It was very strange.  My mind kept wandering off on different tangents and I found myself trying to focus and bring myself back into the present.  Before I knew it the music started, thus signalling the end of the session.  I couldn’t believe that I had been in there for nearly an hour.  I must have dozed off without realising it.  The part of my body that was exposed was completely covered in perspiration.  I found that unusual as I hadn’t felt overheated.

I sat up, put on the lights and got out to take a shower.  I was provided with a clean, fluffy towel which I had put on the heated towel rail earlier.  There is no need to bring soap or shampoo/conditioner as all of that is provided.  There is also a hairdryer, body lotion, deodorant, and cotton balls.  You need to bring your own hairbrush as none are supplied.  The facilities are very clean, which is very important to me as I have a low tolerance for any kind of grubbiness in wet areas. (Just don’t get me started on the state of public swimming baths!)  Once I was dressed and blow dried, I went upstairs to sit down for awhile.

The Verdict:  Although my pre-conceived expectations had not been met, my body felt very relaxed and I had a sense of well-being.  Would I do it again?  Yes, definitely.

Jacky, the owner of the shop, kindly got me a glass of water while I told her about my experience.  We eventually moved on to cups of tea while sharing details of our lives and interests with each other.  It turns out we are both Geminis, cat lovers, and have both changed our lives to move to Eastbourne.  Jackie is an interesting and lovely woman who is very easy to talk to and the time just flew by while we chatted together. (Another Gemini trait – we love to talk.)  I eventually prised myself out of my seat, paid for my treatment, and braved the weather for the walk home.

Brightest Blessings offers other therapies, such as reflexology, EFT, and reiki to name a few.  The shop also sells jewellery, crystals and stones, books, incense and other items that may be of interest to those involved with healing and other spiritual matters.  More information can be found on their website.

The shop has moved from The Enterprise Centre and is now located at 16 South Street, Little Chelsea, Eastbourne  BN21 4XF, Telephone: 01323 646010.  They also have a page on Facebook where you can see photos of the shop and floatation suite.

PS:  If you have booked a floatation tank session because of reading my blog, please let them know (and let me know!) because I can get a session for half price if I introduce a friend 🙂

2 thoughts on “Suspended Animation – The Floatation Tank

  1. Sophie

    Let’s see…
    Your head felt disconnected (but still there, I assume?), you hadn’t realised you had perspired (and it hadn’t bothered you), you were surprised at how fast time went, you felt supported…

    How about if that was the point of the session? A little trip “out of your body” and into the many, many thoughts that need attention or even just a quick review?

    I think the whole point of floatation tanks is precisely that there, at that moment, there is nothing: darkness, support. It’s the framework to let go of the body and the here and now, and take a little ambling along the paths of the mind. It’s like meditation without wondering how you meditate: you’re just off and flying.

    When a certain therapist massages me, the most interesting and peculiar thoughts come to me, usually business ideas – she has the knack to put me in a place where these thoughts rise up to my consciousness and allow me to peruse them at leisure, to then decide whether I want to take up on them or not. That’s simply precious.

    1. Arlene

      Hi Sophie,

      I have a very analytical mind and as this was my first time in a flotation tank I had certain expectations. Next time, I will most likely be in the moment. My normal method of meditation is by doing things, like gardening or walking in nature, or just doing mundane things like cleaning. It is not a conscious form of meditation but I do seem to get profound thoughts. 🙂

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