The weight of the world is a heavy load to carry on your shoulders. You can google search over 300 million tips for how to relax. Or, you can take an Epsom salt bath in quiet darkness and experience weightlessness.
This time last year the Lovely Deputy and This Girl were on a new wave health journey, we went to Sydney and ate Paelo, raw and live food, and drank superfood smoothies. We sat in a Himalayan salt room and we tried floating.
A float tank is an enclosed pod filled with highly concentrated salt water that allows you to float unassisted. Step up and into the pod, close the door behind you and lie down. When you’re ready, turn off the light. You can choose to play your own music or you can float in silence and hear only the sound of your breath.
Floating has similar benefits to mediation and massage without the discipline or personal contact. It’s been around for decades but it’s fairly new to Hobart.
Tranquility Float has been open since January 2016 and is operated by owner Chris Ball. This Girl was very excited when Chris invited me to come float and I was keen to know why she decided to go into the business of floating.
‘I like floating because it improves wellbeing in so many ways: better sleep, better mood, more relaxed muscles. I like that even if you don’t feel a miraculous change, there are lasting benefits to floating, and no side effects at all. I’m a scientist with over 10 years’ experience in conservation science, but with a young son realised I wanted to spend more time with him, but also more time feeling calm and relaxed. I wanted to be surrounded by people seeking a more purposeful existence, people on a path to self-improvement,’ Chris said.
Like meditation and massage, floating is also an investment in your inner health. It’s the moral equivalent to taking time to smell the roses.
This Girl has taken to running so I wanted to know what Chris thought were the benefits for runners and other athletes.
‘If you’re a runner or athlete, floating will help your muscles recover after a workout. The tank is filled with Epsom salts, which is magnesium sulphate. The magnesium is absorbed by your skin, and is an essential component of muscle repair. This is especially important in Australia, where many of our soils are depleted in magnesium, so many Australians are magnesium deficient, and experience aches or cramps on a regular basis. Floating regularly can alleviate the need to take oral magnesium supplements, and is absorbed better. Athletes can benefit from floating by floating before their game/match/event (this would be equivalent to “psyche up” time and can focus performance efforts), or after their event to relax, wind down, and allow muscles to recover,’ Chris said.
Tranquility Float is based in Taroona. Chris wanted to create a float centre that was set in a homely-environment and found a property specifically for the job. She’s done well. You arrive at a normal home in a suburban street, signage will point you to the doors of Tranquility Float. The space is relaxed, light and peaceful. You’ll complete your registration form and Chris will show you the float tanks and bathroom and then it’s over to you.
This Girl had spent four days washing walls, sanding, filling gaps and painting, up and down a ladder. My body just can’t do as much as it used to. I had aches and pains everywhere but my arms were really feeling it having clenched an applicator gun, rollers and paintbrushes for hours and hours. I was so tired I wanted cry. I chatted with Chris awhile and found her a very calm, considered woman. I was aware of the pain subsiding in my right arm during the float and afterwards I felt rejuvenated – like I had got a charge of energy. That night I slept like a dog.
A float tank is a confined space. I’m not claustrophobic but I was still aware of the heaviness of the air around me. If you’re unsure how you would go, you can turn the light on at any time, open the door, or just get out. If it’s your first time and you feel unsure, taking your own music might help.
Tip: make sure you go the toilet beforehand.
You shower before and after your float. A towel, bathrobe, thongs, soap, shampoo and conditioner are all supplied. You can take a moment in the waiting area once you’re done or rest on the patio looking over the Derwent River.
Chris’ clients include people with ailments like high blood pressure (floating can reduce stress and blood pressure), sciatica, and those who need to relax, and parents, who just need to get some rest. And on that note, Chris is hatching a plan to do Friday family afternoons where parents can bring their kids who can play supervised while they float. If you’re interested let her know.
There are a few contra-indicators too – gastro, open wounds and having had your hair dyed within two weeks. If this applies, it’s best to let her know beforehand.
Tranquility Float smells of aromatherapy mists produced by Hobart naturopath Mariangela Parodi under the name Alkymia Essence Mists. You can buy a range of the essential oils from Chris for your home.
Tranquility Float has two Apollo Float Tanks and Chris says they are an Australian designed and manufactured tank, used by the Australian Institute of Sport. Chris is an environmental scientist and she’s been monitoring water quality for a profession for years. She applies Australian pool and spa water quality standards to her float tanks.
Floating is a very calming experience. I’m really pleased Chris made contact with us and I’ll definitely be back. Why not invest in yourself a little and give it a go?
You can find Tranquility Float at 1 Hinsby Road, Taroona.
You’ll need to make a booking so ring them on 6227 9135 or you can book on line on their website – Tranquility Float.
Like them on Facebook – Tranquility Float.
Here’s a post about running – From zero to my own hero.