My husband Louie has been mentioning about floating for several months now. He was very psyched when he discovered that there’s a float center in Manila. Unfortunately, after contacting them, we learned that it’s temporarily closed as it will be moving to another location from Makati. Since we were going to Bangkok to attend a friend’s wedding, we looked for available float centers online and actually found Bangkok Float Center in Show DC Mall.
We booked via Gowabi and were lucky to even had scored a good discount. Bangkok Float Center is in the heart of Bangkok at SHOW DC Entertainment Mall. Bangkok’s first retail and entertainment mega-complex. In this post, I’ll talk about what floating is, the benefits of floating, what to expect, some tips, and all about our unique experience. So, what is it really like to float in a sensory-deprivation tank?
Our Experience at Bangkok Float Center (Thailand’s Largest & Most Advanced Float Center)
We went to Bangkok Float Center on our first day in Thailand. The experience was smooth and we had a good interaction with the friendly and eloquent staff. With a serene spa-like reception, the ambiance of the float center was really nice and zen-like. Its facilities were easily accessible and convenient for use throughout our stay. Outside the treatment rooms, there’s a nice sitting area with water and tea for refreshments and hydration.
What is floating?
The way I see it, floating is the perfect opportunity to disconnect from devices, detach from both the physical and digital worlds, and just connect with yourself. It is a water therapy product originating from Dr. John Lilly from the USA in the 1950’s that’s designed to aid total relaxation of body and mind by taking the effort out of floating on water. I think you’ll get a similar experience by floating in the sea, as salt water is denser than freshwater. However, floating mindlessly in the sea carries the risk of being taken away from shore by an outgoing tide. Whoops! As float is designed to be used in a swimming pool, it’s likely to be a safer alternative.
Floating weightlessly is such a cool experience because it lets the mind drift into the deepest state of relaxation possible. The ultra-deep relaxation of floating “resets” the body’s hormonal and metabolic balance, strengthening resistance to and accelerating recovery from the effects of stress, illness, injury or strenuous exercise. It allows you to be free from all sensation of gravity, temperature, touch, sight and sound.
Inside the tank, there’s 600 kilograms of Epsom salt added to 1000 liters of water, creating a 30-cm deep solution heated to 35.5 degrees Celsius. The skin-temperature liquid is just good enough for the body to be “in peace” with the water. This means that once you’re settled inside, it will be virtually impossible to distinguish between parts of the body that are in contact with the water and those that aren’t.
What are the physical benefits of floating?
Since we’re first timers, we had a guided orientation about floating. All our questions were answered before we entered our private Dreampod rooms. The staff of Bangkok Float Center explained the floating process and mentioned that there are several good health benefits of floating primarily because of the magnesium content from the Epsom salt that’s absorbed by the skin. Magnesium is a mineral that helps relieve constipation, relax muscle tension, and promote calmness and peaceful relaxation in the body.
Unlike lying on a mattress, lying in water allows blood to flow freely all throughout the body. There’s no need to readjust your position to get comfortable. Floating also helps improve circulation, increase distribution of oxygen and nutrients, reduce blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption, and many more. If you have a difficulty falling into deep sleep, this may be the answer to your problem.
What feeling to expect?
In the first 10-15 minutes, it’s normal to feel uncomfortable and have a hard time finding a good position for the body and head. It’s also normal to feel strain in the neck. The key is to relax your head and let the water support it, focus on breathing, forget you’re in a float pod, let go of control, and enjoy the feeling of weightlessness. Many floaters report a feeling of total relaxation comparable to an intense yoga or meditation session. Some people fall into sleep, and it’s totally safe.
Contained in a totally private room for maximum comfort, the Dreampod can be left open for those who are claustrophobic, and the lights can stay on for those who are afraid or feel uneasy in the dark. There are buttons inside to adjust the light and sound/music. I preferred complete darkness (even when eyes were opened) so I turned the lights off and closed the tank. There was no visual input and no audible input. I heard nothing inside but my own stomach growling a few times and my heartbeat. I thought my brain slowed down and took a break. Time meant nothing; the hour didn’t feel too long or short. For a moment, there’s nothing to worry about.
The water in the tank felt slippery, but after a while, it couldn’t be felt at all. We floated for an hour and a half gravity-free. After emerging from the tank, my back felt lighter and more pain-free than it had in months. I also felt clear-headed and somehow tired, as if I had just swam tens of laps in a pool. We took a shower to wash off the salt, and our skin felt soft like silk.
Floating at Bangkok Float Center is one of the most surreal yet relaxing experiences I’ve ever had. The sensation of being completely weightless was hard to grapple at first. I tried about three times to forcefully touch the bottom of the tank but I kept bobbing back up. It took me less than five minutes to find my most comfortable position and lie motionless.
Floating gives an overall feeling of freedom and it eliminates toxins and stress. It’s soothing and we came out feeling refreshed and content. I recommend this to anyone looking to put health and well-being on the forefront. It’s definitely worth a try! 😉 Price for four of us for 90 minutes is 7,704 baht.
Things to bring:
- Guests do not need to bring anything. Swim wear is NOT necessary; we were advised to be naked so we would feel free and in tune with the body and mind.
- Towels, shampoo, soap, earplugs, and other toiletries (and even foundation, powder, and makeup remover) are all provided. Each of us had our own personal spa suite with Dreampod, private shower, and dressing area. We also had full access to a chill out lounge directly outside the float room.
Things to avoid:
- Avoid floating after a big meal or when you haven’t eaten at all.
- Avoid drinking anything for at least two hours before floating. You don’t want a full bladder ripping you away from “the zone,” so make sure to go in empty.
- Avoid shaving prior to floating. When you have cuts, you may use Vaseline or waterproof bandaids to cover.
- Avoid drifting in the tank. Drifting will cause you to ping off the walls and in some cases will give you a sense of spinning. Simply touch the sides of the tank with your hands and feet until your body is centered. This can take up to a minute or two depending on how much you disturbed the water.
- Avoid putting your hands on your eyes when in the tank because it’s saltwater. It will sting a lot.