First, the physical basics:
You enter a pool, pod, tank, or cabin, filled with about 25 cm (10″) of warm water, heated to the temperature of your skin. Into this water is dissolved about 400 kg (900 lbs) of pure MgSO4, or Epsom Salts. The highly saline water allows you to float effortlessly on the surface, much like a cork floats on water. The effect is striking – with your body fully supported and unconstrained by gravity, the tendons, muscles, and ligaments stretch out and the spine lengthens. With the body completely relaxed, the mind follows.
We begin our floats at Hälsa with 10 minutes of soft music, allowing you to slowly relax and adjust to this unique environment. Slowly, the music will fade out and you will be floating in true silence. If you choose, you can also turn off the lights so that all your senses are now totally free from external stimulation – quite wonderful!
As your mind begins to adapt to this new sensation, you may notice your thoughts wandering. This is a wonderful time to become present with your breath, noticing the movement of the mind while immersed in stillness and silence. Once you begin to relax, it is likely you will drift in and out of theta brainwave state, that beautiful relaxing twilight state between wake and sleep. While in theta, you might see flashes of color, hear drums or music, and remember things you had thought you had long forgotten. Theta is an expansive, meditative state, where you can tap into your creativity, your intuition.
You will likely pass in and out of the dream-like theta state. Some people become so relaxed they fall asleep. Alternatively, you may feel quite present and aware of your surroundings for the whole float. This is also normal. Don’t feel you aren’t doing it right and need to get out, just try to relax into the experience. Spending some quiet time alone without distraction is a great way to work through your thoughts and emotions, and if you can stay with it, you will find yourself becoming stronger, clearer, at peace.
Before you know it, the music will start again to cue you that your float journey is over for the day. It is time to shower off the salt, get dressed, relax and have a cup in the tea in the lounge, and go about your day with renewed strength.