11 February 2019

Floatation Therapy - Floatation Wellness Centre (Gateshead)

Thankfully the crocuses are starting to spring up and the ice is melting. Winter's never been my favourite season (due to the onset of S.A.D and hating waking up in darkness/the cold), but I'm starting to realise that we, like the plants and the animals need to start viewing the season as an opportunity to slow down, rest more and go within. And take the time for self-care. 

Having noticed that my phone screen time was approaching three and a half hours a day and feeling horrified, I've had to put measures in place to avoid being constantly overstimulated by the online world. I've also been watching a lot of Netflix and the combination of the two is probably causing my sleep problems. So when I heard about a new floatation centre in Gateshead, where you can float and block out the overstimulation of the outside world I knew that it would be a good place to begin my health kick.

The Floatation Wellness Centre in Pelaw

You can find the Floatation Wellbeing Centre in Pelaw (just five metro stops from the city centre and really close to the metro station there). Husband and wife team Mark and Sandra Palmer decided to set up the Centre after having both experiencing chronic pain (Mark had chronic back and shoulder pain, Sandra had severe back pain). They found floating to be the best way to alleviate their symptoms, and started looking into buying their own pod to help the local community to feel better. The Centre has a large reception area which leads through the the pod room (complete with shower) which adjoins a chill out room where you can get ready after your float. 

Floatation Wellness Centre
The spaceship like SOPOD

The pod, a state-of-the-art SOPOD is a bit spaceship-like, all bright white fibreglass and blue LED lights. You get in via an easy-to-use lid, and the first thing I noticed was the spacious floatation area. (There's plenty of space to pretend to be a starfish). After a quick shower I put in some earplugs,  hopped in and welcomed the chance to shut out the outside world for a while. There's a built-in MP3 player so you can listen to chill out music for a while before floating in complete silence. 

So how exactly do you float in twenty-five centimetres of water? A super-saturated Epsom salt solution, that's how (containing 525kg of magnesium-rich Epsom salts). I'm a big fan of salt baths and have them two or three times a week at home, but this is a whole other level. My skin immediately started to feel softer whilst I was in there, and I realised that floating/feeling weightless is one of the best feelings in the world. I started to let go of all of my worries and could feel my body start to relax after a stressful few months. Quite quickly I became mesmerised by the shapes flickering across the ceiling of the pod and drifted off into a sleep state. I noticed I lost all track of time whilst I was in there and couldn't tell whether I'd been in there for ten minutes or half an hour. Just be careful not to touch your eyes as the salt solution can really irritate them (take goggles if you're particularly sensitive). 

Floatation Newcastle
The colourful chill out room

As the hour long session drew to a close, the music came back on to signal that it was nearly time to rejoin the outside world (gutted). It took me a little while to calm my mind but I would say I had a good thirty to forty minutes of not thinking at all, which felt amazing. Stress-relief is just one of the many benefits - improved sleep, increasing endorphin levels, injury prevention, reduced blood pressure and reduced pain and inflammation to name but a few.  Athletes and sports stars like Wayne Rooney and Carl Lewis use floatation regularly to reduce the risk of injury and improve visualisation/performance. Floating is medically proven to improve a range of medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, depression, joint pain, PTSD and MS. 

I practically floated out of place, and slept better than I had for ages that night. The rash on my back cleared up within a couple of days and I felt like I had much more energy. The Palmers believe that the world would be a much better place if everyone floated, and I couldn't agree more! 

Find out more by checking out their website. February special offer £30 for a one hour float, or three  one hour sessions for £100.  Information on prices can be found here

*I received a one hour float session in exchange for a review 


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