A few weeks ago, I suffered a lower lumbar sprain. It hurts like a bitch a lot of the time. So when my live-in casual good time, Fine Ass, offered to pay for a session in a flotation tank, I jumped at the opportunity. Well, I didn’t jump, that would have been a terrible idea. But I wanted to go, because my dear friend Sexy Hands once recommended it to me and he swears by it.
If you don’t know what a flotation tank is, it’s a super hippy new age pod, filled with water so dense in Epsom salts and dead sea salt that you float like a cork when you lay in it. You are deprived of your senses while floating in skin temperature water. The apparent benefits range far and wide, from muscle relaxation, to entering a subconscious state were you will have an epiphany that will solve world hunger.
So we went along to meet the tank owner, who gave us a walk through of the process and showed us the tank. It looks like a giant egg and reminded me of when Lady Gaga arrived at the Grammy’s a few years back. The woman clearly leaned a little toward the spiritual persuasion, and her science was questionable, but that’s ok, each to their own.
It was my turn first. I was required to shower and wash my hair before entering the pod. I loved the shower, beautifully tiled with a normal detachable shower head and an over head waterfall. I could have easily spent my entire 90 minutes in there, but I was eager to get my float on.
I climbed in very carefully; the massive salt content makes the water incredibly slippery. I pulled the lid down and lay down. A soft light glowed and soothing music played quietly. To my right, was a button I could use to control the lighting. I cycled through different colours before shutting it off – after all, it is suppose to be sensory deprivation.
For a while, I didn’t know what to think. I was kind of bored. The music started to bug me, but it faded out after a while. I bounced off the walls. I mentally recited Borat’s version of the Kazakhstan national anthem (“filtration system a marvel to behold it removes 80 percent of human solid waste”). I noticed that the density of the water made it feel like KY Jelly on my skin which was rather pleasant. I thought about sex for a while. Then work. My aches and pains got worse and I stretched my muscles. I wondered how much time had passed. I wondered if the salt would damage my hair. Then I fell asleep.
The music came on, I woke up with a start, opened the pod and hit the shower again to wash the salt off before it crystallized. My back didn’t hurt! Wonderful! I went outside and sat in the sun for a while. Fine Ass went off to enjoy his float and I went to find sushi. Then my back started hurting.
On the drive home, my back got progressively more uncomfortable. I didn’t feel relaxed and enlightened, I felt sore, tired and grumpy. My mood didn’t improve until we got home and I downed some painkillers and anti-inflammatories.
Fine Ass enjoyed his float immensely, although he did admit that a large portion of it was spent having fun bouncing around. But it’s not for me. I’m glad I tried it, but I’ll take a massage over a float any day.