What Happens In The Float Pod? Magic, That’s What!
I am in the float room, naked, showered, preparing to step in.
In front of me is a float pod – a spacious, egg-shaped pod filled with magnesium loaded water which casts a deep blue hue under the light. Its very presence exudes a sense of luxurious calm. In front of me is a space where magic happens.
Let me begin by describing a few things about me, at this stage, pre-float. I am a busy person. Let’s face it that must be the most common and banal yet accurate description of most of the people we know.
I love being busy and my life is rich but it does leave its little furrows and creases in my being and a sense of breathless speed inside me that left unattended can become the reckless speed of a runaway train. I have a couple of health conditions – a form of MS which, though I am completely active, means I am sometimes managing symptoms of fatigue, weakness, brain fog and nerve pain – and I also have early-onset osteo-arthritis. Yes, much of the time there is pain thrumming somewhere in my body. And again, I think this is true for most of us.
Even the lifestyles we have of sitting at desks and in cars afford their own dose of wear and tear. Even the gym bunnies among us can get too enthusiastic and find themselves dealing with an injury. There are some other things going on too. I have an increasingly pressing awareness that there are things in my head and heart calling me that I need to process and catch up on and things in my imagination burning to be created and manifested. I am a writer, a speaker and a teacher and tending to my creative and innovative impulses is something I need to take time for. Sorting out what’s going on in my mind and emotions, likewise. And also, I could do with a good deep rest and relax. Who couldn’t? And here before me is the opportunity for all of that to happen.
That’s the magic.
An hour of floating within this vessel of secret delights is the equivalent of hours of all the separate attention I could otherwise give all these needs I’ve described. For all I am feeling in my body from wear and tear to deeper issues – there is the double-magic of pain-relieving magnesium and the effects of relaxing every molecule of my body to my core. When I step inside that float pod and lie down to float, there is a thrilling period during which I am actually witnessing the process of a body uncoiling from wound-up and holding, to completely relaxed and dropping into a suspended weightlessness. This is the most my body can ever let go. It is completely letting go. Then comes in the magnesium, in quantities which enrich the healing process to a radical degree. Magnesium plays a vital role in the body and most of us are depleted. If your energy levels are often or always depleted, if you have brain fog, anxiety, depression, heart palpitations, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, persistent or chronic pain and neurological symptoms, there’s a high likelihood a lack of magnesium is implicated.
And here’s the thing, the most effective way to take magnesium so that it is properly absorbed and able to do its work is not through taking supplements or eating certain foods but through the skin.
Every moment I am floating in the 500kg+ amount of salts I am soaking in a whole apothecary of healing for my muscles, my bones, my nerves, my blood and my brain. Which is extraordinary, when you think that I am doing nothing. Nothing but floating.
But am I really doing nothing?
To the outside eye it may seem like it. (Rest assured, there are actually no eyes on you in this private space. You are completely alone) In my own private universe, deliciously relaxed and lulled by the sensations of floating, so much is happening and I can choose to add or take away from any element of that, depending on what I really want and need each time I float.
Usually in the first five minutes or more, or less, of floating my brain is busy and I let it be busy because I know it is welcoming a quiet space and time to catch up and process what needs to be processed. My job involves listening to others talk about their inner worlds. It is vital I take the time to listen to my own.
Eventually I just drift away. Drifting and dreaming are not doing nothing. These states give the best cue for our nervous system to initiate its repair and renewal – clearing and releasing and rebooting/refueling - work in us. The drifting, dreaming space – so boundless and expansive – is the place for me where intuitions drop in and imagination leaps forward. It’s my creative space. It’s where I get productive without even trying. This can be a difficult space to find in the outside world, but in the float pod, I’m right there.
There are secret, hidden realms inside all of us that are just waiting to be uncovered. The pathways to these places are mysterious and yet accessible when we are in certain environments and certain states. Floating, relaxing, my consciousness massaged by music or guided meditation or silence (my choice), I drop into those places, I find them again and I always, always, find somewhere new. The inside of us holds wondrous things.
Sometimes I simply allow myself to drift into a deep, meditative sleep. At other times I feel that delicious mix of rested and alert and the thrilling, guilty-pleasure of being alone in my own private universe, free to think my thoughts, feel my feelings and breathe my breath. All of this happens and more when I step inside, draw down the lid, turn off the lights and lie down to float.
This is my happy place, my healing place, my best little self-care secret. The me after floating is not the same me that came in. I find it hard to express what it feels like to be pain free, full of vitality, all caught up with myself and re-inspired. Great things happen in the float pod. And knowing what I know, I know I will be floating for the rest of my days.