In attempt to ease the constant ache in my legs from training I have tried many remedies over the last few months. Deep heat, deep freeze, magnesium oils, tiger balm….you name it, I’ve tried it. I have lost count on the number of sports massages I have had or the number of times I have visited the local pool to take advantage of their spa facilities.
Despite trying a variety of things to help with the pain, the ache did not seem to want to go away. Sports massages are great to help loosen the muscles and target the troublesome areas – however, due to the brutality of these sessions, they do leave me staggering away rather bruised and battered. And despite enjoying the sessions, I was starting to feel like my legs would never feel the same again.
Until I tried a Floatation therapy session at Floatworks. Working for Red Letter Days I had been aware of this treatment for some time, many colleagues had tried it, but I had never got round to trying it myself. So after researching the benefits and getting feedback from others I decided to go ahead and book in a session – one week before the London Marathon.
What is Floatation Therapy?
The experience involves lying effortlessly in a i-sopod floatation tank. Delivered through a super-saturated Epsom-salt solution, 25cm deep and containing 525kg of magnesium rich Epsom-salts.
Heated to skin temperature, the environment in the tank is controlled so that the air is also skin temperature. All you have to do is lie back and imagine you are floating in the Dead Sea.
The therapy is known for a whole list of benefits. Training for the London Marathon, I picked out a select few that applied to me.
From all the research I have found on this treatment, all providers state that floating promotes total calm and relaxation, improved sleep and diminishes anxiety and fear. All helping towards a better general wellness.
Mental benefits includes creating mental clarity, alertness and deepens meditation.
Now the physical benefits are more interesting to me; decreases the production of cortisol, lactic acid and adrenaline, speeds up rehabilitation and recovery, relieves pain, improves athletic performance, reduces blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption. All the physical things you want to hear as a runner.
The list of benefits from floating seems endless and continues to grow as the treatment becomes more popular.
During the treatment itself I did not seem to be able to switch off, though I am told this is normal during your first float. I just kept thinking how strange this was floating, wondering how much time has passed and trying to calculate when my time was up.
Floatworks recommend turning the light off inside the pod once you are settled. For around five minutes you will have relaxing music before it stops completely. So then, all you have is darkness and complete silence.
When my time was finally up, I did not feel like it had worked. I had spent some of my time trying to defy nature and make myself sink. The rest of the time I spend squeezing my eyes shut telling myself to “go to sleep”.
However, within an hour of the treatment being up I entered into a very zen state of mind. My legs felt pain free, my mind was clear and I generally felt the most relaxed I have felt for months.
And it continues, over the last few days since having the treatment, I find myself freaking out less about the impending London Marathon and I have let myself relax a little more. I have barely run since – but have allowed myself accept that this is okay. I have walked more, slept better and generally feel more at peace.
It is safe to say that floating is definitely something that works for me. And it is something I hope to continue doing on a regular basis – not just for the physical benefits after training but for the general well being I feel that it has given me over the last few days.
I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone. You don’t have to be training for a Marathon to reap the benefits. Floating can help with anyone; from those who are suffering from anxiety and fertility issues to those suffering from injury.
Try it for yourself at Floatworks. Not only are you welcomed by a friendly team, but the facilities they have enable your stress free experience to continue. All you have to do is bring yourself.