It’s been a bit of a rough patch for me lately, having injured my back, yet again. Luckily, it’s only a muscular issue, however I really do feel like I know what it’s like to be 85 years old and unable to stand up straight from back pain. And man, am I majorly appreciating my youth and health right now.
With Ramadan in full swing, daily life has taken on a bit of a different pace, one that is much slower and doesn’t really render an atmosphere of the same “up-and-at-‘em” attitude I tend to have during the rest of the year. I have been using that to my advantage, though, to try and recuperate from my injury.
Complaining about my back one day in the office, I became really intrigued when someone recommended a session of floating. Supposedly a great way to treat muscular and joint issues, I just needed to know where to sign up.
Point Zero Floatation Center offers Restricted Environment Stimulation Therapy (R.E.S.T.), which is a technique where the body is placed in an environment that significantly reduces external stimulation such as light, sound, smell, taste and touch. This results in the body being able to focus inwards and regenerate itself, maintaining chemical and metabolic balance.
This therapy is offered by means of a small body of warm water heated to body temperature and filled with Epsom salt. One of the reasons it is so effective as therapy is that it releases the body from the pressures of gravity, allowing for complete relaxation. In fact, the therapy is so effective that a two-hour float results in restoration similar to that of eight hours of sleep!
I was greeted very warmly and set up in my little cabin. It was similar to a very small hotel suite, offering a bathroom, shower and the floatation cabin itself all within an enclosed, private space just for me. I loved the fact that the center had really thought through their provision of accessories – earplugs, neck pillow, shower cap if you did not want to get your hair wet (key for the ladies!), disposable underwear, makeup remover and even Vaseline, which I didn’t understand why at first, but I soon realized.
After a quick rinse, I got into my mini flotation pool (they suggest that first-timers use the pool rather than a pod as the pod can feel quite claustrophobic, especially if you don’t know what to expect from the experience). The neck pillow was a brilliant accessory, as I usually become quite uncomfortable pretty quickly trying to hold my head up.
I had a love/hate relationship with the Epsom salt. It felt a lot like when I visited the Dead Sea, in that with pretty much no effort I was floating. That was quite cool, however because the water was so warm, I was finding parts of me getting a bit chilly and that was distracting. The hate part came in pretty fast, though, as I had a cut on my arm and I literally spent the first 10 minutes in the water trying to exercise all my willpower to keep myself immersed and not give up on the whole experience altogether.
My mind beat my matter and I finally began to ease into the relaxation experience. Having the lights turn off added another soothing element and when I finally let go of my senses, it was extremely pleasant.
There isn’t much more to tell because pretty soon, I found myself jolting into consciousness again, wondering just how much time had passed. While it was not the exact same as waking up from a deep sleep (I felt a part of me had still been fairly conscious that I was in water the whole time), I felt super chilled out.
It was with a heavy heart that I pulled myself out from the little pool and back into the real world. After a quick rinse, I walked out feeling really great, albeit realizing a quick rinse isn’t the right clean-up option. On my way home, I kept feeling bits of Epsom salt crackling all over my face and neck, leaving me feeling quite like Hansel from the fairytale with a trail of salt behind me, marking the way home.
Flotation Therapy sessions start from 210 AED for 60 minutes, with packages from 2,800 AED for 10 60-minute sessions.
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