Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cocoon Floatation: Why you should float

When I first heard about ‘Cocoon Floatation’, images flashed before me of my childhood memories of the 1985 Oscar winning fantasy film ‘Cocoon’ directed by Ron Howard and starring the memorable Policy Academy’s Steven Guttenberg. For those of you not familiar with the plot, the story in ‘Cocoon’ is about residents of a retirement home in Florida who get a new lease of life when they stumble across an alien ‘fountain of youth’ in a disused holiday home. What they didn’t know was that aliens have been using the swimming pool, charged with a ‘life force’, in the house to store their cocoon brethren, giving the pool waters a more powerful and rejuvenating quality. My imagination of what Cocoon Floatation was all about wasn’t far off. In fact after trying it a few weeks ago, I felt like was reborn again…
What is cocoon flotation?

In essence, you are floating in a large tank of salt water for 1 hour. Cocoon Floatation is an alternative way to meditate and switch off from the overstimulating effects of daily life. Cocoon Floatation is the Illawara’s first floatation tank centre. It is located in Figtree, Wollongong, about 1.5 hour drive south of Sydney.

3 questions I frequently get asked

#1 Did you really float like the first picture above?

No, but we did float naked.

I thought we needed to bring our swimmers until I asked Megan at Cocoon Floatation the day before, "Do I need to bring anything ...swimmers?" She replies, "No. We float naked". At first I wasn’t sure about this “we” floating naked thing, but to our relief I soon realised that it’s not a communal bathhouse. You are given your own room and you float naked in a large tank in your own privacy…Phew!

#2 Why do it?

Unlike other meditation practices, a float tank is the most relaxing environment we can put our bodies in and it does last a couple of days after you float. Indeed, I certainly had a good and uninterrupted night’s sleep. There are 3 identified benefits that comes from ‘floating’...

Physical benefits

You will feel a sense of calm; refreshed; and reborn again. The difference in the way people look before (particularly if it is their first time like myself) and after a float would seem apparent as the lovely Megan drew the comparison with some amusement. I can imagine what I might have looked like with my naturally high and overstimulated energy levels as I anxiously wait for my first float (my friend and I certainly didn’t know what to expect). People float to relieve stress, recover from injuries, fight addictions, eliminate chronic pain and much more. Floating naturally increases your dopamine and endorphin levels, boosting your mood and leaves yours skin glowing and so smooth to touch after the float because of the Epsom salts.

As this was the first time I had floated, it did take me about 10 minutes to settle, relax and the more relaxed I became, the less strain it places on your neck as you float. Once you relax you can do cat stretches whilst floating on water.

Spiritual benefits

Everything you experience while floating comes from within yourself. And it is up to you but it was the perfect time to reflect on life. Having an active mind generally speaking, it took me a few minutes to settle, unplug, but after that my body was in a state of deep relaxation and I forgot I was floating. My mind wandered unintentionally and interestingly, I had thoughts of scenes of sci-fi/fantasy novels I use to read when I was a kid, floating in a lake in the era of King Arthur, the Sword & the Lady of the Lake. It was strange. Then I thought about people I've met during the year and had this feeling of deep gratitude and happiness. It was bizarre how my mind wandered floating in this tank. That was my experience. Yours could be different.

#3 Can you drown if you fall asleep?

Yes I fell asleep as I forgot I was floating and no I didn’t drown. The water is only a few centremetres from the surface. It’s like taking a bath except in very salty water. The water is so buoyant you stay afloat. At worst, you may be woken up by a bit of salt water in your eyes or mouth. The water is so salty when you taste it it's bitter so try and avoid that.

For other frequently asked questions and tips (like not shaving before you go given the salt water can sting) go to Cocoon Flotation’s

This truly was a pleasurable experience where you will immediately see and notice the benefits after an hour's float in a cocoon tank. I loved it. I can't wait to float again.

35a Bellevue rd, Figtree NSW 2525


Ph: (02) 42443069

Studio hours:
Thurs–Fri 10am–7pm
Sat-Sun 10am-5.30pm

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