The Sli Beatha Float House located in Naas, Co. Kildare provides floatation therapy which I can honestly say was a blissful and beautiful calming sensory experience. I love to try different types of health and well-being therapies and new experiences to see their effects and reap the therapeutic benefits. Taking time out from parenting and a busy private practice is important. Self-care as a Psychotherapist and coach supporting others is an absolute necessity!
Not only that, I firmly believe in the power of preventative healthcare and self-care, meaning that we can invest in our health and well-being as a preventative measure to help protect many conditions from developing or progressing.
“The warm soothing cocoon of the flotation pod was just the downtime and escape I needed during this busy summer holiday season – perfect for minding my mental health.“
Somehow flotation therapy has passed me by unnoticed much to my disappointment. As their brochure suggests, it was ‘one hour of pure bliss’, and I was far from disappointed. In fact… I am totally converted in just one session.
What is Flotation Therapy
Flotation therapy is known to be effective for many conditions, including chronic stress symptoms, burnout, anxiety, depression, PTSD, sleep problems, injury and illness recovery, overstimulation, and even helps with habits and addictions. And no, this is not a new-age fad!
The first flotation tank was developed in 1954 by an American Neurophysiologist, Dr. Lily while working at The National Institute for Mental Health, Maryland, USA. The NIMH has been researching the treatment of mental health and illness for over 75 years. Since 1983, flotation therapy has grown in popularity due to its therapeutic effects. There are conditions which it is not suitable for which you will identify when booking. I imagine having tried floating therapy that it would be beneficial for many of the clients I work with who experience anxiety, depression, stress, and overwhelm and those starting in early or who struggle with emotional regulation or process addictions.
As a happy introvert, I thrive most in a calm and quiet environment and work hard to keep on top of my health and manage stress. The warm soothing cocoon of the flotation pod was just the downtime and escape I needed during this busy summer holiday season – perfect for minding my mental health. This overstimulated mind stepped into the flotation pod, exited calm, quiet and rested in just 60 minutes. And not just that. For the next 24 hours, my body felt incredibly rested. Do I recommend flotation therapy as a new experience to try out? Hell yes! Discovering what works for you is half the solution. Read more about me at orlaghreid.ie
If you’re a water baby like me and enjoy the therapeutic sensation of water or the sea, this therapy is for you. The warm, quiet weightless sensation of being in the flotation pods is a close second to floating in the sea with the warm summer sun shining down on your body.
What to Expect From Your Flotation Therapy Visit
You can book your flotation one-hour therapy session directly through their floathouse.ie website, which is convenient and easy to use. At €65 per one-hour session, it is worth every cent, and you can purchase a monthly membership or package for further reductions. They have later evening appointments until 8 pm, which make it accessible for busier people. On arrival at the centre, you are warmly welcomed at reception to check in and are brought to one of their four private inviting flotation therapy rooms.
“As it calmed down my overstimulated brain, it brought my attention right down to where it should be – back into my body.”
Each treatment room has a futuristic-looking float pod and a shower with accessories such as shower gels, earplugs, facial wipes etc. Everything you need for your one-hour flotation therapy experience is provided, including hair drying facilities, along with excellent instructions and guidance from the staff and plenty of time for questions.
Once you shower and step into the flotation pod, you close down the light door, but it can reopen easily for those who may experience claustrophobia. The soft blue hue of the lights and relaxation music remain on for five to ten minutes, allowing you to acclimatise to the experience. This transition helps you slowly ease into the environment and fully immerse yourself in the sensory experience.
The water is filled with 1,000 pounds of Empson salts creating a weightless flotation experience, as the water at approx 35 degrees allows the body and muscles to relax fully, creating a comfortable cocoon-like sensation. Just dreamy.
This sensation of weightlessness floating in warm water is a unique soft sensory experience calming the senses, quite surreal. As you’re relaxing into the experience, you can hear the music and drift away. Eventually, my thoughts slowed down, and I became acutely aware of my breathing and, in time, even listening to my heart beating. I noticed aches and sensations in my body that I ordinarily would never notice during the day, and you can literally feel every bone and muscle in your body rest and relax as you float about in the water. As it calmed down my overstimulated brain, it brought my attention right down to where it should be – back into my body.
After fifty minutes, just as the staff assured me, the music comes back on, followed by the soft lighting leaving you with ten minutes to bring your awareness back to the present and reemerge, feeling refreshed and relaxed. It was a very surreal and enjoyable experience to feel temporarily disconnected from the outside world and entirely in tune with my body. When the 60 minutes is over, you have another warm shower to wash off the Epson salts and take time to get ready for the real world again, followed by a check-out at reception.
Thank you to Dawn at The Float House, Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland for being so warm and welcoming. I will be adding flotation therapy to my self-care treatment list and look forward to coming back soon. Follow The Sli Beatha Float House on Instagram at @floathouse_ireland