Wellness

Trend Alert: What The Heck Is Floating?

By Clare Acheson - 12 Aug 2015

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about floating as the next big trend to take Melbourne’s health scene by storm. I know what you’re thinking: Some new yogic levitation craze that’s taken over the city’s established hippy contingent? Well, no, not quite. In fact, floating, or floatation therapy as it’s known by some wellness buffs, is an incredible de-stressing treatment that’s being heralded by everyone from footballers to fashionistas as the ultimate way to relax your body and mind. It’s being pioneered here in Melbourne by one relaxation hub that we simply can’t get enough of, especially during those busier, more challenging weeks. Listers, meet Gravity Floatation Centre.

Based in Northcote, Gravity Floatation Centre is home to six individual floatation pods, each of which is housed in a separate treatment room, complete with a private shower and a set of earplugs (more on those later). The centre itself is a complete oasis of calm— you’re greeted with a relaxing herbal tea when you arrive—and the bright and airy reception area is the perfect spot to wind down for a few moments before your Gravity Float. It has been such a successful venture that in October 2015, the Gravity team will be opening a second centre in Armadale, making the south-side stress-free too.

But onto the floating. Just utter the phrase, ‘Gravity Float,’ in in-the-know circles in Melbourne, and you will immediately see eyes light up around the room. The treatment itself involves popping in a pair of earplugs and lying in a shallow bath of warm water and Epsom salts (great for nourishing your skin!) while in a light and sound-proof pod. The salts mean that you effortlessly float on the water’s surface, and the bath is heated to skin temperature so that after a while you can barely tell where your body ends and the space around you begins. All of this, plus total silence and pitch-black darkness?! It might sound a little unorthodox, but it’s a complete body and mind experience that makes for de-stressing bliss unlike anything else we’ve ever tried. 

While most visitors book in for an hour-long Gravity Float experience, we’ve known some more experienced (and, I would imagine, less fidgety) floatation gurus to book in for two hours at a time for super-deep relaxation. Two hours in a pod…Isn’t that a bit, um, scary? One of the founding partners of Gravity Floatation Centre, Nitel Mimi, talked us through the fear factor:

“Most people who feel that the pod might look a bit scary often feel at ease once they see the pod in person. It’s actually similar to the size of a small car and boasts a high ceiling. You are in complete control of the pod—both the lid and lighting—so you can always float with the lid open and the lights on, although the experience won’t be quite as effective!”

The incredible Gravity Float experience is as close to zero gravity as you can get without leaving the Earth’s surface, which has some surprising benefits. The Epsom salt solution gently eases out any muscle pain that may have set in as the result of a busy week, and because your body is floating, your joints can relax into their natural position. You leave feeling like you have had the best massage of your life, but without any of the physical aches and pains from manually working out muscle pain.

As for the mental relaxation benefits, not only do your worries melt away during a Gravity Float, you will also feel calm and focussed day-to-day afterwards. You leave feeling entirely rejuvenated, meaning that your mind is sharper when it needs to be (for example, when learning a new skill), and that you relax far more easily in the evenings too, which leads to a better night’s sleep. Double down on a trip to Gravity Floatation Centre in Melbourne with a deep yoga class or a meditation session and you’ll be completely chilled out in no time at all!

Can’t wait to feel your cares float away as a result of your very own Gravity Float experience? Gravity now has TWO Melbourne floatation centres! Book in a session at their Northcote floatation centre or Armadale floatation centre here, and make sure you’re following them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news on floating in Melbourne, as well as some truly beautiful photos.

Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Gravity Floatation Centre and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: Simon Shiff for The Urban List

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