Float Spa: The new way to relax and recharge

Relax and recharge your mind and body by floating in salt water, shut out from the rest of the world. Is this New Age-y hokey or should you dive into the next big trend already? We test the waters.

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It’s a weekday afternoon and I’m floating in a tank of salt water in my birthday suit. No one else is here. There is no sound, no light, and — gasp! — no iPhone.

I’m doing my first float at Float House Singapore, a float spa founded by actress-turned-boss lady Michelle Goh (once known for sizzling up the screens in Mee Pok Man as Bunny the prostitute). Flotation therapy, essentially, is spacing out in a sensory deprivation pod that’s free of any external stimuli — you’re left alone with your thoughts, lulled into a mental state conducive for meditation and mental restoration. It purportedly helps with stress, insomnia and even depression. The tank is filled with 28 cm of body-temperature water and 600kg of magnesium sulphate salt (making it denser than the Dead Sea) and this apparently helps relax the muscles and nerves to promote healing. All this may sound hokey to sceptics, but I have a chronic back problem and occasionally suffer from insomnia, so my interest was piqued.

Claustrophobics have nothing to worry about — the pod is spacious enough to fit two adults (though only one person is allowed in at a time. It’s not called ‘me’ time for nothing.). All three pods at Float House are installed with mood lighting that you can choose to turn on or off during your float. Michelle runs a few basic pointers by me (“Once you find a comfortable position for yourself, stay there.”) and I’m good to go. I take a shower, remove my make-up and jewellery, pop in the earplugs provided, and hop into pod, ready to… do nothing, a task more daunting than meeting your in-laws for the first time.

I’m all for the full experience, so I lower the lid fully. As I bob around gently (the water may come up to your ears when you’re laying flat, but never covers your pretty mug), soothing ambient music tinkles softly from the sound system (only for the first 10 minutes). I spend awhile fidgeting to find a good resting position. The music stops. It’s pitch black. You’re encouraged to leave all your work stress at the door, but I find myself making a mental list of emails that need to be sent out, messages to be replied, Instagrams to post. Either my thoughts run out or I’m slowly and unwittingly lulled into a state of relaxation, but gradually, the outside world is the last thing on my mind. I stare into the darkness; my mind a blank. I’m getting sleepy. Suddenly, my stomach growls and shatters the silence. Argh! There goes my almost-Zen moment! My mind begins to wander: What to have for lunch? Maybe I’ll have a salad or a sandw… Before I know it, I’ve drifted off to snooze-land. Occasionally, a little water dribbles into my ear and I jerk awake, only to fall asleep in the next few minutes (or seconds? It’s hard to tell when you’re in the pod.) 

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