The last few months have gone by in a blur - I've started a new job, Russell finally opened his gym, the builders are back at our house again and I only have three days of annual leave left for the rest of the year.
It's rare that either of us get any 'me' time, let alone moments to fully relax and unwind, so when Floatworks asked me to review their floatation therapy I was rather excited to be able to block an hour out of my day to do nothing.
The only time I've ever heard of float tanks is from the Simpsons, and that was a rather psychedelic experience, so I was keen to see whether I could truly switch off all those nagging 'to-do list' thoughts.
Based in Vauxhall, the centre is located in St. George Wharf a minutes walk from the station. I was greeted by the friendly reception staff who explained they regularly float and have found it very calming.
I was shown to a room with a the egg shaped Isopod floatation tank and shower. Everything you need is supplied for you, from towels and SLS free organic toiletries to hair dryers and straighteners - you don't even need a swimming costume (as the room is private it's best to let it all hang out). Vaseline is provided to protect any cuts and surprisingly comfortable earplugs keep the water out whilst you float.
The floatation experience is created using a super-saturated Epsom-salt and water solution which is heated to skin temperature.
This creates water similar to the Dead Sea, with the high salt content allowing you to float effortlessly on the surface of the water - it honestly is a very odd feeling, but once you allow your muscles to relax it's like lying on an invisible lilo.
Once the lid is shut the environment in the tank is controlled so that the air is also skin temperature (once I was settled I honestly couldn't tell which parts of my body were in or out of the water).
The 45 min float initially starts with a blue light on and soft music playing; this then slowly decreases and allows you to relax in complete darkness until then end, when the music will begin playing again to gently wake you up should you full asleep.
To begin with I have to admit I wasn't very relaxed, the sensation was so new to me I wanted to test it out - after a lot of swirling about I managed to splash the very salty water in my eye (don't worry, they have a little water spray in the tank to wash it out with) and after learning my lesson I allowed myself to simply lay there.
The thing I found most interesting about my experience is that the tank was pitch black, so I found myself not knowing if my eyes were shut or not. I can't say I completely switched off, but for my first float I felt really relaxed after and the high magnesium content of the Epsom salts really helped my aching muscles relax.
After a long shower I headed upstairs to the Hollywood room to blow dry my hair, then found a comfortable bean bag in their chill out room, sipped a peppermint tea and let the experience soak in. If you're planning a visit I'd recommend leaving yourself some calendar time to enjoy the experience so you don't have to rush off.