Have you ever felt so overwhelmed your head just seems like a mass of tangled cables? Have you ever felt so heavy within your own body it’s hard to even get out of bed?
Well, imagine a place free from gravity, a place free from all external stimulation where the only thing you can hear is your own heartbeat?
Would you believe me if I told you that place exists?
In 1999 at the ripe old age of 28, I woke up in the intensive care unit of the western general hospital In Edinburgh, having never really decided to go to sleep.
After repeated adverse childhood experiences, a mother struggling with trauma and addiction and a personal journey packed full of all the same “stuff” my life had become scary, overwhelming and heavy. Lying in the bed that day I knew I had 2 choices, keep going as I was and die or change, now change is scary and unknown, at least if I kept going as I was I knew that dark heavy place well and it had become comfortable, or should I say comfortably numb.
So I decided to opt for change unsure what to do or how to do but committed to staying alive, I started the process and had lots of oops, some people call these “relapses” but I felt oops was a kinder way of punishing me, my internal critic seemed to like that more and left me alone for a bit. One minute I was determined and serious about recovery the next I was sobbing, hiding from the world and looking for the answers at the end of a line of cocaine or the bottom of a Jack Daniels bottle.
All of that changed in 2004 when I entered a float tank, what happened next was to change my life forever, if you have never heard of flotation let me tell you a bit about it.
Floatation involves 25cms of body temp water and half a tonne of Epsom salt. We spend 80% of our daily energy source fighting the effects of gravity, floatation creates a zero-gravity environment.
Free from the weight of gravity the 80% of energy turns inwards to activate the blood flow increasing circulation while stimulating both the lymphatic and digestive system. This, in turn, restricts the production of lactic acid, breaks down any already in the system and places the body into detox mode. At the same time, the whole peripheral nervous system glides into a state of stable balance placing the body into a deep state of rest and relaxation. This allows the body to rest and repair 4 x faster in a float environment than in a bed.
We all experience the world very differently through our 5 senses (see, hear, feel, smell, taste) where we are met by over 2,000,000 pieces of info every second. Whilst floating the stimulation to these senses is restricted to allow our central nervous system to begin to slow down and our brain drifts from our usual alpha/beta brain waves into theta, in this environment our brain will release approximately the same endorphins (body’s natural pain killer and mood enhancer) as 5-7 hours sleep. The whole skeletal structure has a chance to realign and decompress and we are afforded the experience of resetting. We are born with over 300 bones (1/3 cartilage and tissue) at age 8/18months our bones fuse and form, this is also the time we take to our feet so the skeletal structure NEVER gets a chance to decompress and realign as it is always stimulated by contact.
This is described as the closest thing to being back in the womb and for my weary, abused and painful mind and body the float environment offered me a place to just be, a place to build a relationship with, and reconnect to, the most important person in my life …. ME.
In 2015 I brought the wonderful world of flotation therapy to Northern Ireland and opened the first dedicated floatation centre Hydro-ease.
By following the path to my true authentic self through finding the light in the darkness called post-traumatic growth. I am now committed to offering everyone the chance to experience the infinite possibilities to be found in nothing and in healing the world one float at a time.
Love from Vivian
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For evidence to support the effectiveness of floatation please go here www.clinicalfloatation.com