My experience with floatation therapy

swim

Since I have frozen shoulder, I was told that I needed more magnesium to increase range of motion, and the best method, in addition to taking supplements and eating lots of magnesium-rich foods, is to spend an hour in a commercial pod (commonly referred to as a float tank), or a warm mini pool filled with Epsom salts since this method allows magnesium to be absorbed into the body quicker, right through the skin. I booked a one-hour session and asked for the large room, which is recommended for people like me who are claustrophobic.  All sorts of claims are made as to what benefits floating chambers provide, from weight-loss to improved mood; call me skeptical.

After I arrived, I was taken back to where the rooms were located, behind closed doors. Walking down the hallway, I was overwhelmed with how muggy and humid the air temperature was; it felt like I was walking into an underground cave, where the air was contained and had limited oxygen. At the end of the hallway, an employee opened a door and told me, this was my room. It looked like a large bathroom, sans toilet, with two shower heads and a curtain. I was instructed to cover any cuts with Vaseline, that was provided in a small packet, to prevent the salts from stinging any open wounds, and to shower to remove any lotion since it can clog the drains and damage the equipment. The shower water was cold and I couldn’t figure out how to make it warmer, not a good start.

Then I went over to a wall with a small, custom, glass shower door, up high, with a handle. I had to climb in to get through. Inside was a large, rectangular bathtub, with dark, high ceilings, and a few tacky-looking fake rocks jutting out of the walls in a haphazard fashion, to make it look like a cave (It didn’t. It just looked creepy). The water was warm and the salt water make my legs slippery and slimy. I put in the ear plugs provided to prevent the salt water from going inside my ear canals. I laid back and floated around the mini pool, which was really neat and fun, until the salt water flooded into my ears. I tried re-positioning the ear plugs, but they wouldn’t block the water from entering, so I sat up, but the water wasn’t warm enough to keep the upper part of my body that wasn’t underwater, a comfortable temperature. I felt chilly, so I flipped over and tried to crawl around on my hands, but my shoulder is injured so that solution didn’t last. Then I flipped back over so I was sitting, but the water wasn’t deep enough so my upper chest and shoulders were exposed to the air. I tried splashing the water onto my shoulders, but I got bored. After 10-15 minutes, I’d had enough and left.

I didn’t see any increased range of motion, or decrease in the amount of shoulder pain, but ten to fifteen minutes probably isn’t sufficient time to notice any positive results. The only way I can see myself enjoying such an experience is if it was more like a large jacuzzi, where I could sit down, invite my friends, drink a glass of wine (but I’d be drinking tea), the surroundings looking like a bright and luxurious spa, and being able to control the music.

 

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