Float Therapy Now Available in Ho Chi Minh City
Float Therapy formerly known as ‘sensory deprivation’ is the latest craze when it comes to alternative relaxation therapies and it has arrived in HCMC at last. Everyone from professional athletes, exhausted parents to high-powered CEO’s are raving about it. Float therapy’s benefits are seemingly endless and includes deep muscle relaxation, enhanced sleep quality, chronic pain management, decreased stress and anxiety levels, increased focus, releasing trauma and even unlocking creative potential.
It sounds like a magic bullet for optimal health but could 60 to 90 minutes of floating in the dark and quiet really do wonders for our minds and bodies? I headed down to Float Saigon in District 2 to find out.
The Claim: Float therapy in Saigon may help you lead a happier, healthier life in just 60 minutes a week.
Upon arrival, I’m greeted warmly by Duc, Float Saigon’s owner. In his past life, Duc worked in tech for a couple of startups and is no stranger to high pressure jobs and work related stress, but today he is as zen as can be. He chalks it all up to his almost daily float sessions.
“Floating is not supposed to be like a spa treatment, it’s an invitation to explore your consciousness and with regular practice, it’s a therapeutic tool that can help you show up more fully in every aspect of your life...”
...says Duc, and with that, I’m sold on this experience already.
As I’m led to my float chamber, I am feeling a little nervous. Float Saigon offers two options: float chambers which are enclosed and a float room where the pool is open. I chose the chamber despite the fact that I’m not a fan of confined spaces. I came here for the full experience and there’s no backing out now.
Duc explains that the chamber is filled with ten inches of water loaded with epsom salt. The water is heated to body temperature and the thousands of pounds of epsom salt create an environment of weightlessness allowing you to literally float and experience total sensory deprivation. In other words, in case you were wondering, it’s impossible to drown even if you fall asleep because the high concentration of salt makes it impossible to sink in a float tank. Rest assured accidents don’t happen to floaters because you would have to exert a conscious effort to turn onto your side to attempt floating face-down. Once you close the hatch, the quiet, dark chamber is free of all distractions, enabling the body and mind to relax, heal, focus, harness creativity and, for more experienced ‘floaters’, to reach prolonged and deep meditative states.
Tips to get through the body’s ‘adjustment period’.
The final piece of information Duc shares is about the so called ‘adjustment period’, in other words, it’s a gentle warning not to freak out. Duc explains that initially when you close the hatch, you may feel a little nervous as your mind adjusts to the dark and confined space and your skin could feel itchy from the salt. His advice is to remain calm and allow these fleeting thoughts to pass and try not to touch the sides of the tank too much. For those who are really nervous, it’s good to know that you can open the hatch at any time if you feel claustrophobic, or simply choose the float rooms instead of the float chamber as they are more open.
With that last piece of advice, he leaves me to it. I shower and step into the sensory deprivation tank as instructed when some quiet music starts to play in the room. There are dim spotlights inside the tank and I was told that when the music stops, it’s the cue to hit the switch on the side of the tank to turn the spotlights off. I lie back and nervously wait trying to find a comfortable position. I do feel a bit itchy and I regret closing the hatch. I want to open it immediately but force myself to just go with it. The music stops and I hit the light switch. Suddenly, it’s really dark and really quiet. My first thought is that I long for that annoying instrumental spa music to come back on again because it’s just too quiet in the float chamber. Duc was right, I spend the first 10 to 15 minutes of the float trying to figure out how I should feel, what I should do and even trying to direct my thoughts, but the moment I just let go and go with it, time stops.
Coming out of the dark (literally!) after having floated your cares away.
An hour later, I wake myself up with a sudden leg twitch. I’m still floating, half asleep, half awake and I feel so good, I almost forgot where I was. The sudden leg twitch was a reminder that I still have a body because the weightless sensation inside the sensory deprivation chamber is so real.
When I get out of the float tank, I feel calm, rested and connected to myself, but everything else feels too loud, too bright and just too much. Duc offers me a cup of tea and a ready ear to hear about my experience.
Video source: Just Float
He explains that the leg twitches that brought me back to reality and the feeling of falling asleep is common for a first time floater. More experienced floaters are able to enter the meditative state quickly and stay there longer without sudden interruptions like twitches that pull them out of the experience. It’s a true practice and he recommends floating once a week for the maximum overall benefits.
That night I sleep like a baby for the first time in years. The day after my float, I feel refreshed and raring to go and I am more productive than usual. I guess you could say that float therapy helped me to temporarily switch off so I could power up again, because sometimes, we all need a reboot.
Float Saigon is located in District 2: https://floatvietnam.com/welcome-float-vietnam/
Banner Image source: wonderfloat.com