I recently signed up for The REST Programme at Float Culture and I’m so glad I did. Best. Thing. Ever. Let me tell you why.
What Is Floating?
If you’ve ever had an Epsom salts bath a float is pretty much the same thing on steroids.
The pod/pool contains 500kg of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) dissolved in water heated to body temperature—35.5°C. The combination enables you to, literally, float like a cork in a dark and soundproof environment.
“The REST Project’s main goal is to build psychological fitness,” says Sam Thomas, The REST Project’s Director of Psychology. “We run short floatation courses across New Zealand utilising the unique effects of floatation to create psychological growth.”
How To Float:
There are four private rooms at Float Culture: The Lake Room, The Ocean Room, The Forest Room, and The Cosmic Room. Each room contains a pod or pool, shower, loo and Sukin hair and body products.
Pre-float, a shower and shampoo (sans conditioner) is mandatory before popping in earplugs and stepping into the soothing blue light of the pod/pool. There are two buttons to the side: one to turn out the light and one to start music, which will play for five minutes before silence reigns.
At the end of your float:
- The music will come on as your cue to readjust, and turn on the light.
- It’s back to the shower to rinse off the salt—you can use conditioner on your hair this time.
- The pod/pool water will begin to flush. This is the recycling process where the water is cleaned.
The REST Programme
R.E.S.T. stands for Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy
The REST Programme guides you in taking what you learn in the float pod into your daily life. It involves eight float sessions coupled with a beautifully produced handbook that includes pre-float prompts and journaling tasks.
Float 1: Self Reflection
I self-rated my physical and mental health, my relationships and what’s bought me to my current state.
I have chronic pain, which the doctors are attempting to diagnose. Floating has proven to be helpful with pain so I’m all for it.
Float 2: Goal Setting
I’m prompted to visualise the best version of me walking through a day and – post-float—to journal three goals. Mine are learning to chill, ensuring I take time out and becoming pain-free.
Float 3: Introspection
This one’s an exploration of the self. Taking a look at emotional styles and how they affect daily life.
Float 4: Action Plan
Today is about building relevant techniques to achieve goals and checking in on their progress. I’m doing great, learning to chill and setting boundaries for time out.
Float 5: Connecting With Others
I pick two people who are suffering and put myself in their shoes then journal the experience. For me, it comes at a time when my mother is on a journey with pancreatic cancer.
Float 6: Gratitude
The timing is almost eerie due to my mother’s cancer. It’s about being aware of the things that are great in my life (to balance out the challenges).
Float 7: What Matters
Today is about envisioning my perfect world and contrasting it to the world I live in. This leads on to journaling about my perfect world vision.
Float 8: The Bigger Picture
This last float focuses on my personal skills and attributes and takes a look back on the programme from an outsider’s perspective.
- I’m doing much better with ‘chilling’ and taking me-time. That’s goals one and two ticked. It’s also easier dealing with my mother’s illness and some of the stresses of having start-up businesses.
- The pain is still there. Some experts believe this is linked to the inability to ‘chill’ so achieving goal one and two are really valuable.
- I’m now an experienced floater. It’s so good. Seriously. In the words of Float Culture, I recommend you ‘Go Float Yourself’!
Words: Jenna Moore