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Manchester's First Floatation Centre Opens

Float Level invites you to experience weightlessness

Published on May 27th 2014.

Manchester's First Floatation Centre Opens

DANIEL Craig does it, Susan Sarandon does it, Wayne Rooney does it. And if the predictions are to be believed, soon many of us will be doing it too.

Floatation centre, Float Level, is due to open on 30 May in the Chips building in New Islington, bringing us all the chance to experience this increasingly popular form of deep relaxation where you float effortlessly in warm, soothing salt water in a sound-proofed pod.

Float Level is Manchester's first dedicated centre but it's far from a trailblazer. There are now over 700 floatation centres worldwide, with over 1,500 people a month attending one in London.

The rapid growth of 'floating' in the last few years is unsurprising in a fast-paced digital culture that gives us little time to fully switch off and relax. Our stressful jobs and over-packed social lives mean we're all looking for time out. A weekend away or a Sunday lie-in might help, but they don't induce the deep relaxation necessary to reset our minds back to their natural, calm state.

This is where floating comes into its own. It takes up just a single hour of your time and  research has repeatedly found that floatation offers one of the most effective means of stress-relief and relaxation available. They were pioneered in the 1950s as part of research into the effects of reduced stimulation on the brain. Scientists theorised that the brain would shut down without stimulation. Instead they found that floating resulted in clearer and more creative thoughts, as well as a deeply relaxed physical state.

Since then, the body of evidence supporting the benefits has grown. Floatation sessions have been found to promote better sleep, reduce anxiety, and reduce recovery time from muscle injuries and intense exercise. In fact, floatation is being increasingly used as part of post-training routines to help eliminate more quickly the build-up of lactic acid and maintain peak performance. For a more comprehensive list of the benefits, see the yellow box below.

So how does it work? In a session you are weightless, floating in water the same temperature as your skin, in a spacious pod, in a sound-proof, private room. It's one of the few times you'll ever be without physical sensation or external distraction. As a result, your muscles fully relax and your normal brainwave frequency slows, creating a peaceful, serene state. And the more often you float, the easier it becomes for your mind to operate on this calmer level, even within the stresses of your daily life.

Whether you're feeling stressed or not, the sheer enjoyment factor makes floating a very appealing way to spend an hour. And if it also makes us more creative and happy, we'll take that too.

Float Level is currently offering Confidential readers a one-hour floatation pod session for just £30 (a saving of £10 on standard prices), or a package of three one-hour sessions for £60 (a huge saving of £30. Book your first session and pay for it as part of a 3 pack at the centre). See the Float Level offers.

The benefits of regular sessions in a floatation pod

Your cortisol levels are lowered, reducing stress

Your thoughts 'unblock' enhancing your creative thinking

You recover faster from intense exercise and injuries

You find it easier to meditate and 'be mindful'

Your mood improves

You become calmer and more relaxed

Your sleep patterns are improved

Your blood pressure lowers

Your spine is able to straighten completely

Your muscle groups are able to relax simultaneously

Your joints, intervertebral discs, ligaments and bones are relieved simultaneously

Your skin condition improves

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