Blogpost: Mind Over Matter -- Floating

Posted by T • October 21, 2018

Posted by T • October 21, 2018

Mind Over Matter -- Floating

If you are into Matt Groening’s satirical depiction of working-class life, you might have come across the Simpsons episodes that has Homer taking Lisa to a New Age store, where both of them are introduced to a water-filled sensory deprivation tank. What ensues in a spiritual journey for Lisa, while Homer’s journey becomes a real one.

Ever since coming across the aforementioned episode, I was intrigued whenever I came across etablissements offering float therapy and have wanted to try it.

Enter Koa Recovery.

The therapy center Koa Recovery was founded by its owner Shaun’s after personal experience with a back injury and his subsequent endeavours to recover, which led him to North America where he came across the Float Therapy, Whole Body Cryotherapy and the other treatments that Koa Recovery now offers. Experiencing immediate tangible benefits from the treatments, Shaun decided to bring these concepts and therapies to Sydney, Australia where he now offers them to help others – be it for pain management, prevention or rehabilitation of injuries, enhancing athletic performance, preparation for game day or to aid with relaxation and de-stressing to enhance resting the mind and nurture creativity.

Let’s enter the realms of restricted environment stimulation therapy and the actual sensor deprivation tank, shall we?

Apparently “isolation tanks” first emerged in the 1950ies for science experiments before they were modified to resemble the pod-like chambers that I was going to experience at Koa Recovery.

The initial idea was to create a separation from your surroundings through confinement in a tank that is filled with about 25 centimeters of water, heated to around 34 degrees Celsius and hundreds of kilos of Epsom salts so your body floats and to create a sensory transcendence by depriving all senses of stimulation.

The therapy has come a long way and what now materializes at Koa Recovery are luxurious, soundproof pods that allow to pull the plug and disconnect from the white noise of the daily humdrum, constant connectivity and chatter of our minds.

After taking a shower and scrubbing off anything that might taint the water and entering the pod, it took me a minute to acclimatize but it proved to be surprisingly easy to become buoyant, let go and slow down, switch off and allowing every muscle to relax.

It becomes second nature easily.

Having been on a training regime for the recent Sydney half-marathon, the high magnesium concentration and elimination of gravity made the floating session the ideal recovery as the elimination is gravity is ideal for muscle and joint recovery post injury.

Now, what happens inside the pod?

Nothing – and that is the whole idea behind it. You float in darkness – there is opportunity to adjust the lighting or leave the tank open if you suffer from symptoms of claustrophobia – and become one with black velvet.

It is a form of meditation that focus, creativity and productivity with one hour of floating being roughly equivalent to four to five hours of sleep as he sensory deprivation results in a change of brain waves to the relaxed theta state, i.e. the state before actually falling to sleep.

What do you feel?

Well, unless you let the liquid come close to your eyes, which stings a lot, a lot and nothing at the same time.

After a few minutes music stops playing and the lights dim down to blackness.

It is difficult to explain but the pod becomes your universe – the universe.

My weightless session of not using any muscles helped me enormously with my lower back pain, decompression and the realignment of my spine as it allows you to stretch in ways you have never stretched before.

Soaking in the magnesium rich water not only felt amazing after but you also absorb the minerals through osmosis, which aids detoxification and aid in combatting insomnia, both of which I was in dire need of.

Is it a spiritual experience?

It can be. It takes practice. With the first session in the clamshell, egg-shaped tank it is not very likely to experience any Simpsons-esque hallucinations or epiphanies, however, the loss of spatial awareness and not being able to differentiate between water and air definitely offers the perfect opportunity to connect with yourself and take an hour long vacation. Your mind starts to wander zigzagging through a state between being awake and a fluid dream-like state.

Once you emerge from the pod, my skin felt awesome, my back felt pain free and I felt overcome by a Hindu-like sense of Zen calm and clear-headedness.

I ensured to hydrate throughout the day after the session and what followed was a night with the most restful, dreamiest sleep I have experienced in years.


Photos courtesy of Koa Recovery

T • October 21, 2018

More recent blogposts

Beethoven and Wagner vs Nietzsche

Posted by T • July 26, 2021

Beethoven: A life University of California Press   There is no shortage of books dedicated to the life of a composer whose legacy has never ceased to reverberate and impact music at large. Released to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, what sets this biography apart in terms of authority is partly due to the unprecedented access … Read more

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery

Posted by T • July 25, 2021

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery   Over the last ten years, Australia has firmly established itself on the map of nations that produce quality malt whiskies. Slowly but steadily, rye whiskies created on terra australis have been making a splash on the scene with quite a few distilleries crafting their own incarnations of American style rye whiskey. … Read more

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury

Posted by T • July 24, 2021

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury I’ve covered the mecca that Washington DC proved to be as a hotbed for hardcore and punk as part of this series before, however, missed to shed light onto one of my favourite releases from the 1980s era, i.e. the vitally important split LP of the short-lived bands The Faith and Void.  While … Read more

The Formative Years – Hardcore Classics, pt. 1

Posted by T • July 23, 2021

The Formative Years – Hardcore classics pt. 1   With ZAP magazine playing a pivotal role in promoting and covering everything New York Hardcore related in a pro-active and prominent manner, Europe and specifically Germany have always been prime markets for hardcore emanating from the Big Apple.  The result was that “NYHC” became a veritable label and trademark and almost … Read more

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records

Posted by T • July 22, 2021

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records  The first time I heard about Ebullition Records was when there was talk around the campfire of that a gentleman that was known to me as a Maximum Rock’n’roll / No Answer zine contributor, i.e. Kent McClard, was planning to release a full length of one of my favourite bands from Orange County, California, … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate and Six String

Posted by T • July 18, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate Brewhouse and Six String Brewing   As we have outlined with our previous coverage of Holgate Brewhouse, over the last twenty years the Victorian brewery has established itself firmly on the forefront of innovative quality producers of ales that honour both the classic styles from the old world and the ever expanding and … Read more

Water of Life – Hellfire / Larrikin Distilleries

Posted by T • July 15, 2021

Water of Life – Hellfire Distillery / Larrikin Distillery   If you have followed this series with a modicum of interest and harbour a weak spot for fantastic, artisanal spirits, Tasmania would be doubtlessly be have made it on your to-visit list quite a while ago. Visiting the southernmost state of Australia twice a year, I never cease to discover … Read more

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Posted by T • July 12, 2021

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society   There is certainly no shortage of whisky clubs and subscription services these days and for anyone remotely into discovering new flavour nuances and variations of their favourite bottlings, joining one can prove to be a viable option. The experience those services offer ranges from basic monthly tasting kits that might … Read more

Water of Life – Milton Rum & Mad Monkey Distillery

Posted by T • July 11, 2021

Water of Life – Milton Rum and Mad Monkey Distillery   Rum has a long and at times chequered history reaching back more than six hundred years to the times dominated by Colonialism, where it did not only serve to make pirates drunk but as a means for trade. Fast forward to the present day and the renaissance that the … Read more

The Formative Years - Kill Rock Stars

Posted by T • July 10, 2021

The Formative Years - Kill Rock Stars  It would have been around 1992 that I first came about a new label that seemed to have its focus firmly set on releasing its friends’ records and the underground scene centred around Olympia, Washington. It did not take long for the label, its credo and overall outlook and aesthetic to manifest via … Read more