Flotation therapy is an enigma to those who aren’t familiar with it and a miracle-worker to those who swear by it. The proven benefits of flotation are countless: research has shown that this unique alternative therapy can eliminate stress, lower blood pressure, improve the quality of sleep, stimulate creativity, enhance memory, boost the immune system, increase self-awareness and relieve bodily aches and pains, to name just a few benefits.
Flotation therapy (also known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, or REST) was pioneered in the 1950s by the American physiologist John Lilly. It involves floating in a highly buoyant and sterile mixture of body-temperature water and Epsom salts, creating the feeling of weightlessness. As your body is perfectly supported and your senses do not experience any external physical stimuli whatsoever, you are transported to a pure state of sensory relaxation that allows your body to relax completely and helps your mind unlock its dormant -abilities.
Point Zero Flotation Centre, a newly opened boutique-style relaxation centre located in Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, is the only centre of its kind to offer flotation therapy in the Middle East. “Our philosophy as a centre is to promote healthy living skills that last a lifetime,” explains the Point Zero Flotation centre manager Penny Brewer. “Our services, which, along with flotation also include massage therapy and lifestyle balance services, all work together to make it simple and practical for individuals to look after their physical, emotional and psychological selves.”
The flotation experience at Point Zero is a high-end one and can be tailored to your individual preferences and needs. The elegantly decorated centre boasts numerous float rooms, all of which are private and equipped with showers and amenities. You have the option to float either in the traditional pod or one of the more spacious VIP float cabins. You also have the choice to float in complete darkness and silence, or make use of light therapy and calming music during your float.
The novice floater shouldn’t expect miracles the first time around, as it primarily involves getting your body accustomed to the new environment. It is recommended to float three to five times to initially understand the process of flotation and begin to reap its long-term advantages. The benefits are cumulative, which explains why flotation devotees incorporate this therapy into their everyday lives.
“Flotation therapy is a relatively new concept to many people in the UAE,” says Brewer. “We look forward to encouraging people to try it. When it comes to flotation, the proof is in the pudding and our menu offers great packages that give individuals the opportunity to experience flotation properly and within their own time.”
Access to a VIP Float Cabin is Dh350 per session and a Float Pod for Dh270 per session. Point Zero also has discount packages. For more information on Point Zero Flotation, visit www.pointzerofloatation.com. To book an appointment, call 02 445 5775.
Before being escorted to my personal float room, I was assured that it is normal to feel a bit unconvinced during the beginning of the experience (as it is something I’m not used to) and that the feeling would pass. I was also told that I might feel some tension in my body at first and that it would soon dissipate. Armed with these puzzling facts, I showered, put in my mandatory earplugs and stepped into the saline unknown of the flotation cabin.
As I lay suspended in a pool of water, everything I was briefed about happened: my neck stiffened up and I began to question why I was even there. As I slowly but surely became more acquainted with my surroundings, I finally allowed myself to fully surrender to the experience and “let go”. The absence of resistance, while foreign and strange at first, eventually piloted my mind and body into a heightened state of relaxation. The muscle tension that I felt in my shoulders and neck seemed to melt away, and a calming sense of clarity filled my mind. Immediately after my float, the tightly tangled yarns of stress that I had accumulated during the week seemed to have unravelled, replaced instead with a floating cloud of impenetrable serenity. I felt refreshed, enlightened, and am looking forward to trying the experience again.