FLOAT is a premium new health spa in West Lothian offering a unique well-being experience. It allows you enter a deeply restorative, meditative state by weightlessly floating in a pod of Epsom salt water, with all external stimulation - including sound and light – completely removed.
People use float therapy for different reasons: it’s excellent for managing stress, anxiety and PTSD; it’s used by sportspeople to prepare mentally and physically for performance; and some people find their minds become incredibly creative under the conditions of sensory deprivation.
The high concentration of salt means that floating is effortless, allowing every muscle in your body to completely relax and trigger the release of endorphins. In addition, the health benefits of soaking in Epsom salts include pain relief, improved muscle and nerve function and skin condition.
Leaving the stresses of the external environment behind starts as soon as you step through the door of FLOAT at their luxury, purpose-built centre on Glasgow Road in Bathgate.
I booked a session to try it when they opened in November. The largest float therapy centre in Scotland, there is exquisite attention to detail here at every stage of your experience, from the calming décor that welcomes you, to the carefully-selected organic toiletries provided.
Each pod is in its own private room, where you shower before your float. FLOAT’s pods drain completely between each customer; you can see it filling freshly for your session while you shower. The pod designs here have a low threshold and a fully-opening lid, making them easier to access for people with mobility issues.
When you’re ready, step into the pod and, for the full experience, close the lid completely. For the first five minutes there is relaxing music and soft mood lighting, then it fades to silence and darkness. (You can control the intensity of the experience by opting to leave the mood lighting on, or leaving the lid partially open). Initially I thought a full hour of doing absolutely nothing would drag. But it takes time for your body and mind to fully let go, and when they do, you very pleasantly lose track of time. There is nothing but the occasional sound of the water gently lapping. The weightlessness, and the total absence of all usual sensory inputs for your mind to process, is deeply calming and restorative; you need make no effort to shut them out, as they are simply not there. The health benefits for both mind and body are becoming more and more understood and many people float regularly as an essential part of their health routine.
All too soon, the mood lights and music fade in to signal the end of the float. Shower again to rinse off the salt - beautiful toiletries are provided - and there is a pamper room equipped with Dyson supersonic hair dryers for you to prepare to emerge into the outside world. As a finishing touch, a hot drink awaits you in the post-float room before you leave feeling thoroughly recharged.
For more information, to book a session or purchase gift vouchers, visit www.floatscotland.co.uk or call 01506 639489
FLOAT, 6-10 Glasgow Road, Bathgate, EH48 2AA
Published in Konect December 2021
Author: Helen-Jane Gisbourne