What are you doing for YOUR Valentine?


posted by on Out & About, Reviews


If you’re one of those people (like me) who like to plan in advance, or enjoy spoiling that special person in your life (also, like me), then this might just float your boat.  Literally.

Last evening, I took my lovely Beau down to the Ubuntu Wellness Spa at the Cape Town Medi Spa on Kloof Street.  He had no idea what was in store, and was all big eyes as we walked into the spa.  The secret was revealed by Michael de Wet, Ubuntu’s Manager – we were going to spend the next 75 minutes in floatation hydrotherapy tanks.  Yes please!

After a a short briefing session, Michael showed us to our tanks – each tank is located in its own private climate-controlled wet room.  The aim is to quite simply wash the outside world off you before you get into the tank… naked.  Yes, you read right.  Nekkid.  In your birthday suit.  It’s completely unnecessary to have anything on:  the door to your wet room is locked from the inside and your tank is completely sealed.  All sights and sounds of the outside world are shut out entirely.

The tanks are filled with water that contains high levels of magnesium sulphate (or epsom salts).  The benefits of which you can read about on the spa’s website here.  The temperature of the water is kept at a constant 37.4 degrees Celsius, the same as the human body – this ensures that once you’re floating in the sealed tank, you’re completely unable to distinguish  between what’s skin, water or air.  This is the most phenomenal sensation ever!

After my shower, I stuck in my ear plugs (to expel the salt water as much as sound), climbed in my float tank and closed the lid.  The depth of the tank is about 40cm deep – just deep enough to float comfortably, and shallow enough to feel safe.  There is an internal light, which stays on as long as you need it to, or if you’re like me, you can plunge into complete darkness & let your mind wander.

I can liken this experience only to one thing, of which I have no vivid memory of at all: being in the womb.  It is honestly the most raw, sonic, sensual, child-like experience I have ever had in my life.  I fell into a deep state of relaxation within the first 10 or so minutes (Michael keeps an eye on your timing, and turns the lighting back on & opens the tank lid remotely when your time is up, so that you can completely zone out & let go); I napped for a bit; I splooshed around the pod like a child in a swimming pool, floating from side to side, pushing off each end;  I sang (no-one can hear you unless you shout loudly), it was magical!

They say that 75 minutes of Floatation Hydrotherapy is the equivalent of 5 hours sleep, and I could feel why: the theory of antigravity.  Gravity is the cause of a large number of health problems: back ache, sore feet, aching joints and muscular tension to name a few…  Hydrotherapy relieves the pressure of gravity on your body, creating a sense of complete relaxation & enhanced awareness.

Towards the end of my session, the wet room light came back on, as did the internal light in the tank – I was in a very deep state of relaxation, and it took about 5-10 minutes to pull myself towards myself sufficiently enough to push the ‘Open’ button.  I really didn’t want to.  I wanted to stay cocooned in there forever.  I now totally understand why babies are born into this world screaming blue bloody murder;  the womb is such an awesome, happy place!  Who’d want to leave the comfort of that?  Seriously?

Upon exiting the float tank, I showered again to wash off all the salt, and joined my Beloved in the lounge.  I realise suddenly why rooms like this exist in spas.  They’re to gently ease your transition back into the real world.  Not too much sound or light, but a little bit more than what you just experienced.  It’s so that you don’t completely unravel the warm, fuzzy feelings of zen it took 75 minutes to invoke.

Michael mentions that we’d be sensitive to light and sound, and he was right.  The world we live in is a noisy, bustling place and it’s retreats like Ubuntu Wellness Spa that provide respite from the chaos.

Treat yourself and your loved one to a float session at this incredible destination, or purchase a gift voucher for a friend.  There are a number of packages available, and the treatment is very affordable.

Contact the lovely folks at Ubuntu Wellness Spa to book your treatment on 021 426 1156 or email michael@ubuntu-wellness.co.za Alternatively take a look at the various spa options here.

* images courtesy of Ubuntu Wellness Spa

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