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FAQs

We have curated some of the most common questions that we are asked about Floatation Therapy.

Can I float if…?

Absolutely! The only things we recommend before booking in, are to avoid floating during the first Trimester, and to consult your doctor beforehand as each pregnancy is unique.

Floating while pregnant can have some unique benefits alongside the normal benefits of floatation, the most obvious ones being to help remove the extra sensation of weight and allowing you to get comfortable on your back for a change, as nothing is pressing against your back. Depending how far along you are, you may want to experiment with floating in different positions such as on your front (though you don’t have to as it is completely safe to float on your back, and most pregnant ladies feel most comfortable like this). If you would like to try this, we can supply some pool noodles for extra support – just ask at reception before you head through.

One of the less obvious benefits to floating whilst pregnant is the extra sense of bonding you can have with you child – afterall, you are going through a very similar sensation to them, floating in a warm, enclosed, comfortable space away from any sound or light. Also, whilst it is normal during peoples floats to just hear their own heartbeat and lungs, depending upon how far through your pregnancy you are, you may even be able to hear not only your heartbeat but also your baby’s!

The only other thing you may want to consider is to avoid floating right at the very end of your pregnancy, as a float tank is not a good environment for a water birth!

Yes, you can float during your period, though it is completely your choice as to whether you choose to or not.

If you do use a tampon (or menstrual cup), please ensure that is a fresh new one before entering the tank, and change it after you get out of the tank. If using a menstrual cup, make sure to empty if and wash it out with the appropriate soap (our soap may not be appropriate, so we suggest doing this step once you get home).

Whatever you do, we request that you avoid free-bleeding in the tank at all costs. We understand that it is completely your choice if you choose to free-bleed during your period, but in this case we ask that you respect the space you are using, and wait until a different day to float.

Please be aware that in some cases you may experience a stinging sensation around your vagina – thankfully this is quite rare, and is linked to difference between the salt solution in the tank and the PH of your vagina on that particular day. If this does happen, get out of the tank and wash off the affected area, then apply a generous amount of vaseline from the intimate care bag to provide a barrier between yourself and the salt solution before getting back in to enjoy the remainder of your float.

Floating under the influence of drugs/alcohol is strictly prohibited, and we reserve the right to refuse service to someone we suspect to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

This is a safety issue, as floating can sometimes be disorientating at the best of times due to the lack of sensory input. Couple this with the fact that you are unsupervised whilst you are floating, and this is a recipe for disaster.

Over the decades there have been hundreds of thousands of successful floats administered around the world. However, there have been a handful of cases where people misused drugs in a float tank, unfortunately leading to fatal consequences. This is the reason why we have a strict no drugs/alcohol policy.

Please inform Zero Gravity of all health conditions.

 

If you have a heart condition or wear a pacemaker, asthma, allergies (particularly to salt, bromine or magnesium), or very low blood pressure – we recommend that you seek approval from a medical practitioner before floating.

If you suffer from epilepsy or schizophrenia we’re sorry but you cannot float due the potential risks involved.

If you have an ear infection you should wait until it is cleared up and then make sure you use the earplugs provided. If your health condition changes at any point you should let us know.

At Zero Gravity we are very keen to make sure everyone can float, however, safety is very important too. If you have a physical disability please first consult with your doctor.

If your doctor gives you the ok then please call up the centre and speak to one of our team. They will explain to you exactly what precautions and measures we need to take to ensure safe and happy floating. We can’t guarantee that every person who comes to Zero Gravity will be allowed to float, and we must speak to you beforehand to understand any physical disabilities that you are managing so that we can put the correct safety measures in place.

Generally, people with impaired mobility and/or impaired vision can float (depending upon their doctors approval), providing that a caregiver accompanies them in the room and sits quietly throughout the duration of the float to provide assistance if required. This is especially important in case of any emergency, as our staff will have many peoples wellbeing to look after, and they do not have the specialised manual handling training necessary to assist people getting in or out of a float tank.

We ask that in these cases you contact us to book in so we can discuss your requirements.

Unfortunately, we only allow people aged 16 and above to float with us, due to a stipulation from our insurance providers. We aren’t aware of any reason why floating would be unsafe for people under this age, and in fact some centres do allow people younger than 16 to float.

We don’t recommend floating until the area of your tattoo has completely healed – at best case scenario the sensitive skin will be irritated by the high salt content of the water, and at a worst case scenario it can even promote bleeding and/or potentially damage the tattoo itself.

We always recommend waiting until the tattoo has completely healed for a minimum of 2 weeks, but this number can go up depending upon the size and type of the tattoo in question. Your best bet is to check with your tattoo artist how long it will take for your tattoo to heal fully.

We ask that you avoid floating for around a week after either having your hair, or at least until the colour doesn’t run in the shower or rub off on the towel afterwards.

This also applies to anyone who has recently had a fake tan applied, as any pigments in the hair dye / fake tan that run in water will leach out into the float tank and stain it!

Sometimes people ask us whether they can wear a shower cap to protect their hair. You can wear a shower cap (assuming the colour isn’t running in the shower), but we recommend against it as in our experience they don’t completely keep the water out, and they introduce unnecessary sensory input from the feel of the cap itself on your head.

We do occasionally have people that experience a sense of nausea during their first float (though thankfully this is rare), and after speaking to people the most common cause seems to be that they either suffer from sea/travel sickness, or they used to as a child.

If you are worried about this, you may want to consider taking a travel sickness pill beforehand (just remember to follow the instructions on the packet, and consult with your doctor beforehand, as some sea sickness tablets can cause drowsiness and/or interact with other medications).

 

Booking, vouchers and payment

Absolutely, we’ve always been more than happy to extend peoples voucher expiry dates! Simply contact us requesting an extension for your voucher, quote the code on your voucher, and we will sort that out for you! We typically extend vouchers by around 6 months to give you plenty of time to get booked in!

Absolutely! All of our packages and memberships are fully sharable, so you can split the cost with someone else, or bring someone along as a gift. You can even use your float credits to purchase gift vouchers if you want to treat someone for a special occasion.

To redeem your voucher online, simply book in as normal, and then on the checkout page enter your voucher code into the ‘Promo Code’ box and click ‘Apply discount’. Please be aware that redeeming a voucher will free off the cost for EVERYTHING in the basket, so you may be asked to pay for anything extra that wasnt covered by the voucher upon arrival.

Alternatively, you can simply contact us directly to book in (either over the phone on 0161 941 1902 or via emails at info@zerogravityfloatspa.com), and just mention that you have a voucher – we can sort out the rest!

To book in with your float credits online, simply log into your account, book in as normal, and select the payment method as ‘Pay with Float Credits’.

Alternatively, you can simply contact us directly to book in (either over the phone on 0161 941 1902 or via emails at info@zerogravityfloatspa.com), and just mention that you have float credits on your account, and we can sort out the rest!

Unfortunately, there is currently no way to redeem free floats or massage chair sessions from loyalty cards online. To book these in simply contact us directly to book in, and just mention that you have a free float and/or massage chair session on your loyalty card, and we can sort out the rest!

Absolutely! To cancel or rearrange your booking, simply contact us directly and we can sort this out for you. We ask that you try to give us at least a day’s notice if you do need to cancel or rearrange your booking. Also, you won’t lose any money by cancelling or rebooking your session, we do this completely free of charge!

On your account page there is an option to cancel a booking – please be aware that this won’t automatically refund any payments. If you do require a refund please contact us.

 

What is floatation?

Floatation therapy is a unique method of achieving both deep mental relaxation and physical recovery.

You float inside a very large tank, filled with warm, body temperature water (so you can’t feel it after a while) and it has a high salt concentration which means you float effortlessly on the surface (much like the Dead Sea)!

Light and sound can also be removed by turning the lights off and closing the lid (although this is optional) which reduces all the usual senses you have coming into your mind and body. As stress is often the result of sensory overload and too much going on in the outside world, it can be extremely therapeutic to turn these senses down or off for an hour.  The benefits of floating are often compared to those provided by meditation, but we believe that floating is a much easier way to achieve them.

The physical side of the relaxation comes from the fact that all your muscles can let go simultaneously, and all the joints are able to decompress without the effect of gravity. Another added benefit is the ultra-high Epsom salt concentration which is great for muscle soreness, so many athletes (such as the guys from Manchester Storm Ice Hockey team) use floatation to help with sports recovery!

We firmly believe that floating is not a high-risk activity with regards to Covid.

For starters the virus cannot survive in properly maintained and sanitised swimming pool or spa waters (as stated by the CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html). Our float tanks have always automatically treated the water with a small amount of Hydrogen Peroxide after every single session – Hydrogen peroxide (0.5%) has been shown inactivate Coronavirus on hard surfaces after 1 minute contact time (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32035997). In addition to this at the same time the water is treated with a UV light and filtered through a 1 micron filter.

So that’s the water itself – but what about any surfaces inside the float room that the virus could stick to? Well when we turn the rooms round in between sessions we always sanitise any exposed surfaces in the float rooms with a Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) based sanitiser, and leave the sanitiser on the surfaces for long enough to be effective. This type of sanitiser is completely safe to leave on surfaces because Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down into harmless Water (H2O) and Oxygen (O), and because we use the same type of chemical in our tanks we can safely sanitise inside our tanks without worrying about adversely affecting the delicate water chemistry.

The high saline content of the floatation environment (similar to the Dead Sea) creates an incredibly hostile environment for microorganisms. That’s why the Dead Sea is called what it is – nothing can grow in it!

In between sessions, the water within the tank is automatically filtered for around 15 minutes (and 24-hours a day when not in use). As part of this process, the water is filtered through a 1 micron pool filter (that’s 1/100th the diameter of a human hair!) to remove any physical debris, and at the same time it is dosed with a small amount of Hydrogen Peroxide and treated with a germicidal UV light.

The UV and Hydrogen Peroxide work together to sanitise the solution and keep the water nice and clean!

We regularly check the Levels of Hydrogen Peroxide, PH, alkalinity (and much more) of the water to ensure that the water is maintained at an extremely high quality, and we periodically send samples off to an independent UKAS accredited lab for deeper analysis.

As relaxing as you first float may be it is much more common to settle into deeper states of relaxation on subsequent sessions once you have become more familiar with the environment. We tend to recommend trying not to leave it more than 4/6 weeks in between floats if you can, as any longer than this makes it may feel like floating again for the first time and take maybe 10-15 minutes to settle into your float. Once you have tried it a few times you will have a feel for how it affects you and how often you would like to incorporate it into your lifestyle. We tend to see our regular floaters anywhere between once a week to once a month.

If you want to discover for yourself how often to come in, we recommend purchasing one of our multi float packages and trying a few sessions relatively closed together, perhaps around a week apart. Also try experimenting with floating at different times during the day. This will give you a good feel for floating and how often you would benefit from coming in.

Our float sessions last for 60 minutes – we have found this to be a good amount of time, especially for first timers, as it can be quite normal to take the first 10-15 minutes properly relaxing into your float, as it is quite a strange environment to get used to! Once people have relaxed, they tend to get to a state where they’re not sure if they’re awake or asleep – during this state time will feel like it passes very quickly, so most first timers feel like their float has only lasted around 20-25 minutes!

We also recommend you allow for about 90 minutes out of your day overall, as you will need a bit of time before and after your float to have a shower and get ready.

Absolutely, although we recommend most people get used to having multiple 60-minute sessions before they try longer sessions.

We charge 90 minute floats at £60 per person and 2 hour floats at £70. Alternatively, if you are using float credits from your account, we just charge 1 credit for each float timeslot that is taken up (e.g. 1 credit for a 1 hour session, 2 credits for a 1.5-2.5 hour session, and 3 credits for 3-4 hour sessions).

To book in for a longer float, please contact us directly so that we can discuss your options with you, and so that we can book this in through the back end of the system to make sure you aren’t overcharged.

We have found that people experience better floats each time from their first float until their third float, as you get more and more used to relaxing in that environment (so you settle in much easier and quicker each time) and as you learn little tricks and tips that help you get the most from your floats.

The experience of a good float will last quite a long time, not just the day of the float. People tend to report feeling more relaxed, reduced anxiety and better sleep for a few days even up to a week (depending on how stressful your life is of course!). Regular floating is a great way to maintain this level of calm and make it easier to deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life.

We often say that people will exercise regularly to look after their physical health, but a lot of people do very little to maintain their mental health. Floating regularly works much the same way as regular exercise, the more you do it the better the results will be.

Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulphate, a pure, time-tested mineral compound with dozens of uses. Health benefits include soothing muscle aches, reducing inflammation and treating sunburn. From facials and hair volumizers to pedicures and exfoliants, many celebrities – and their beauty teams – use Epsom salt to treat skin ailments and look their best. We only use 100% pure, food grade Epsom Salts in our float tanks so there are no possible impurities added.

It is fine to fall asleep in one of our float tanks during your session as you can’t help but float to the high levels of Epsom Salt, and you cant turn over by accident – the amount of effort required to get one side lower in the water to turn over means you would have to be conscious! Many of our clients do fall asleep in the pods (especially if returning for the second or third time), either purposely or simply due to the deep relaxation. Clients who suffer from insomnia or jet lag in particular get immense relief from floating.

There are no known side effects of floating. Even the magnesium-based Epsom Salts we use at Zero Gravity are good for you. They soften and replenish your skin, and help counteract the magnesium deficiency that most of us have due to depleted magnesium levels in our soil and food.

We set the temperature of our tanks to around 35.7°C, as we want to try to match the water temperature to people’s skin temperature to make it much easier to forget there is any water whilst you are floating!

We also have user adjustable climate control in all of our float rooms, so that you can pick the most relaxing room temperature for yourself.

If you did feel too warm or too cool during your float (as everyone feels temperature a little differently), we can adjust this for subsequent visits to help you relax into your session more! If you felt the part of your body that was too hot/cold was out of the water, you may want to adjust the room’s Air con to make it more comfortable. If on the other hand, the part of your body that felt too hot/cold was in the water, we can adjust the water temperature for your subsequent visits – just make sure to let us know at least 2 hours before your sessions, as it takes that long to heat up or cool down that much water!

Unfortunately, we do not offer double floatation sessions as in our experience it pretty much defeats the point of floatation – floatation is largely about isolating your senses and having someone else in there with you would seriously distract from the experience and therefore many of the benefits. We do however have four pods so you would both be able visit at the same time as the after effects are very much a shared experience.

 

First time float questions

This is one of the most common questions we get from people, and the vast majority of people that are concerned about potentially feeling claustrophobic do end up thoroughly enjoying their floats!

There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that it is completely up to you whether to close the lid and/or turn the lights off – just do what feels most relaxing for you! It is a common misconception that you must have the lid closed and lights off to get the full benefits of floatation. We recommend having the lid closed and lights off (as long as you feel comfortable doing so) as this helps remove any external stimuli such as lights and sounds, allowing you mind to switch off and relax as it has a lot less signals to process. HOWEVER, you won’t be able to relax if you’re not comfortable doing those things in the first place – If instead you do what is most comfortable for you, you will have a much quicker and easier time settling into your float, and ultimately get more from the experience!

If you do decide to try closing the lid, don’t worry it doesn’t close by itself or lock – you can open it again very easily by simply giving it a slight push. The lights in the tank also only go off if you turn them off with the switch, and they come back on with just one simple press of the light switch. If you really don’t feel comfortable after a while, even with the lights on and lid open, don’t feel like you have to stay in there! We want to help people relax, not make them feel uncomfortable!

The tanks themselves are also much bigger than people expect them to be from looking at photos (think the size of a King size bed), which helps make them feel really spacious when you’re in there. If you do feel comfortable turning the lights off, because it is so pitch black you won’t be able to see the edge of the tank, so unless you are touching the side it actually feels like the tank goes on for infinity!

All of these factors come together to help the vast majority of people that tell us they’re claustrophobic before their float end up really enjoying their sessions, as the great thing about the floatation experience is that once you get inside and lay back into the silky smooth solution and surrender yourself to the buoyancy it all starts to feel very luxurious and safe. It may just take slightly longer to settle into that deeply relaxed state, but that’s fine!

The only issue we ever get is that some of our customers really don’t want to get out at the end of the session!

The high buoyancy of the water makes it impossible for the individual to go beneath the surface. Once settled it even becomes difficult to touch the bottom of the pod with your hand just beneath you!

There are a few things you can do on the day of your float to help you get the most from your experience. New floaters may want to check out our First Float Guide (click the ‘New to Floating?’ link at the bottom of everye page), but to sum up a few key points:

  • Try to avoid any caffeine for at least a few hours before hand, to help you relax whilst you’re here
  • Aim to arrive around 10 minutes before your float to give you plenty of time to get here without rushing or stressing out about the time. Feel free to check our How to get to us page for tips on parking and transport links
  • Try to avoid shaving on the day of the float, as the salt solution can irritate freshly shaved skin. It isn’t the end of the world if you forget, as each room has a supply of vaseline to create a barrier to stop the salt getting to any sensitive area.
  • Try to have a light meal around 90 minutes before your float – you don’t want to go into your float feeling hungry, or feeling bloated from a large meal!

We provide most things you may need for your visit, including; towels, shampoo/conditioner/body wash, and even hair dryers! We also recommend that (as long as you feel comfortable doing so) that you actually float naked in the tanks to help remove any distractions, caused by a swimming suit stretching as you move for example, especially as each person is in their own individual float tank in their own private room with a shower and space to get changed.

We recommend that you don’t wear anything so that you can feel truly free from any distractions, as each person is in their won individual tank in their own private room. However we completely understand this can be daunting the first time, so you can wear a costume if you like.

Don’t overthink it, try to enter the tank with no expectations and an open mind!

Initially we recommend getting settled into a comfortable position and then start by scanning around your body to identify areas of tension or any clenched muscles. Body scanning simply involves paying attention to parts of the body and bodily sensations in a gradual sequence from feet to head.

The body scanning will help you identify areas where you are not fully relaxing your muscles and are holding your body in a certain way. A common example of this is holding your head up slightly in the water, due to tension in the neck and shoulders. When you notice this just focus on letting go and releasing any tension into the water trusting that you will float effortlessly.

Once you have done this it is a good idea to bring your attention to your breathing. Just breathe naturally and notice how your breathing starts to slow down. Another great technique can be to slowly count down your breaths from 100 to 0.

Try not to worry if you don’t completely switch off, especially at the start as you will need a little bit of time getting used to the unique sensation of being in a float tank. People sometime have a misconception that you need to completely switch off to ‘float correctly’ or achieve the benefits, but this is not the case. If your mind just keeps racing, then the best thing to do is simply allow it to race and treat it as more of a ‘thinking’ or ‘creative’ float. Simply reframing it in this way will mean that the float will be just as beneficial for you and you might even leave your session with new ideas, new perspectives on problems or a fresh spark of creativity, as well as being very relaxed!

Just remember – the only thing you can do wrong in a float is to think you are doing it wrong!

It’s fine if you are having thoughts during your float – in fact it’s the best environment to daydream and to think about life!

One common mistake we see people make during their first float is to think they need to force themselves to not think about anything, as they think that they’ll only get the benefits if they can empty their mind. Luckily, this isn’t the case – in fact, if people try to force themselves to not think of anything, their brain will still be active trying to achieve that, so they will actually find it harder to switch off!

Another common mistake people make is to go into the float expecting it to feel a certain way or do a certain thing for them. The problem with this is that your brain will be active waiting for that moment to happen.

The trick to avoiding both of these mistakes is to try not to have any expectations while you’re in there, and instead just say to yourself “I’m just going to see what happens to me while I’m in here” – with no expectations, it is actually much easier to switch off and fully relax into your float!

Also be aware that it is quite common for people to take the first 10-15 minutes of their first float properly relaxing into it, as the float tank is a bit of a strange environment to get used to if you’ve not done it before!

This is another quite common question we get, and typically comes because people nowadays are so used to being overstimulated with different sensory input (from social media notifications/adverts/tv/etc), and also they feel that they should always be doing something productive (such as work or social occasions), therefore the concept of devoting some time to do nothing but relax can initially make even some people feel a little guilty which ironically makes it even harder to relax.

However, the important thing to remember is that taking some time for yourself to do nothing is very important – afterall, people go to the gym to maintain their physical health, but a lot of people do very little to maintain their mental health.

It is true that it can take a bit of time to adjust to not having any sensory stimulation. A good way to help make this adjustment is aiming to focus on something simple like your breathing. This can take an initial adjustment but is well worth it because it brings with it a sense of peace and stability that can be taken back into everyday life (if you associate focussing on your breathing with relaxing in the float tank, then doing that same practice in everyday situations can help recall that sense of peace and tranquillity from your floats). In this way, the benefits are very similar to those provided by meditation, but we believe that floating is a much easier way to achieve them!

We get this question a lot from our regular floaters and there are a few tips and tricks we would recommend trying.

One tip we would recommend would be to keep a Float Diary. Each time you float note the time and day of your float, your mental state beforehand, the experience you had and how you felt afterwards in general, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. This will help you identify what helps you have the best floats and any little adjustments you can make to make the space perfectly suited to your needs.

You may have certain preferences that help you get more from the experience – in this case just ask us if this is something we can do for your future floats! Some customers like to adjust the temperature of the water slightly or the air temperature in the room, others may want to take an extra pool noodle or float in with them to give support under the knees or other part of the body. There are many ways you may want to experiment to see what really works for you!

Finally, perhaps one of the best things to do in a float tank is to practice meditation/mindfulness techniques. There are many techniques out there (and you may want to research some of these to see what you think would work best for you), but we recommend trying Guided Imagery in particular.

Guided Imagery (also called Visualisation or Guided Meditation) is a relaxation technique where fundamentally you try to focus on imagining a relaxing peaceful setting (such as a meadow, beach, etc) and try to imagine not just how it looks and sounds, but also how it feels, smells and tastes! Once you’ve imagined this setting, you can try exploring the environment a bit more (for example walk down the beach) or do a task within the environment (for example make a daisy chain in the meadow). This technique is perfect for the float tank because floating puts you into a theta brainwave state (on the edge of sleeping) which can make it feel very similar to dreaming even though you are still awake. It also gives your mind one simple task to focus on which will prevent any other thoughts coming up, it’s meditation made easy.

One of our most longstanding customers accidentally found himself doing this inside the tank without ever having heard of Guided Imagery – now this is his primary focus for every single float session!

This can all sound very abstract, so Zero Gravity’s own Simon Preedy will give his personal example of practising guided imagery. He still recommends making up your own but believes this might offer some initial inspiration;

 “When the music is playing during the first 10 minutes of the float I just try and imagine that I’m on a small sailing boat on a gently sailing towards a tropical island. Each time my mind wonders I bring myself back to the boat – this is a little challenging to start with but gets much easier after a few minutes. When you try this you may see yourself from the outside watching the boat sail along or you may see out of your eyes as if you are sailing it yourself. It’s interesting to observe how your mind can add in extra details without you feeling like you’re controlling it, examples here may be the colour of the sails, any birds in the sky and details of what the island looks like as it’s closing in etc. 

Around the time that the music stops (10 minutes into the float) or when I feel like it, I bring the boat to the shore and imagine tying it up or putting the anchor down before wading to the beach. I have a look around and take a slow walk along the sand, perhaps explore the island and sit in different spots to see what details I feel like adding or that my mind adds in automatically.

I continue my exploration until I encounter a house. In your case, this would be completely of your own design. Picture the door, the windows, it’s position on the island and the colours of it’s walls etc. Enter the front door and take a walk around inside. Perhaps you have a meditation room with a sea view, perhaps another room for you to do some yoga or tai chi (whether or not you can do yoga or tai chi in real life!). Explore the upstairs and downstairs creating as you go, take your time, you may be surprised how your mind adds in little extra details and interesting additions to the rooms and the house. Once the music comes back on (the end of your float) I like to make my way back to the boat. I imagine setting sail back out to sea and slowly start to bring myself out of that mental state and back to the real world.

If you can stick with this for your entire float you will feel as if you have returned from a short holiday when you get out! This is one of my favourite ways to float.

For more inspiration or to get a better understand we recommend Googling Guided Imagery or checking out YouTube videos on the subject as there as many ways of practicing this.

Once a float session is set from reception, everything about the float is automatic, and at the last 5 minutes of your float some music will start playing to help bring you back around. Once that music finishes, the light in the tank (if you had kept it turned off until this point) will come back on to let you know it’s time to get out.

If you do really relax, and somehow don’t notice all of this at the end, you will definitely know it has finished a few minutes afterwards, as the water will start swirling around as part of the tanks filtration process – we’ve not had anyone stay asleep during this yet!

At the end of a float most people typically take between 10-20 minutes in their room having a shower and getting dressed. You shouldn’t feel like you have to rush to get ready (especially as you will be completely relaxed by this point), though we do ask that people be mindful of others that may be waiting to float on the next slot and try not to take an excessive amount of time getting ready.

We also have separate hair drying rooms where people can go once they’ve left their float rooms to get their hair dried and makeup applied, and you can spend as long as you want here! We just ask that people be mindful of other people that may still be in the middle of their floats, and close the corridor and hair drying room doors before using the hair dryers.

 

First time massage questions

Both ways round work really well, as massage and floatation complement each other so well!

If having the massage first, you should find it much easier to settle into your float, as you will be physically and mentally relaxed already from the massage – this is why we recommend people on their first few floats to do it this way around. We just ask that if you have a session with one of our therapists before your float, that you make sure to have a thorough shower before getting in the float tank to remove all massage oils that were used.

Alternatively, if you float first and then follow that with a massage, the therapist (or massage chair) will find it much easier to work on any outstanding knots as your muscles will be fully relaxed from the float already.

New clients should arrive 10 minutes early prior to the massage to fill out paperwork and meet the therapist. Existing clients should arrive 5 minutes before their treatment. We are a few minutes walk from the closest car parks – details can be found on the ‘How to get to us’ page of the website.

A lot of people aren’t sure what’s best to avoid before coming in for their first massage. Below are a few things we recommend you do the day of your session before coming in to get the most from your massage:

  • Massage isn’t a hangover cure! Please try to avoid any alcohol for around 24 hours before your massage booking.
  • Try to avoid sunbathing, as sun burn can be very sensitive to being touched, much less massaged!
  • Avoid drinking caffeine.
  • Avoid eating a large meal right before – we advise having a light meal around 90 minutes before your massage.
  • Don’t run a marathon right before coming in – we recommend waiting at least 24 hours after running a marathon. Other exercise that doesn’t last as long is fine to do right before though!
  • There is no need to apply lotion or oil – we will supply all oils required for the session
  • Don’t apply topical medications, patches or tapes
  • Don’t take prescription pain medication

Just like floating, we recommend a light meal 60-90 minutes prior to a massage, as you don’t want to feel hungry during the session. Massage has a great effect on getting the digestive system working, and to put it simply… it may save you the embarrassment of passing gas during your treatment!

When you first arrive you will be asked to fill out a client consultation form and offered a cup of water before you get started. Your therapist will then take you through to your room and take a few minutes going through this form with you – this is your opportunity to discuss what you’re hoping to get from the massage, as well as any concerns or requirements you may have.

After the initial consultation, the therapist will leave you along in the room for a few minutes to allow you time to get ready – simply dress down to your underwear, get yourself comfortable on the table and make sure to drape yourself with the provided towel to preserve your modesty. During the massage, the therapist may move this towel around to enable them to access muscles that need working on but will always make sure that your most important parts are covered!

During your first massage you may find things that you like/dislike or want to adjust – this can include things like the pressure of the massage, the temperature of the room, or a position that’s becoming uncomfortable for you. If this is the case, make sure to speak up and let your therapist know – the more they know the details of your likes and dislikes,  the better they can make not only this session better, but also subsequent sessions!

It can be quite common for clients to not feel confident expressing these preferences during a session, whether it be that they feel like they’re asking something silly or not that important, of if they just feel awkward bringing it up with a new therapist. Rest assured that for our therapists responding to this feedback and information is a normal part of their service, and that its normal to feel a bit awkward communicating with your massage therapist at first (like communication in any new relationship). With time and experience, you should find yourself becoming more and more at ease.

At the end of your session, your therapist will again leave the room giving you a few minutes to come back around to the real world and slowly get dressed. When you come back out into reception your therapist will offer you some more water and lastly go through a bit of aftercare advice so you know how to make the most of the benefits of your session.

Please be aware that above all else, the massage sessions offered at Zero Gravity are professional treatments undertaken by qualified therapists – we take a ZERO-TOLERENCE approach for anyone asking for anything of a sexual/inappropriate nature, and we reserve the right to immediately terminate a session and ask the client to leave the premises (without a refund) if we believe they have crossed this line.

Below are a few guidelines of what we consider inappropriate behaviour from a client – if you aren’t sure what may be considered going too far, we strongly advise you err on the side of caution.

  • Ask your massage therapist to spend time outside a professional setting (e.g. go to a movie / come to your house / etc). We strive to retain a professional relationship with our clients, and part of this is only seeing you in our professional setting. We will deny any invitations, especially if your request is too suggestive.
  • Comment on a staff member’s looks/attractiveness. Because of the years of misrepresentation in our industry, we tend to be slightly more sensitive to certain compliments. While we are professional in every massage, whenever someone comments on how we look we cant help but wonder if you are trying to shift the professional relationship.
  • Start undressing while we are still in the room. Again, to maintain a professional relationship, we need to leave the room before you start disrobing. To make sure each client is always comfortable, we only expose what we are working on as we work on it. Disrobing before we leave the room is exposing areas we are not currently working on, and it it distracting when we are trying to listen to what you need for that session.
  • Touch us. We touch you as part of the treatment – we don’t want you to touch us. That’s when it gets weird. And uncomfortable. And again, we might think you are trying to shift the professional relationship.
  • Disrespect our company policies and rules / disrespect our boundaries. We enjoy chatting with our clients and getting to know you, we really do. However, there are some things we just don’t feel comfortable discussing with our clients. Just like we generally don’t enjoy discussing anything particularly divisive (such as religion, politics and other types of conversation that often breeds contention), or anything of an overly personal nature (e.g. asking us too much about our life outside the spa). It’s not that w aren’t strong individuals with opinions and such, it’s that the relationship we are establishing with you is a professional one. We want to sustain it by omitting conversations that detract from our goals – getting you to feel better.

 

Make yourself comfortable. If you therapist want to adjust your position, they will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable.

Many people close their eyes and relax completely, others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. Afterall, it’s your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask!

Some people like to chat all through their treatment, and that is fine. But please don’t feel you have to talk to fill the silence. We allow the client to lead the conversation, and will engage if we are talked to, however many people like to just enjoy the massage without conversation and listen to our soothing music to help relaxation. A good massage takes energy and concentration on the therapist’s part, so do not feel bad if you do not talk for an hour, we are quite happy focussing on the work we are doing on your muscles.

The short answer is, no it shouldn’t!

Depending on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes, you may feel the pressure more. A light, relaxing massage does not probe very deep into the muscles and should not hurt. With that said, there is a ‘feels good’ hurt and an ‘ouch – stop it!’ hurt.

A good massage (even a really strong Deep Tissue or Sports massage) should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range. It is important to differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ pain. At times you may experience discomfort, particularly in areas where there are adhesions/scar tissue, but it should not be overly painful. the ‘no pain, no gain’ mantra does not apply and a well-trained therapist will always be able to work within the boundaries expressed by the client.

The ‘feel good’ hurt is when the massage therapist applies pressure onto a sore spot, you feel this hurt for a moment, and then it seems to ease the pain.  The feel-good sensation does not only come from the physical aspect of your massage, but the chemical release caused by the massage plays a significant role in easing your pain.

Pain can be an indicator that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed, and the pressure will be adjusted by the massage therapist. Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body’s natural response, not against it.

Your massage therapist should give you a professional recommendation at the conclusion of your massage session. These recommendations could include how often you should get a massage, benefits of regular massage as well as a piece of self-care you can take away from the session to increase the cumulative effects of your massage.

Examples of this might include rolling a golf ball under your foot, a particular stretch for a muscle group, or paying attention to how you use your arms whilst driving.

Massage usually isn’t a one-and-done therapy, and it’s important to know what you should do between sessions to enhance the positive effects.

Most people feel relaxed! Some experience significantly decreased, or freedom from, aches and pains. Many feel a little slowed down for a short period of time and then notice an increase of energy, heightened awareness and increased productivity that can last for days.

If you receive a Deep Tissue or Sports massage, you may feel slightly tender or sore for the next day – like a good workout at the gym. The muscle tenderness that you may feel after a massage is due to the strength of the pressure and used to penetrate the uppermost layers of muscle. Muscles will then feel relaxed, potentially causing fatigue or muscle aches. Again, any pain or discomfort felt after your appointment should only last a few days.

Stay away from overly hot baths, showers, saunas and other products that produce heat – the muscles are already inflamed after a Deep Tissue massage session, and heat will only inflame the muscles more. The best way to treat sore muscles post-massage is to apply some ice to the area for 10-15 minutes to decrease soreness.

After your massage, we recommend increasing your water intake to help keep the body’s tissues healthy and hydrated.

Massage has many health benefits such as stimulation of the Lymphatic system (which is basically the body’s waste system), eliminating toxins from the body. It also promotes weight loss and increases muscle tone, aids recovery from physical exaltation, improves sleep, reduces anxiety and sends the body into a state of housekeeping; healing and repairing itself through increased circulation of fresh, Oxygenated blood nourishing all the body’s needs.

Massage is a form of self-care and has many benefits including:

  • Improved physical health
  • Helps reduce stress and anxiety
  • Boosts your self-esteem
  • Helps to protect your mental health
  • Increases flow of Lymph which enhances the body’s immunity
  • Relief from muscular aches and pains
  • Helps reduce scar tissue and stretch marks
  • Increases circulation which helps to rid the body of toxins such as Lactic Acid
  • Stimulates the body by releasing endorphins

Having regular massage is important if you want to keep your body and mind in great condition, as it’s healthier to have knots and tension removed from the body regularly before they have chance to build over time and become a bigger problem. If you do have a lot of built-up tension, you may find you get more out of having regular treatments where your massage therapist can work on reducing tension in your body over time, instead of trying to fix everything all in just one session.

If you have a busy life and experience tension in the mind and body, having regular massage is like taking your daily vitamins. Having your Lymph system flushed on a weekly or 2 weekly basis is healthy for the body and improves your mental and physical health.

There are no definite rules with the regularity of massage – typically, just like with exercise, the more frequently you receive massage the greater the benefit. Massage is a beautiful way to rebalance yourself, whenever you feel like you need it.

Most of our clients book in massage sessions anywhere from each week, twice a month all the way up to once every 4-6 weeks, but ideally you shouldn’t leave it until you are experiencing too many aches and pains! One-off massage sessions can be great for fixing a new issue, or one that has built up over time (like tension caused by stress or an injury), however regular massage sessions help maintain your body and mind, which helps prevent these issues reoccurring in the first place!

Some treatments require specialist tools or more expensive oil blends to be used – as such this is factored into the pricing for some treatments to cover these additional costs. For example, with Aromaflexology a personalised blend of essential oils is created just for you and used throughout your treatments – you also get to take this blend home with you after the session!

It’s standard practice to undress to your underwear for a massage, you will not be required to undress further than this. This allows the massage therapist to work comfortably and effectively through the back, arms and legs. Your therapist may recommend working on your Glutes (‘butt muscles’) with your consent, to help with your lower back pain. If you agree, the massage is performed through a towel, keeping the massage dignified.

During your massage, you will be draped with towels. Draping is the technique of uncovering only the part of the body that is being worked on during the massage. Draping allows you to be undressed to your comfort level underneath a sheet or towel, and feel safe, warm and comfortable.

If you are not comfortable in undressing for massage, loose fitting clothing such as shorts & vest tops can be worn instead, however this may limit the massage therapist’s access to certain areas. Some massage therapies can be done while fully clothed and still maintain their full effectiveness such as Reiki, Thai foot, Aromaflexology, Chakra balancing, Indian head massage and crystal healing.

There are a few good reasons why you are always draped with a towel during a massage – the first is for protecting your modesty, the second is for warmth & comfort, and finally the drape provides a physical barrier between the client and the therapist, defining where the therapist’s hands may touch and where they can’t.

Dressing sown to your personal comfort level should be the instruction from any professional massage therapist and that will look different for every person.

Regardless of how much clothing you choose to take off or keep on, the drape should only uncover the area currently being worked on, and should always cover the genitals and breast tissue.

Ultimately, proper draping should make your feel safe and comfortable, and you should always feel confident that you are never being exposed. This is typically the biggest fear for new clients, but a safe drape will leave no question in your mind that the parts of yourself that you want covered are covered, with the only part being uncovered the part that is being worked on at that moment.

 

 

Can I get a massage if…

Many people seek massage therapy for pain after an injury, but this should only be done in certain circumstances and with specific methods. Massages help with the healing process as well as relieving pain, and this is especially true for acute soft tissue injuries. The important thing to keep in mind is that healing happens in stages – if you are unsure it is always best to consult a medical professional before any massage treatments.

In terms of injuries in general, acute refers to those that are sudden and caused by impact or trauma Falls, strains, sprains and collisions (think car accidents and sports injuries) can all result in acute soft tissue injuries. Symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, tenderness and inflammation.

The first step in treating an acute injury is usually R.I.C.E. – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rest allows your body time and energy to start the recovery process. Ice prevents spasms and swelling. Compression can slow swelling and haemorrhaging in the affected area. Elevation also helps produce the same effects, but only if the injury is lifted above the level of the heart.

You can get massage therapy when you have an acute injury, as long as the therapist you work with understands soft tissue conditions and is qualified (Level 4 Sports Massage or above). They help relieve muscle tightness, pain and knots by working on the connective tissues surrounding the muscles, tendon, ligaments, bones and organs.

Getting a massage when sick is not a good idea in the early stages. While massage does boost the immune system and relieve your tension, when your body is already fighting off a virus (due to Cold, Flu or even simply a sore throat or headache with body chills), it means you are sick and your body needs to stay warm so your Lymphocytes (White Blood Cells), which are provided to clean your body, can activate to make you feel better.

Rest allows your Lymphocytes to multiply so they can then work efficiently to battle infection. This is always best done when you are resting and warmly tucked up.

Although the idea of having a massage while you’re ill might sound soothing and relaxing, and you may feel that you need a pain reliever, massage can overstimulate the movement of toxins through internal organs when your body most needs to conserve energy to take away the virus. This is because unknotting your muscles will actually push toxins into your system.

It is important to tell your massage therapist before any treatment if you are allergic to any oils or creams that disagree with you and make your skin come out in a rash. Our massage therapists mostly use either Sweet Almond Oil or a Grapeseed Oil/Soy Wax blend. Grapeseed oil is fragrance free, and great for people with sensitive or aging skin and is specifically chosen to be least likely to lead to an allergic reaction.

If you wish, your therapist can instead use any of a range of pre-blended massage oils such as our Warming blend (Ginger & Juniper with a conditioning base of Sunflower, Almond and Whetgerm oils), or a Soothing blend (Almond, Avocado and Jojoba oils, fragranced with balancing Geranium, Palmarosa & Cyprus and relaxing Lavender & Bergamot).

For Aromatherapy and Aromaflexology a much wider range of essential oils are used to create your own personal blend. For Ayurvedic Yoga MassageCalamus Root is used to boost circulation during the massage and create a gently exfoliating sensation. In these cases, the therapist will go through a more detailed consultation before the massage.

While massage cannot stop an allergic reaction you may have to everyday allergens (e.g. hay fever), it can help modify and dissipate the symptoms. The health benefits that are normally associated with massage therapy such as stress reduction, improved circulation and improved immune function can improve your tolerance of allergy symptoms.

Please see our list on contraindications to massage as these still apply, however there are additional conditions that relate specifically to pregnancy that the massage therapist needs to be aware of.

Be sure you get clearance from your doctor prior to booking in, especially if:

  • You’re experiencing nausea, vomiting or morning sickness
  • You’re at high risk of miscarriage
  • You have a high-risk pregnancy such as placental abruption (where the placenta slightly detaches from the wall of the uterus) or preterm labour
  • You’re experiencing abdominal pain as this may be symptomatic of something more serious occurring, unless already diagnosed
  • You experience back pain
  • Bleeding or heavy vaginal discharge (Bleeding PV) – some bleeding can be common in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy and can be caused by hormonal changes, but any vaginal bleeding should be reported immediately  to your healthcare professional.
  • Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes
  • High blood pressure, Pre-eclampsia, Eclampsia and HELLP. Women who suffer from high blood pressure during pregnancy can be at a higher risk of developing more serious conditions such as Pre-eclampsia, Eclampsia or HELLP syndrome. If you have any signs or symptoms of these during your pregnancy, then please seek further advice and help from your healthcare provider.

A massage therapist may require written consent from your doctor and a liability waiver from your before performing pregnancy massage. Pregnancy massage must be used as a complimentary therapy and does not replace & is not an alternative to normal maternity care.

If you are unsure if you are suitable for any massage you should consult your GP or a medical professional prior to booking in.

You need to inform your massage therapist if you currently have (or have had in the past six months) any of the following conditions/symptoms, and if you have suffered with any of them in the past six months, the massage therapist may require written consent from your doctor. These contraindications may not disallow you from receiving a massage, but we may need to discuss prior to arrival to take any precautions or extra steps to ensure the massage proceeds safely.

Musculoskeletal issues

  • e.g. strains/sprains/fractures/myositis/joint replacement/arthritis/osteoporosis/bursitis/tendonitis/other

Circulatory issues

  • e.g. Heart conditions/Hypertension/Hypotension/DVT/Phlebitis/Varicose Veins/Haemophilia/CV disease/other

Neurological issues

  • e.g. Epilepsy/Sciatica/Neuralgia/M.S./Parkinson’s/other

Skin issues

  • e.g Eczema/Acne/Athletes foot/Warts/Dermatitis/Psoriasis/Impetigo/cuts/bruises/undiagnosed lumps/other

Respiratory issues

  • e.g. Asthma/Pneumonia/Bronchitis/Sinusitis/cold/cough/Flu/other

Immune issues

  • e.g. Cancer/Rheumatoid arthritis/HIV/Aids/other

Digestive issues

  • e.g. IBS/Constipation/Diarrhoea/Gall stones/Kidney stones/Urinary tract infection/other

Miscellaneous issues

  • e.g. Diabetes/allergies/recent operations/major operations/pregnancy/Glandular fever/headaches/psychological issues/Menstrual issues/Substance abuse/Feeling unwell/other

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