Working around float centres, I’ve often been asked if there is a certain demographic of people that we target to come in and float. While my philosophy tends to be that there isn’t any one type of person who would benefit more from floating than another, there is a often overlooked market that most people might not be aware of. This would be women that are going through the experience of pregnancy!
It goes without saying, pregnancy is both a beautiful and challenging time in life. From the physical stresses of growing and carrying around another human, to the emotional hurdles one can endure during pregnancy, floating can be a massive aid in navigating this unique and transformative time in a woman’s life.
The principle benefits of floating while pregnant fall into two main categories, relief and connection.
Physically, the challenge of carrying around the weight of a baby is going to be taxing on the body. While floating in a magnesium rich solution, tension and swelling in the muscles will begin to release while also alleviating pressure from the spine, hips, and pelvis. During pregnancy, it becomes risky to lay on ones stomach and in the dynamic environment of the float pod, in addition to floating on their backs, women can also experience floating on their stomachs with the aide of a floating support cushion or the elbows on the floor of the pod with the hands supporting the chin, keeping the face out of the water while allowing for a great stretch in the spine and releasing of pressure which can be hard to achieve otherwise during pregnancy. This is done without any risk of circulatory issues due to the fact that there will be nothing to put pressure on the stomach and growing uterus. As time progresses, the magnesium will start to absorb into the body, mitigating the swollen hands and feet that many experience during their pregnancy.
In addition to quelling aches and pains, floating will have many hormonal benefits that some might be quick to overlook when initially considering floating. Research indicates that floating lowers cortisol levels, a stress inducing hormone the brain produces during particularly trying times. Once the body is relaxed, the mind will follow soon thereafter. To be able to temporarily exchange the preparation, doctors appointments, long days, and restless nights for a pure, unadulterated space of total silence and relaxation can be a game changer in terms of coping with this process.
Perhaps even more profound, is the chance that mother and baby can have to bond inside of the float pod. Floating has already been described by some as “being back in the womb”. To some extent this is quite an accurate representation. Stepping inside the float pod and drifting away feels strikingly familiar, almost like coming home. Maybe that’s why we’re able to relax on a much deeper level in this space. Void of any external sensory input and cradled by the soft amniotic like salt solution, possibly the only other environment akin to floating would in fact be that of the womb. Taking this into account, it’s impossible to overstate how eye opening and unique this environment can be for a pregnant woman. One of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced working in float centres is when a pregnant woman emerged from the room after her float and was on the verge of tears because she had “actually met [her] baby” hearing the infants heartbeat and feeling every movement on such an intimate level. Being able to hold space for someone to have such a unique, life-changing experience is a truly special feeling.
29th October 2018