In 2015, Otago Rugby’s strength and conditioning coach, Karl Bloxham stepped into a float tank for the first time. Closing the lid behind him, Bloxham lay down, resting upon the tepid water in ethereal darkness.
Perhaps the name ‘sensory deprivation chamber’ is a little more apt. While prosaic, the name describes the conditions produced by float tanks that have created a surge in their popularity and usage worldwide.
Lightless, soundless, heated to body temperature and loaded with enough epsom salt to produce cork like buoyancy, floats create a zero-gravity, womb-like environment.
Intrigued with the ravings of Joe Rogan, an American ex-martialist, media personality and alternative thinker, Bloxham visited a float centre on the Gold Coast, Australia.
As a long term sufferer of chronic back pain, Bloxham wondered what floating would do for him.
“My first float was mind blowing really… a pretty awesome experience”.
He experienced almost instantaneous relief of pain in his back and other surgeries that have continued to cause him ongoing soreness in day to day life.
Inspired by his first float and the seemingly innumerable benefits of floating, Bloxham convened with physiotherapist Ash Stiven. In early 2016, the pair brought a float tank to Dunedin and opened Floatfix, located in the Eclipse Health clinic on Hanover Street.
Any float enthusiastic (self described as ‘floaters’) will talk of the multi-dimensional benefits of floating, the relief of stress, anxiety and insomnia, the physical ease of body alignments, the creative insights one might experience after a float, the clarity of mind, the mindfulness. The list goes on.
Since opening Floatfix, everyone from pregnant mothers to Highlanders recovering from game-day to stressed ridden students have floated at Floatfix.
Every float is unique and the benefits people experience at Floatfix is something which continues to fascinate Bloxham.
“Floats affect people differently depending on where they’re struggling. And that is the beauty of it.”.
Post submitted by Sam Fraser