It’s Monday morning and London looks like a black-and-white film. I arrive outside the City Relaxation Centre in Canary Wharf where I’ve made an appointment to be locked inside a pitch-black tank filled with water – naked, and for the better part of an hour. This act of Houdini-esque daring is called ‘flotation therapy’, and it’s supposed to relax me.
The details are explained by the Centre’s genial owner, who apologises for the appearance of the place before taking me through the finer points of weightlessness and timelessness. (The Centre is temporarily located in what looks like and indeed is a repurposed office; a newer, purpose-built space is in the works down the road.) The idea is to have a good long float in a 10-inch deep pool of Epsom salts while meditative music lulls me into a state of deep and encompassing relaxation.
I’m led to my flotation tank, which looks a bit an escape pod. It acts a bit like one, too. Sensory deprivation is a key component of flotation therapy, and somewhere around the 20-minute mark the world really does start to slip away. That’s when your muscles start to twitch. But don’t worry, I’ve been told. That’s just the Epsom salts doing their thing. And sure enough when it’s all over I feel like I’ve had a massage. I leave the dark, wet flotation tank and head out into dark, wet London. It’s the best start to the week I’ve had in ages. Nick Aveling
Save 66% on a flotation therapy session at the City Relaxation Centre now.