Floating away, reducing the pain

Today, we have a guest blog from our Campaigns volunteer, Fiona Scrase, about her visit to a nearby floatation centre last week:

“Every week on my way to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Head Office I would walk past a billboard which always caught my eye – ‘ultimate relaxation’ – with a woman looking blissfully relaxed. I took a leaflet with a £10 off voucher attached and decided to give the Floatworks floatation centre near London Bridge a go. Like the majority of people with muscle disease access to hydrotherapy is few and far between. I’m always being told by physiotherapists to relax more to reduce the muscle spasms and warm water always seems to reduce the pain.

I arrived for my hour-long appointment as the lovely ladies on reception assured me everything was supplied. I filled in a few forms and then was taken through to my private room and given my instructions. Firstly I had a quick shower with all the products supplied to cover up any cuts with Vaseline (one of which I missed and boy did I know about it), and with ear plugs in I climbed into the pod and let myself float in the salty water – weird to start with but once I let myself go it was brilliant. Pure escapism – for the first 10 minutes relaxation music is played; then you are left to yourself completely away from the world lying in a giant pod of salt water in your birthday suit (I did wonder if I had locked the door!) – no physiotherapists pulling and prodding me, the relief was immense.

I could feel the tension in my muscles easing off, a feeling I had been desperate for. At the time I also had awful Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and gradually through the hour I could feel the knots in my bowel releasing and after weeks of agony. Laying there in a tranquil state I realised getting this form of escapism is rare. My hour went by all too quickly and when it was time to get out I found it a struggle to get up as my legs were so relaxed. I haven’t had this feeling for a very long time. I had another warm shower, washed all the salt water off, fantastic exfoliation too! They also provide hair dryers and deodorant which is very handy. I paid £35 for the hour and for the pain relief it was worth every penny. Seeing as hydrotherapy is non-existent near where I live, I will be going back; in fact I’ve booked again for next week. The effect lasted a good while too. I haven’t been that relaxed on a train before going home; it could have been an hour late and I wouldn’t have had a care in the world because I was in another dreamy pain free world.

I’m currently spending some time volunteering with the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign on a Hydrotherapy Project, trying to establish a directory of locations across the UK where hydrotherapy pools are accessible to people with neuromuscular conditions.”

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