By Bernd Debusmann Jr
A visit to the luxurious venue has reminded me that sensory deprivation therapy isn't my cup of tea
I was about 90 seconds into my 30-minute sensory deprivation experience when I concluded that no, this isn’t for me.
The sensory deprivation tank and its “flotation experience” is among the most popular highlights of the stellar Six Senses Spa at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Dubai.
Flotation therapy, is, in other words, being placed inside a metallic egg – the tank – and floating on salt water in silence, although you have the option of music being played as well. According to medical experts and proponents of the therapy – which have included podcast guru and comedian Joe Rogan and legendary Beatles musician John Lennon – the benefits include muscle relaxation, decreased stress and anxiety, improved mood, better sleep, and even a boost to creativity and focus.
While this may be the case among a certain segment of people – those who can meditate without interruptions or sit still, for example – I had the opposite experience. I quickly felt intensely claustrophobic, trapped in the spaceship-like orb and decidedly unrelaxed. The music and colour-changing lights didn’t help, with the endless loop of bizarre trance music leaving me desperate to escape and wondering why time seemed to slow to a crawl. It’s a miracle I didn’t descend into madness.
That being said, it’s worth a try – it’s an experience unlike any other. While it didn’t work for me – which was to be expected, as I can’t sit still for very long anyway – for those able to switch off and relax, it may well prove beneficial. People swear by it. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse to not check one’s mobile or emails for a little while.
Aside from the tank, the Six Senses Spa is a spectacularly relaxing experience and well worth a visit. It includes five separate suites – called ‘sight’, ‘touch’, ‘smell’, ‘taste’ and ‘beyond’ – each of which are unique with slightly different amenities. The relaxation areas of the touch and taste rooms also include stunning views of the city skyline, which are a nice touch.
The smell suite, for example, includes a steam shower infused with herbal essences, as well as an alchemy bar, where one can create their own body scrub concoction from herbs, spices and dried flowers. Using a mortar and pestle to crush and blend the ingredients with some oils, the helpful and knowledgeable attendant helped us create a scrub that left us feeling fresh and smelling like roses.
Six Senses also includes a number of traditional spa experiences, ranging from 60-minute wellness screenings and hammam treatments to 2.5-hour “journeys” that combine massages with scrubs, light masks and steam and sauna time.
Dubai, of course, is not short on excellent, luxurious spas.
Six Senses, however, stands out with its unique features, excellent treatments and stunning setting.For all the latest health and fitness news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.