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Altered States: Another Sensory Deprivation Tank Has Opened On Dagu Lu

Shutting out all sensory input from the world in order to realign… whatever it is you need realigning…
Last updated: 2016-01-26

Although our culture-watching counterparts in the West have already detected a second coming for the '70s New Age hippie practice of "sensory deprivation", here in Shanghai, floating in a tank of water and shutting out all sensory input from the world in order to realign... whatever it is you need realigning... is a novel concept to city residents. We just don't have that many places to go for a float in Shanghai, despite being subjected to arguably the highest life pressures in the country. That's changing, however. This is becoming a thing.

Floatessence, which we covered thoroughly in 2014, will soon open another branch in Xintiandi. In the meantime, newcomer Floatasian has arisen on the scene, and is providing customers with that sought-after weightless experience on Dagu Lu.

Located in a new-ish, still under construction complex, Floatasian is the brainchild of two Swedish brothers. You will likely meet the younger brother at the reception counter here, who is a floatation enthusiast as much as you can be, and he will give you instructions before and after the floating session. The owners are aiming for the personalized, "exclusive experience", which comes replete with a chill guy from Sweden -- a real chill place, it must be said -- to lead you on your voyage to the fifth dimension. They're into it. They're even experimenting with mixtures of superfoods to boost your energy after the float.

The place is small but intimate, with a white, minimal design and great noise isolation. It comprises two changing rooms, a bathroom, and two tanks, both imported from Sweden and equipped with a shower room. Aside from free coconut water, mineral water, coffee and tea, Aesop skin products and other toiletries are provided as well.

Their tank, a.k.a "The Restingwell Spirit Floatationtank", has a larger room than the single-person tank at Floatessence. It's unlocked and can be easily opened from the side. The water, which contains Epsom salts at a level similar to the Dead Sea's, is only 25 cm deep -- a relief for claustrophobics.

The one-on-one consultation and floating experience are not cheap unless you are a committed floater. They currently have a 385rmb/50min promotion on Dianping, which is less expensive than their 1260rmb (3 floats) bronze membership. There are three other options, topping out at 20 floats for 5900rmb, and the membership card can be shared. Floatasian seems like a good place to go when Shanghai is exploding with fireworks during CNY, as an extreme solution to escape the noise. In general, it also works as a spa routine -- something fun and different to do with your BFF and/or partner. Either way, it's a welcome addition in the neighborhood. Hey, you know yourself, and if this is something you'd be into, we're just saying it's here, it's open, and it's ready to supply you with that conscious-expanding, inward journey, should that be a journey you're looking to take.

Floatasian Float Spa is located at Unit A, Bldg 5, 2/F, 288 Dagu Lu, near Chengdu Bei Lu. They have a bilingual hotline (021-63855189) and you can book a spot via their official website and WeChat (ID: piaofudao).