Customer of the Week: FloatFix Dunedin
Karl Bloxham, a strength and conditioning coach at Otago Rugby, first heard about floating in 2015. Inspired by its diverse benefits he went out and gave it a go. Now a float evangelist, Karl shares the benefits of the floating to the entire sporting community through his business FloatFix.
Karl is ahead of the curve. Although somewhat unknown, floating is an extension of physical therapy that is wholeheartedly in line with his work as a sports and conditioning coach. Karl is incorporating alternative and holistic methods into his life and has noticed a huge difference to his overall well-being and that of his clients at FloatFix.
Bloxham brought the first ever float tank to Dunedin and joined forces with Ash Stiven, a physio at Eclipse Health Clinic, to open FloatFix in March 2016. FloatFix has attracted numerous people, from rugby clients looking to ease their physical ills, to others giving it a go out of interest and discovering benefits they didn’t know they’d find!
Floating is certainly something you have to try for yourself. In the past it had only a few advocates but now it’s become common place amongst high-performing athletes.
Those who float often describe a deep sense of self-awareness and serenity. Like meditation, it’s a way for people to escape the stresses and complications of the modern world, offering a break from the immediacy of our everyday interactions which has been escalated by technology. Technology was meant to make our jobs easier, right? Instead, it seems like we’re just expected to work faster.
Bloxham first heard of floating through one of Joe Rogan’s podcasts. You may remember Rogan from Fear Factor, but today he hosts a hugely popular podcast that attracts sports people and free-thinkers. Rogan is undoubtedly one of the world’s most avid supporters of float therapy and he is popularising it amongst the sporting world through his podcasts.
After being intrigued by Rogan’s ramblings, Bloxham decided to give it a go for himself.
“I had a number of different feelings on what my first float may bring. I was curious, anxious and excited but I went in with an open mind.”
After years of hard knocks on the rugby field, along with major hamstring surgery and back issues, Bloxham’s first float seemed to bring instantaneous relief to his tired body. Bloxham experienced first-hand what floating could do for athletes and became interested in the wide-reaching benefits.
“My first float was mind blowing really, a pretty awesome experience … You lose sensation of where your body is and it’s just you and your mind basically, you and your thoughts, in tune with your breathing and your heart beat.”
Floating has given Karl an edge, taking on a more holistic approach to physical therapy.
One of the reasons Karl loves running FloatFix though is hearing everyone’s unique experiences. From sports recovery to reflecting on traumatic experiences, the benefits of float tanks are well documented by people around the globe.
“Floating affects people differently depending on what they’re struggling with. That is the beauty of it.”
Since opening, FloatFix has attracted a wide range of clients from pregnant mothers and sufferers of chronic pain, to professional rugby players. All Black Malakai Fekitoa is also one of his regulars.
Float centres are spreading like wildfire across the globe and the notion of them being “alternative” is slowly diminishing. Karl is leading the way and is taking an open-minded approach to physical training and recovery. He predicts that float therapy will be hugely ingrained in mainstream rehabilitation in years to come.