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Sarah Rotheram and Ben Mawson

Sarah and Ben (Image: © 2020 Kirra Smith Photography)

They are the delightful Gold Coast duo who have been making locals lives more enjoyable via their holistic health biz The Freedom Float Centre for quite some time now and aren’t we grateful for it.

We sat down for a chat with Sarah Rotheram and Ben Mawson about why it’s more important than ever to be looking after our bodies and minds and simple things we can do at home.

 

How long have you two been Gold Coast locals?
Ben – I moved over from Perth seven years ago, I’m originally from country Victoria.

Sarah – I have been here 10 years, I grew up in the Redlands so regularly visited the GC and I’m originally from New Zealand.
What do you love most about living here?
We love the climate, the fact that there is incredible coastline and beaches which is only minutes from lush rainforest and hinterlands, we are spoiled for choice for things to do, amazing places to eat and drink and living an active lifestyle, something for all walks of life.
Tell us how opening Freedom Float Centre came about?
Ben – I was living in Perth and working fifo, doing long stints away and a lot of night shifts. Working as a scaffolder which is pretty physically demanding and training a lot when I was away it would take its toll on the body. A friend of mine had landed a job at a float Centre in Perth (Beyond Rest) and told me to give it a go. I wondered “What the *bleep* is a float tank?”, so I gave it a go and certainly didn’t settle in completely in the first session. I found it strange but wanted to give it a few tries to gauge results. Sure enough, I found it to be incredibly beneficial for the body to recover, I was sleeping in the pod (love a good nap) and sleeping extremely well the night of the float, feeling completely regenerated the following day. This was so powerful for me coming off shift work to have my physical and mental health on point for my time off rather than days of feeling flat from shift work. My good friend contacted me to move to the Gold Coast, and whilst I still worked away in WA, I decided to find a float centre close by. It turned out there was not one on the Gold Coast, so I felt there was a gap in the market but to build a wellness hub off a foundation of floating… and so, here we are.
What services do you offer there?
Float therapy, Infra sauna, Naturopathy, Kinesiology, Massage, Hypnotherapy, Psychology therapy and Workshops.
Why would you say the health of the mind and the body are equally important?
Mind, body and emotional wellbeing are all interlinked. Finding balance in life is extremely tricky at the best of times. Having a healthy mind that is clear and calm leads to being less stressed, better sleeping patterns, more creativity and motivation just to mention a few things. This will have us feeling more in control and mitigation the physical health problems that stress and anxiety cause. Generally feeling clear headed, motivated and in control will lead to better choices in life in regards to nutrition, hydration, exercise and hobbies that fuel the soul. This equals positive emotional well-being, which gives us those feel good hits of dopamine and serotonin naturally.
Sarah with a Naturopathy/Kiniesiologist client (Image: © 2020 Kirra Smith Photography)
What are your personal specialties at Freedom Float Centre?
Sarah – I have always been passionate about health and wellness. I was a personal trainer for 10 years traveling all around Australia working in personal training studios and running bootcamps. I then wanted to dig deeper and help educate people on nutrition, herbs and lifestyle choices so studied a degree in Naturopathy. This then lead me to study Kinesiology, so I could also work on treating emotional well-being as well as healing the physical body. All three equip me with the tools I need for a holistic approach to health and wellness.Ben – Having spent many years working in male dominated environments and seeing the effects of mental health on workmates and also their families due to the nature of that industry, I feel I have a strength in relating to ‘blokey blokes’ as I have walked in their shoes and can encourage healthy choices in life. I am extremely passionate about physical training, putting together content for Kettlebell workshops which I will be facilitating in the near future along with breathwork, mindset, mobility, yoga, boxing and calisthenics training.Why is it more important than ever to be looking after our bodies and minds?
As a society we are living more sedentary lives than ever which is why it is so important to move our bodies. Our ancestors had to be physically active all the time to survive. Anxiety, depression and mental health disorders are sky rocketing at an alarming rate, leading to higher rates of suicide year to year. Technology has advanced so quickly over the past 15-20 years and now our brains are continually overstimulated with the amount of screen time, not allowing ourselves to enjoy times of rest and reflection, rather we cram our brains with extra information via our smartphones. This can affect sleeping patterns, hormone regulation and play a huge role in staying in the sympathetic nervous system (fight flight) rather than the parasympathetic (rest and digest) which is pushing anxiety and stress levels through the roof. We believe there is a direct correlation, which is why it is important to take care of our physical and emotional well-being through healthy habits that are achievable for a balanced, healthy lifestyle.Can you talk us through some of the effects stress has on us?
High stress levels can affect us in many ways. It can affect the physical body by increasing blood pressure, resting heart rate, increase risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, poor sleeping patterns, hormone imbalances, anxiety, depression, mood swings which can affect personal relationships and the list goes on. We highly recommend everyone watch this amazing TED talk on stress.. worth watching weekly we believe. It may change your perception on stress and help you to understand that you are in control and it’s not “stress” that causes the problem, rather what we “perceive as stressful” that is the issue. This differs for everybody as we all lead different lives, we all process things differently, so it is best that we understand ourselves and what causes us stress, our triggers and whether we respond or react that is most important rather than things and people that are out of our control.

Ben with a Float client (Image: © 2020 Kirra Smith Photography)
What are some techniques you recommend practising at home?
– Daily meditation and breath work practice
– Daily gratitude
– Journaling and reading
– Checking in with yourself and being honest with how you feel and base decisions on that eg: when feeling run down, take a self care day, when feeling lonely, time to connect with people or play time etc
– Cold showers / ice baths (we are lucky enough to have one in our shed)
– Limiting screen time
– Morning routines – exercise / mediation / cold shower / gratitude
– Having non negotiables, eg: no screen time after a certain time, self care rituals, date night, time for creativity or play time.

You hold classes and events at FFC, can you talk us through some of those? 
We have a beautiful workshop space where we hold sound healings, women’s and men’s cycles, breathwork and meditation workshops
 
What do you have on for the rest of the year?
We’re looking at adding improvements to the centre, including another sauna. We’ll be hosting amazing workshops, including intuitive healing, breathwork, ice baths just to name a few. We’re going to be building our own personal brands to add value to our amazing client base and we’re going to buy a van so we can start some local road tripping again, some fun filled exploration whilst international travel is on hold.
 
Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Restaurant for dinner: Taverna in Kingscliff, Lucky Bao in Mermaid, Poke Poke in Mermaid and Etsu in Mermaid.
Cafe for breakfast: We live in Currumbin and love our locals – Saltmill and Niche and co.
Coffee spot: We love social espresso coffee
How does your weekend usually look: Our morning routine of training / ice bath and sauna, followed by breakfast at one of our faves and down time at the beach or chilling with friends. We also love to kick off the weekend with a Friday night visit to Currumbin night markets or Miami Marketta.

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