In short, it's the most comfortable and relaxed your body has been since you entered this world.
Take a moment and feel your body as you're reading this... really focus on the tension in your shoulders, that small nagging ache in the lower back, perhaps some joint pain that always bugs you (but not bad enough to do anything about). All of these body stresses, whether caused by injuries, poor posture, repetitive tasks, or just plain aging, are constantly depleting your daily energy levels and affecting a whole host of things from your mood to creativity all the way to how well you digest food.
Floatation Therapy (i.e. Floating) allows you to step away and take a break from the stresses of your life, both mental and physical, and just . . . . b r e a t h e . . . . resulting in a kind of rest and relaxation you have likely never experienced. When we remove the steady stream of chaos and noise each of us processes every second of every day, we give our bodies and brains a chance to recover and reset, often adjusting our mood and how we handle daily strife.
This is achieved with the use of a float tank, also referred to as a float pod, float chamber or sensory deprivation tank. The basics of these environments are all the same; light proof and sound proof with about 10” of water warmed to skin temperature with nearly 1300 pounds of magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt, dissolved into it. This super-saturated solution allows you float effortlessly, reducing about 90% of the Earth’s gravitational pull on the body. And because the solution matches your skin temperature you quickly lose track of your physical body giving you the sensation of floating in space. The tanks are enclosed, but the door never locks or latches, You are in complete control.
Floating allows your body and mind to enjoy a 90-minute, ultra-relaxing vacation that you can take whenever you want.
Getting rid of all sensory input allows the constantly 'make-sure-you’re-not-dying’ part of your brain to chill out for a second, allowing the creative, relaxed part of your brain to come out and play. Without the constant pressure of analyzing the world around you, your body lowers its levels of cortisol, the main chemical component of stress. Your brain also releases elevated levels of dopamine and endorphins, the neurotransmitters of happiness. Here are just a few of the noted benefits:
The benefits of floating
on body and mind are surely
different for everyone. Whether you use floatation therapy for stress relief, meditation, pain management or creative thought, one thing is certain, the range of benefits are hard to find anywhere else. And, the effects are accumulative, the more you give yourself the opportunity to disconnect and heal, the better you feel, function and
perform in all aspects of life.
Due to the reduced external stimuli while in the tank the function of the sympathetic nervous system, which when active produces our fight or flight response, is lowered. In turn the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation, healing, replenishment, etc., is then activated. Your brain waves slow until the reach the theta state. This is the state that your brain is in just before falling asleep and during deep meditation, and is usually combined with vivid imagery, creative thought, sudden insights and inspirations or feelings of happiness. This is all thanks to the release of endorphins, the body’s natural opiates.
Putting your body in a near zero-gravity environment allows your muscles to relax, your joints and spine decompress, and the strain on your circulatory system is greatly reduced allowing your body to rejuvenate and heal itself. Research shows that floating measurably reduces your blood pressure and heart rate while at the same time lowering cortisol, your main stress hormone.
There is no shortage of research showing how Floatation Therapy has been used as an affective treatment for ailments such as chronic stress, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, MS, anxiety, severe back pain, insomnia and much more.
Browse through the various articles, talks and studies HERE.
The first float tanks were invented by a neuroscientist named John C. Lilly back in 1954 while working at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).They were trying to figure out what occurred within the brain in the absence of stimulus (light, noise, touch...etc.).
Well, as it turns out some pretty amazing things happen!
The first tanks were quite strange compared to what we have now. The floater was suspended upright, entirely underwater, head completely covered by an underwater breathing apparatus and mask....
As his studies progressed the tank was modified and by the 70’s the float tank had evolved from Lilly’s original laboratory chambers to the comfortable commercial tanks that we have now.