Floating is an amazing tool for relaxing, physical recovery, pain management and learning. Floating can be experienced in a variety of different types of float tanks. There are float pods, float pools, float cabins, and float rooms. The respective space contains roughly ten inches of skin temperature water (93.5 degrees) and one thousand pounds of medical grade Epsom salt. The air in the tank is also heated to skin temperature. The ears remain under water, dampening sound. The person floating is in control of the door and the light inside the tank. With the door closed and the light off, it is completely dark. The user is free from all distraction and the controlled environment makes it challenging to distinguish where the body ends and the water and air begin. The salty solution makes floating effortless; it takes the pressure of gravity off muscles and joints, reduces stimulation of the senses and provides the body with much needed Magnesium. It is a great way to completely relax the body and the mind.
Benefits of FLOATING
Resting in a float spa greatly reduces the force of gravity on the body. Reduced gravity eases pressure on joints and muscles. Energy is reserved when we spend less time resisting the forces of gravity, our bodies can then use this surplus of energy in expediting healing processes.
Gravity reduction can aid in the treatment of many medical conditions including:
- Faster healing of broken bones and sprained joints
- Relief from neck and back pain
- Better spinal and structural alignment
- Faster physical rehabilitation
- The reduction of lactic acid
- Improved reaction time
- Strengthening of the immune system
- Discomfort during pregnancy
Magnesium Sulfate (aka Epsom salt)
Magnesium Sulfate is a chemical compound comprised of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It has hundreds of uses throughout the body, including regulation of cell-signaling pathways. Over three hundred enzymes in the body require magnesium for various cellular functions. An estimated sixty-eight percent of American adults are magnesium deficient. Magnesium sulfate can be ingested as a dietary supplement, though it is most efficient and effective when absorbed through the skin, such as during floatation therapy.
Magnesium helps to:
- Regulate and catalyze production of over three hundred enzymes
- Facilitate calcium absorption
- Shorten duration of migraine symptoms
- Lessen the symptoms of PMS
…and helps to prevent:
- Heart Attack
Today’s fast paced society bombards our lives with nearly constant stimulation, leaving us both physically and mentally overwhelmed and exhausted. The body’s “fight or flight” response is essentially continuously firing. Floating dampens the senses and this allows us to turn off these automatic responses to constant stimuli. The body and mind are able to completely relax and decompress. This true relaxation can have a hugely positive impact on stress-related disorders and can aid in mental processes.
Sensory reduction can ease the symptoms of many disorders including:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Apoplexy or stroke
- Coronary heart disease
- Migraine or tension headaches
- Jet Lag
- Enhanced creativity
- Increase in overall well being
- Increased memorization skills
- Increased language and skill acquisition
- Lessening addiction to pharmaceuticals, smoking, alcohol, narcotics
History of FLOATING
The First Float Tank
The first float tank was developed in 1954 at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) by neuro-psychiatrist and medical practitioner, Dr. John C. Lilly. The tank was developed to test the hypothesis that if all external stimuli are cut off then the brain would go to sleep. His findings were contrary, in fact, a surprising amount of cognitive activity takes place in the absence of stimuli. He went on to use the tank to study the origin of consciousness and its relationship to the brain.
Dr. John C. Lilly
Lee & Glenn Perry
Glenn and Lee Perry are the designers and manufactures of the first commercial float tanks. They founded the Samahdi Tank Company in 1972 under the council of Dr. Lilly. Glenn and Lee ran a successful float center in Beverly Hills, CA. They continue to be active in the float community including being board members of the Float Tank Association.
In the late 1970’s Peter Suedfeld and Roderick Borrie conducted experiments at the University of British Columbia. They experimented with the therapeutic use of float tanks, naming their technique “Restricted Environment Stimulation Therapy” (REST). Their studies found positive results for treating addictive behaviors, stress related muscle pain, chronic tension, weight loss, and more.
Dr. Peter Suedfeld & Dr. Roderick Borrie
State of the Industry
The float industry continued to grow throughout the 1980s and ’90s around much of the world. Centers were most densely concentrated in Europe, particularly in Scandinavian countries. Float tank manufacturers began designing not only tanks, but also float pods and float rooms. In the early 2000s, floating began its resurgence in the United States. Float Centers are popping up around major cities all over the US. This growth will continue as more and more people are introduced to the concept of floating and the many benefits associated with it.