Ever float ?
Floatation tanks, once referred to as sensory deprivation tanks, provide a way to quickly experience a deep sense of relaxation, without the effort or discipline of yoga or meditation.
About 1400 pounds of Epsom salts is dissolved in a 200 gallon water-filled tank and heated to body temperature. A lid keeps the air and water equally warm, and eliminates sound and light.
During idle times, the dense brine is filtered to keep it sterile, and disinfected further with hydrogen peroxide.
The brine is 5 times saltier than the water in the ocean, and the human body easily floats like a cork on its surface.
Each tank nestles in a private room with a bench, hook and shower.
To use the tank one first undresses and showers, then gingerly steps in and pulls down the lid.
Options include colored lights rotating languidly through the visible spectrum or total darkness; and new age instrumental music or silence.
The day of the float, my floating friends and I were greeted by a fit, youngish woman whose broad, relaxed smile suggested regular practice of… something very relaxing. She gave us the required instructions, shared her envy (she had not floated in nearly a week) and then sent us on our float.
The author went for the whole enchilada: total darkness, in silence.
Felt some tension in the neck. Stretched it out while floating.
Otherwise, as the sensory input from the skin, eyes, ears, nose and tongue dropped to almost nil, mind was left to come up with its own productions.
At the end of the hour, gentle new age music cues the floater to exit.
Relaxed and refreshing.
References in floating literature allude to floating as a return to the womb,
to the discovery of the psyche’s depths, etc. etc.
First float in 26 years felt very much like a meditation session.
Floatation invites slower brain wave patterns which are associated with more relaxed mind/body states.
Many other activities also promote slower brain wave patterns, such as drawing and painting, meditation, chanting, drumming, sleeping, cloud watching, even gazing at the horizon at the mountains or the sea shore.
The real boon of floatation comes for chronic pain sufferers.
Some frankly amazing results are claimed both by testimonials and by research regarding the reduction of chronic pain, reduced healing times for physical injuries, and better sleep at night due to residual relaxation. ( I can testify to this last item.)
The temporary release from holding the body against gravity may have much to do with the therapeutic benefits.
Almost anything that encourages deep relaxation brings some therapeutic benefit.
Climbing into a large egg-shaped tank and going horizontal in the dark may actually be the next thing in holistic health care !
For more info about floating, please refer to :
Floating man in tank is from here: http://floatation.biz/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/man-relaxing-float-tank.jpg
Woman next to tank is from here: http://www.extravaganzi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/i-Sopod-Floatation-Tank-2.jpg
Salt pouring comes from here: http://floatation.biz/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/hands_epsom_salts.jpg