What is floating?

In float by Estelle Carr

What is Floating?

Incase this question was raised to you recently or perhaps you were wondering yourself, “What on earth is floating?”. Floating is the sensory deprivation, relaxation therapy also know as Floatation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique. Yes it is a real “thing” and growing in popularity. It is the utmost relaxing experience one could have. The closest thing to this experience would be a fetus floating in a mother’s womb. Don’t worry, you can breathe and floating is effortless due to the high salinity of the water. Floating has been described as euphoric, magical, and sublime relaxation. What makes it magical in nature, addicting and awe inspiring is that it is more than just a relaxation technique, it is a tool to enhance mental and physical performance, and increase one’s spiritual reach.

The Technique

Floating is done nude in about ten inches of supersaturated epsom salts water that is skin temperature. Due to this, you do not feel the water around you. The room and tank are light free and soundproof in order to eliminate the environmental stimulation bombarding your mind. You float supine (belly up) with earplugs. This mind blowing sensory deprivation healing technique can be experienced at a local floatation center such as First Float and offers a broad spectrum of applications. These include the management and treatment of stress, sleep deprivation, biofeedback tracking, performance enhancement, pain management, chronic illness, depression, and enhancing the connection between consciousness and physiology, just to name a few.

Beneficial applications of floatation therapy:

  • Stress management
  • Pain management
  • Sleep recovery
  • Accelerated healing
  • Biofeedback tracking
  • Mental/physical performance enhancement
  • Enhancing the mind/body connection

The Physical Benefits

Floating stimulates the secretion of endorphins which are the body’s “natural opiates” that function as pain-killers and create a sense of euphoria. The elimination of sensory input through this technique allows the body to reset the “fight or flight” state and response, which causes a deeper relaxation than simply releasing muscle tension. This kind of relaxation is deep and spiritual in the nature of the experience. It is something difficult to describe because many people have not relaxed to this full extent since they were a fetus in the womb. Floating allows the body to decrease the stress biochemicals associated with anxiety, stress, heart-disease, and other stress related illnesses. These effects lend it to benefits of physical recovery from nerve and muscle pain, and an increased recovery from injury. Folks with chronic nerve pain find great relief from routine floating. Many athletes use floating to eliminate fatigue from repeated intense training.

Physical application of floating:

  • Nerve pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Injury recovery
  • Reduce fatigue

The Mental Benefits

Floating increases the theta brain waves and encourages increased communication between the two hemispheres of the brain, and relaxes the left hemisphere which is in charge of detail orientation. This frees up the right hemisphere, in charge large-scale and abstract concepts, to be more active. These effects lend floating toward the culturing of creativity and enhanced visualization, imagination, and problem solving skills. A wide range of people from businessmen and women to artists take advantage of these results. There are a few float centers that are open near schools, offering these benefits as tools for “superlearning” because floating also increases the mind’s capacity for comprehension and retention.

Mental benefits:

  • Mental fatigue
  • Culturing creativity
  • Expanded imagination
  • Enhanced visualization
  • Strengthened problem solving skills

The Awareness Benefits

The sensory deprivation alone can open its own set of benefits when it comes to focusing and enhancing the body’s ability to perceive stimuli. People often come out of their float experience overwhelmed or astonished at how their senses seem more alert or enhanced. They report seeing more clearly and colors are more bright. They can smell more acutely and are more aware of the sounds in their environment. Some people even report being able to relate to others better. This reset of the senses is due to the lack of sensory input from the sound proofing and light proofing measures. This complete relaxation offers a complete and deep restfulness that people also utilize to catch up on sleep. Depending on how often and how long one floats, one hour of floating can equal two to eight hours of regular sleep. This varies by person as well.

As you can tell from this long list of benefits, floating is a fantastic relaxation tool, healing technique, learning aid, and performance enhancer. Whether you are interested in recovering from work stress, physical therapy, increased cognitive ability, sleep recovery, or frankly anything in between or a combination of these, floating can be the ultimate aid in achieving your goals. Contact your local float technician at First Float for more information on scheduling your floating experience.

Sources:
The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea
http://www.thefloatcenter.com/history.html