Also known as floating or float therapy, the patient experiences floating in a specially-designed tank sometimes called a sensory deprivation tank, filled with 10 inches of warm water, 800lbs of Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) and a set temperature of 93.5 degrees, which is the body’s normal skin temperature.
A typical float session is 30, 60 or 90 minutes depending on a floaters preference. Lying back, you float effortlessly on the surface with all parts of your body perfectly supported by the water. Your body is no longer affected by the constant downward pull of gravity, which is the single greatest cause of wear and tear on bones, joints and body tissue.
As muscle tension melts away, you find yourself floating weightless and free. For first-time floaters, it is common to have an overload of thoughts in the mind and tension in the body for the first few minutes of the float session. As you continue to relax and breathe deeply, realizing that no effort is needed to stay afloat, your mind will begin to quiet and your body will begin to release its tension. This is when the real benefits of floating take place.
Floatation therapy is known for heightening deep mental relaxation. It allows the brain to produce a greater amount of theta waves, which is present during deep meditation and light sleep, increases mental clarity, creativity and memory function. Floating is also said to increase the release of the endorphins, which leads to elevated mood states and alleviation of anxiety, depression, and negative mental habits.
It has recently been discovered that there is a secondary effect which is important to floatation therapy. Magnesium is absorbed through the skin and this can correct magnesium deficiency which affects nearly 75% of Americans due to poor diet, over-cropping of food without adequate replacement of magnesium in a normal diet.
It is well-known that relaxing sleep in bed is essential to good health and is often the best way to recover from stress and illness. Our bodies have amazing powers of recuperation and we just need the chance to relax to let those powers work. Floatation Therapy provides that benefit and has been known to improve the following:
Addictions (drugs, alcohol, tobacco or food)
Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
Asthma and Allergies
Back and neck pain
Concentration, motivation and memory loss
Depression and neurosis
High blood pressure
Irritable bowl syndrome
Jet lag, insomnia and exhaustion
Skin conditions – psoriasis/eczema
Speeds recovery from illness
In addition to these many benefits, an individual’s learning abilities are at their highest level and powers of visualization and creativity are dramatically enhanced during floatation therapy.
One hour session is equal to 4 hours of soothing sleep
Reduces cortisol levels back to a productive and normal state
Speeds recovery time after any type of injury and improves ability to bounce back
Promotes a “theta state” which allows the most creative part of our brain to engage
Balance a stressed out immune system through floating on a regular basis
Epsom salt is a great muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory mineral, that also aids in the detoxification of the body
Here are a few things you will want to know before you arrive for your floatation appointment:
For your first visit you will be required to fill out our intake form, receive instructions on your first float and answer any questions you have so please arrive 10-15 minutes early.
It is required that all individuals shower before entering the float tank, even if you have just showered at home. All deodorant, hair products, body lotions, makeup, perfumes and colognes must be removed prior to floating to ensure it does not contaminate the salt levels.
The salt water will not harm colored or treated hair, however, we ask that you wait 48 hours after your treatment so as not to contaminate the spa water.
Please refrain from sun-tanning or spray tanning sessions prior to floating.
If you have large cuts or open wounds, are experiencing an illness, or it is during your menstrual cycle, please reschedule until these issues have resolved.
It is best not to have a big meal or any caffeine within two hours of your scheduled appointment. You should avoid caffeine even longer before your appointment if you are sensitive to it.
Do not shave for at least 4-6 hours before your float, as the highly salted water will sting. If you have any small cuts or scratches, we provide Vaseline petroleum jelly to cover those up.
Audio music, towels, shampoo, soap, and earplugs are provided for you. You will have your own personal floatation room equipped with a floatation tank, shower and dressing area. Our facilities are limited for those wanting to do hair and makeup so please let us know if you need extra time.
You may bring the following with you after the 3-4 float: iPod (soothing, relaxing, meditative music or informational programs only), cases for contact lenses, hair brush or comb, or a change of clothes. A swimsuit is not recommended, as the density of salt will make it uncomfortable.
We have a limited number of appointments each day and schedule two hours for every one hour session. This time allows us to orientate new clients and also gives everyone a calm and peaceful environment. However, we adhere to a very strict cleaning policy of 30 minutes to prepare the spa suite for the next client, so we ask that you not linger in your suite after your float.
Floating is a different phenomenon! Some of the things we and others have experienced are a feeling of slowly rotating in midair as if you are rotating in a circle knowing full well you are not able to do so. Feeling like you drift in one direction only to have your opposite foot touch the wall not realizing you ever moved. Some suggestions for relaxation have been to breathe slowly while counting in between breaths, others pray or meditate while trying to relax. The most amazing thing is when you realize you forget where you are and it doesn’t matter! There is a point after the 3-4 float that your brain recognizes the relaxation method and helps you to get there faster, without struggling. This is when healing begins! One of the most difficult decisions is trying to figure out where to place your arms while you’re floating. It is an individual preference but majority like it resting above the head. Joe Rogan from Fear Factor states he takes the time while he is floating to reflect on his life and at times this is emotional but often relaxing to have peace from within. Floating is very personal and each person will identify different situations, thoughts but the underlying feeling afterward that is heard most often is relaxation.
In 1954, neuroscientist Dr. John C. Lily worked for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). His hypothesis was that mental activity would stop in the absence of outside stimuli. He discovered that his experimental subjects, his students, enjoyed the experience of floating and reached levels of relaxation only seen in deep meditation. Others have discovered the relaxed state was also a healing state for many conditions including stress, anxiety, pain, swelling, insomnia and jet lag.
The first float tank center was opened in 1973 in Beverly Hills, CA. It spawned a surge in interest in floatation therapy and paved the way for new centers to open all around the world. For several years float tanks were solely used by researchers in universities, laboratories or by private individuals. In 1983 floatation therapy increased, as more information was know regarding the benefits. Today, floatation tanks can be found in health spas, hospitals, fitness centers, and professional sports centers, and are used for learning courses by universities.