Where to float
Choose one of the countries below to find a sensory deprivation tank near you.
USA, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Colombia, Dubai, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Holland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Venezuela....
The floatation industry key influencers...
How Does Floating Work?
With over 800lbs of epsom salt in the water you float effortlessly making you weightless, your body is instantly relieved from the stress's of gravity.
Injuries from gravity plague us all, bad backs, sagging stomach's aching feet, painful joints, and muscular tension that all come from standing upright.
It's estimated that 90% of your central nervous system is permanently occupied with dealing with the effects of gravity. Just Imagine how powerful it is to relieve your brain and body from this gravity based processing and allowing it to focus on the mind, spirit, consciousness, healing and other important yet neglected aspects of life.
More on Gravity
Scientists have proven that floating increases production of theta waves in the brain. Theta waves are linked with vivid memories, free association, sudden insights, creative inspiration, feeling of serenity and oneness with the universe. It is a mysterious, elusive state, potentially highly productive and enlightening; but experimenters have had a difficult time studying it, and it is hard to maintain, since people tend to fall asleep once they begin to generate theta waves.
A study of Zen monks, in which the monks' brain-waves were recorded as they entered the meditative states, indicated that the four meditative plateaux (from alpha to the more sublime theta) "were parallel to the disciples' mental states, and their years spent in Zen training". Those monks with over twenty years of meditative experience generated the greatest amount of theta.
As few of us have the ability to spend 20 years studying meditation to achieve this sublime state it is useful to know that people who float regularly quickly enter the theta state while remaining awake, consciously aware of all the vivid imagery and creative thoughts that pass through their minds, and after getting out of the float tank, they continue to generate larger amounts of creativity-promoting theta waves for up to three weeks.
More on Brain Waves
The two sides of the brain operate in very different ways.
The left side deals with detail, processing information, maths, order, logic it operates analytically and systematically, its basically the essential yet boring side of the brain. The right side fo the brain is good at creativity, problem solving, music, art, fun, emotions. It operates visually, intuitively, rapidly absorbing large scale information.
The right side is usually constantly bothered and held back by the dominant left brain. Floating massively boosts right-brain function by turning off all external input making left brain finally shut up, allowing the right side of the brain to run un-interrupted at full tilt.
More on the left and right brain
Layers of the brain
The human brain has three separate layers, each corresponding to an evolutionary stage.
The oldest layer is called the reptile brain, and it controls basic self-preservative, reproductive and life sustaining functions.
Sitting on top of the reptile brain is the limbic system, dubbed the visceral brain, because it generates all our emotions.
The most recent part of the brain to develop is the neocortex, seat of our abstract, cognitive functions; memory, intellect, language, and consciousness. Unfortunately, there is insufficient communication and coordination between the neocortex and the two older levels.
This results in a chronic dissociation between the higher and lower brains which we experience in the form of conflicting drives - unconscious and conscious, savage and civilised, lusty and loving, ritualistic and symbolic. There are times when the levels do act in harmony, as in peak experiences when body and mind unite in exhilarating moments of vitality, when our actions come effortlessly, spontaneously. With heightened internal awareness and decreased physical arousal, floating increases the vertical organisation of the brain, enhancing communication and harmony between the three separate levels. Floating can provide us with peak experiences almost at will.
More on Layers of the brain
Our brains secrete hormones that make us happy, anxious, depressed, shy, sleepy, sexy. Each of us creates different amounts of these various neurochemicals, and those who create, for example, more endorphins - natural opiates - experience more pleasure as a result of a given experience than those who create fewer endorphins.
Floating increases the secretion of endorphins at the same time as it reduces the levels of a number of stress-related neurochemicals, such as adrenaline, nordpinephrine, ACTH, and cortisol - substances that can cause tension, anxiety, irritability, and are related to ailments such as heart disease, hypertension and high levels of cholesterol.
One other neurochemical theory is the "Return of the womb" explanation. Since pregnant women produce up to eight times the normal endorphin levels, the foetus experiences true prenatal bliss. When a floater is suspended in the dense, warm solution, enclosed in darkness, body pulsing rhythmically and brain pumping out endorphins, subconscious memories are stirred and profoundly deep associations called up. It is no coincidence that at least one commercial float centre is named "The Womb Room".
More on Endorphins
Because of biofeedback research we now know that humans can learn to exercise conscious control over virtually every cell in their bodies. Processes long thought to be involuntary, such as the rhythm and amplitude of our brain waves, healing, blood pressure, the rate or force of heart contractions, respiratory rate, smooth-muscle tension, and the secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters are now thought to be controllable.
The way biofeedback machines work is by enhancing concentration. By focusing on a single, subtle change in the body, which is being amplified by the machine, we are able to shut off our awareness of the external environment. This shutting-off of external stimuli is exactly what the float tank does best - almost as if in an "organic" biofeedback machine, in the float room every physical sensation is magnified, and because there is no possibility of outside distraction, we are able to relax deeply and focus at will upon any part or system of the body.
More on Biofeedback
The human body has an exquisitely sensitive self-monitoring and self-regulating system that is constantly working to maintain the body in optimal stable balance.
We can define stress as a disruption of our internal equilibrium, a disturbance of our natural balance Research now indicates that many of floating's most powerful effects come from its tendency to return the body to a state of stable balance.
When we view the mind and body as a single system, it becomes clear that external stimuli are constantly messing around with the system's balance, every noise, every degree of temperature above or below the body's optimal level, every encounter with other people, everything we see and feel can disrupt our balance.
When we enter the float tank, we abruptly stop making constant adjustments to outer stimuli. Since there are no external threats, no pressures to adapt to outside events, the system can devote all its energies to restoring itself. The normal state, of course, is health, vigour, happiness, enthusiasm, and immense pleasure in being alive.
Benefits of Floating
A lot of research is being done on the effects epsom salts which is magnesium sulphate, on human skin. Saltwater baths can be very helpful when treating common skin conditions such as allergies, neurodermatitis and psoriasis. Loss of moisture in the cells is balanced out and minerals and other nutrients are transported more easily through the cell membrane.
The alleviation of a number of skin problems has been very well documented. Skin diseases seldom improve with medication or other therapies, so that many patients seek this approach as the only truly effective treatment.
The epsom salt penetrates hard skin and comparatively little water is absorbed. Studies show that proteins in the skin’s cells are broken down and with that cell proliferation increases. This naturally stimulates epidermal regeneration and the skin becomes smoother. Magnesium assists in normalising exfoliation of the skin and accelerates the metabolism of the cells.
More on Epsom Salts
The generation and maintenance of all our life processes are supported by four basic components: carbohydrates, water, proteins and energy.
Scientists agree that oxygen is actually the over-riding key ingredient in all four of these life components. 80% of all our metabolic energy production is created by oxygen! Float tanks that enrich the air with oxygen offer a more profund lasting float experience.
The human body is largely composed of oxygen, so it is no wonder that scientists are now discovering how low levels of oxygen can disrupt the body's ability to function correctly.
The oxygen concentration in a healthy human body is approximately three times that of air. Scientists now also agree that oxygen plays a powerful and primary role in our overall health and well-being.
All metabolic processes in the body are regulated by oxygen. Our brains process billions of bits of information each second. Our metabolic processes work to rid our bodies of waste and toxins. Even our abilities to think, feel and act require oxygen-related energy production. Oxygen also plays a vital role in proper metabolic functions, blood circulation, the assimilation of nutrients, digestion and the elimination of cellular and metabolic wastes.
Sufficient oxygen helps the body in its ability to rebuild itself and maintain a strong and healthy immune system. You know how important water, vitamins, minerals and enzymes are to your health and vitality. Although you can actually exist without food for about 40 days, and water for about seven days, without oxygen, life ceases to exist in only minutes.
Read more on Oxygen
Electro Magnetic Signals
In these modern times we live in we are surrounded, bombarded and penetrated by electro magnetic signals from mobile phones, wifi networks, computers, Tv's, Electric Blankets, Radio's, Watches. Cell Phone Towers, Power Cables and so on.
At the heart of floating is the concept of cutting off all external stimuli, and I believe that EMS does effect us in one way or another. There is still allot of discussion within the scientific community both claiming that their are no health concerns and other groups adamantly claiming there are.
True or not when creating a purist float environment the blocking of the EMS from the float tank via a faraday cage ensures there is no disruption or stimulation from electro magnetic signals. Much like gravity, you cant touch it, see it or smell it but it is there, the presence of EMS is not disputed.
To date the only commercially available float tank capable of blocking EMS is the Float Lab at venice beach, the Float Lab is also Joe Rogans tank of choice.
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. It’s important to learn how to recognise when your stress levels are out of control. The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feels familiar even normal. You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll.
Floatation therapy is the most powerful stress relief technique known. Floating has been shown many times (and in controlled studies) compared to bed rest, to be the most relaxing experience on earth. Relaxation measured by perceived stress, by hormone measurement and by brain waves all confirm the truth of this claim.
Symptoms of stress:-
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor judgment
- Seeing only the negative
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
- Irritability or short temper
- Agitation, inability to relax
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sense of loneliness and isolation
- Depression or general unhappiness
- Aches and pains
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea, dizziness
- Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
- Loss of sex drive
- Frequent colds
- Eating more or less
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Isolating yourself from others
- Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
- Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
- Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
Guest writer Joe shares a wealth of knowledge covering his journey into the world of float tanks and goes on to cover a range of off topic but equally interesting topics such as Wheat Grass, Fasting, structured water, the Monroe Institute and loads more.
If you too fancy contributing some interesting articles get in touch.