What's Floating?Floatation therapy was created by Neurophysicist Dr. John C. Lilly over 60 years ago whilst doing research on brain waves and altered states of consciousness. The therapy involves lying in specifically designed floatation tank that is filled with 1000 litres of water warmed to your skin temperature at depth of 25 centimeters. Dissolved in the water is 600 kgs of pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). This extremely dense solution, like the Dead Sea, enables people of all body types to float effortlessly and escape the pull of gravity.
The float tank or ‘float pod’ is designed to also eliminate all outside distractions such as sight, sound, tactile sensations, and of course, due to the extreme buoyancy of the water - gravity, so you feel like your floating in space losing track of where your body ends and the water begins. Once you are settled in the pod, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between parts of the body that are in contact with the water, and those that aren’t, in effect “tricking” the brain into believing that you are floating freely in mid-air.
The reduced stimulation encountered in the float pod refocuses the individual’s attention to internal stimuli. At first this includes the novel sensations of floating effortlessly in darkness and quiet but slowly both mind and body are lead towards a deep state of relaxation. This relaxation is augmented by the full body absorption of magnesium from the water that elicits the release of muscle tension. As physical sensations become less noticeable, mental activity can come to the fore. Eventually even the parade of thoughts subsides and the mind enters a meditative state.
Floatation therapy has been academically studied in the USA and in Sweden with published results showing reduction of both pain and stress. At the moment there have been 80+ studies done on the benefits of floating. It is recommended to float three to five times to initially understand the process of floatation and begin to reap its long-term advantages. The benefits are cumulative, which explains why floatation devotees incorporate this therapy into their everyday lives.