If you are anything like me, your brain gets fried from stressful deadlines, evolving technology and staying connected in a fast paced world. Our minds have been trying to adapt to technology, but are not always able to keep up with the grueling pace. As a web designer, I’m constantly expected to push my creative powers to their limits and perform at a high level. But how should I refuel this energy when it’s been depleted?
Meditation is an essential skill to learn to decrease your daily stress. However, we don’t always have time to “degragment” our brains quickly while operating on demanding schedules. There is an excellent, scientifically-proven way to heal your mind quickly and relax when its needed most. The solution? By floating in sensory deprivation chambers.
So what exactly is this activity that’s gaining traction in major cities?
Enter the Floatation Tank And Reap The Rewards
Floating involves entering a sensory deprivation tank that is slightly larger than the human body. The tank is completely dark inside with 800 pounds of epsom salt dissolved in 10 inches of water. The density of the water causes the body to naturally float on the surface. The water temperature matches that of the human body, which causes your skin’s receptors to turn off. This means you lose awareness of where your skin and the water meet, and you “melt” into the tank. From this point onward, your mind is free of your body and can begin exploring itself.
A typical session lasts about 75 minutes. After about 30-40 minutes in the tank, your brain starts to produce “Theta” waves which are the brain waves facilitated in REM sleep, lucid dreaming, and barely conscious states (right before sleeping and waking up). Depending upon the person, this may result in feelings of deep relaxation, increased creativity, weightlessness, euphoria, improved inspiration, and physical healing.
How Long Has Floating Been A Thing?
The concept is not new. It has been around since the mid 50s. However, most people out there have never experienced floating. You may have heard about it in conversation with a friend, but then dismissed it for one reason or another.
The Science Behind Floating
Feeling skeptical or cynical about floating? There’s plenty of research out there supporting floating and its benefits. An academic study on floating published on October 24, 2014 in the peer reviewed journal BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine found a strong positive correlation in almost every category tested. Sayeth science: floating is an incredible solution for decreasing stress, anxiety, depression, and intense pain, and increasing energy, optimism, sleep quality and mindfulness.
I encourage everyone to watch the following popular video by Joe Rogan who claims “the sensory deprivation chamber is the most important tool that I’ve ever used for developing my mind.” He does a great job of explaining how it works and what happens in the tank.
Where To Float?
If you’re interested in finding the nearest floatation center in your area, try using the Isolation Tank Directory at flotationlocations.com. I’ve personally been floating at Oakland Floats (located in Oakland off of 40th St.) routinely for about a year. From my experiences, floating is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and has helped me to engage my imagination directly and produce better creative solutions at work and in my free time.
Have you tried floating, or perhaps you’re looking to do so soon? Feel free to leave a comment about your experiences, concerns, or questions below. I’d love to hear your feedback and look forward to sharing more of my experiences with you.