If you keep hearing about this ‘floating’ thing, it’s for good reason.
Floating is just starting to reach the mainstream, but the concept has been around since the mid 50’s and offers many benefits, with little to no drawbacks. Top level athletes, Navy SEALs, busy executives, mindful people, pregnant women, parents, grandparents, and even some kids are experiencing how this simple practice of floating in epsom salt can benefit their health. Floating is used for muscle recovery, relaxation, pain management, rest, mindfulness and more.
A float tank is filled with 10’’ of water saturated with over 1,000 pounds of epsom salt. This solution is warm, supportive, rich in magnesium and allows you to float effortlessly on the surface. The water and air are heated to the same temperature as your skin (about 94 degrees). Weightless with senses dampened; the salt solution, your body, and the air all merging in temperature, sensational boundaries become blurred. Modern float tanks are spacious and often equipped with colored lights and music options for easing into the sensory reduced environment. You can choose to turn both off and allow your central nervous system a reprieve from external stimulation. Float sessions are recommended to be around 60-90 minutes. Research suggests that around the 45 minute mark during a float session your body begins to show signs of reduced cortisol production, reduced inflammation, increased blood flow and dopamine production. It is a truly unique way to achieve deep physical and mental relaxation.
Floating was developed by a neuroscientist in 1954 at the National Institute of Mental Health to study the brain and its response to reduced stimulation. These studies became known as R.E.S.T. (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) or Sensory Deprivation. Eventually float tanks were made for commercial use as well. No longer exclusively for research, they became popular with athletes and hippies. Float centers were predominately located on the west coast, however sprinkled throughout the US and Europe as well. With recent research and the momentum and speed at which information now spreads, floating is experiencing a resurgence, and centers can now be found in most major cities.
As people all over are waking up to the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle, many are using floating as another tool in their wellness routine. It couples nicely with yoga, meditation, chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture. Try it for yourself and see how much better you can feel.