I Floated For One Year And Here’s What Happened!
Okay, I’ve been reading that title and there’s a million things wrong with it. I keep feeling “she’s a floater!” as in “dead”, which is NOT what this post is about. I also realize that it may seem I was endlessly on the Ocean floating like a Tom Hanks Castaway movie. I did not float FOR a year, but I did do float sessions for a year.
This. This is why I need an editor.
I have always been intrigued by the thought of isolation tanks. Admittedly my first exposure to what an isolation tank was came to me in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. (video here: Ab Fab ISO tank)
Photo Credit: Absolutely Fabulous Season 1 Episode 4: ISO Tank
I then was more intrigued because of Joe Rogan. Yes, a comedian and host of The Fear Factor back in the day. He’s a big supporter of Floating.
What is Floating?
If you want to read the Urban Dictionary’s version of floating, I will have to warn you. Warning you: there are some interesting things that are used with the term “floating”. You are warned. I also wouldn’t hold any thought to the 1980’s movie that included isolation tanks called “Altered States“. With that – we have all the fears and wrong ideas out about floating in the open and we can move on!
The Floating we are talking about is the act of literally floating in salt water in an isolation tank! Floating in an isolation tank requires about 11 inches of salt water. Salt water as most of you know, causes you to float. There is so much salt in the flotation tanks (to the tune of about 800 lbs of Epsom salt!) that you will not sink. Ever. In fact, while I was in there it takes a certain amount of effort to keep your arms fully submerged, thus you let your arms float at your side.
Are You Naked?
I don’t know why … but everyone wants to know: Do you float naked? Yes! Floating naked as the day you were born is the best way to experience a flotation tank. Flotation tanks are heated to the same temperature as your body. Tanks are enclosed much like a “pod” with a lid to retain this heat. It’s also enclosed to block out all noise and light. … okay .. so you just thought “it’s pitch black and no light?!” Yes, that’s the point. Flotation tanks eliminate all noise and all items that affect your senses, including touch. That’s why you want to float naked – you don’t want to feel a swim suit or anything on your body.
When you float naked in salt water the same temperature as your body in a pod of no light or sound, you have no sense of where your body ends or where you are floating. Without light, touch, and noise – you lose all sense of location. Some have told me they feel like they are floating in space. I myself, felt like I was just in suspended animation.
Benefits of Flotation Therapy
There are many claims to the benefits of flotation therapy – but I would suggest you do your own research regarding the proven benefits. The claims I’ve heard from various sites and the flotation location I visit are:
- Helps relieve tension headaches
- Improves sleep (you get a HIGH dose of Magnesium with the salt water)
- Reduces blood pressure
- Speeds muscle recovery
- Decreases the production of cortisol, ACTH, lactic acid and adrenaline
- Deepens meditation
- Increases production of endorphins (feelin’ good baby!!)
These are just a few of the benefits. For me, it provided me better sleep (proven by my fit bit sleep function) and an incredible sense of relaxation or sense of calm. In my experience, flotation therapy has relaxed me more than any massage I’ve gotten. While I do meditate, I find that going through mantras in the flotation tank have increased every one of those affirmations. The affirmations I use are ones that I’m working on as an individual, so after my session, I feel an heightened sense of “YAY!… I AM..!”
This is a great way to relax. It’s a great way to be alone with your thoughts. It’s PERFECT for visualizing your life in business, relationships, training or whatever you need to increase mentally. I cannot support this practice more. Most float locations will give you a first time discount to try them out. Your first float session will be all about the new experience – but after that … every float gets better and better.
My favorite thing to do in the flotation session is slow down and count my breath. one for air in, two for air out, three for air in, four for air out … all the way to 10 and then I begin again. This puts me in a relaxed state. I prefer to always make sure while I am in the session to think about everything I am grateful for in my life. Doing this gratitude practice in my session always, always, always makes me feel like I’m floating on air for the rest of the week.
That my friends is worth every minute in the isolation tank floating in salt water! For that, I’m grateful!
Justin Wren and Joe Rogan talk about floating! Video to watch here: https://youtu.be/3W3gNyT1hU8
If you haven’t been keeping up with my blog, then you’ll know that my last year was full of major life events. You can read my blog post about the last year here. Even with the event of the person I was seeing cheating – I was able to forgive faster than I have previously. I’ve noticed that minor issues that would have bothered me previously seem to roll away. I’m more understanding and I value the practice of being grateful even more.
I recently took a friend to her first floating session – someone who was having some anxieties in life. While it was only her first float, she just kept saying “it’s very different”. The funny part is that her voice was so much more slower… she spoke in a very relaxed way. She did not even realize it. That made me smile to see someone with anxiety, sound and look more peaceful.
Give a float therapy session a try! Contact a float location near you and ask if they have anything to help out first timers experience their first session. Better yet – join my #10NewThings challenge and make floating one of the new things you try for the new year!