Float therapy or floating is when you are in a tank or pod filled with 10" of water at 93.5°F. The tank or pod has the ability to be completely dark & sound-proof, if you choose, or you can have music playing and/or light. There is about 1,000 pounds of nutrient rich salt in the water to keep your body completely buoyant with no effort on your part, and to reduce the pressure of gravity on the body, at the same time, your skin is absorbing the nutrients in the water. It completely removes all of the outside world's stimulants and distractions so the only thing left in the tank is you. Floating can also be called sensory deprivation, isolation tank, REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulus Therapy).
Floating is the new age term for sensory deprivation. Sensory Deprivation was discovered as a relaxation tool in 1954 after a neuropsychiatrist and medical doctor named John C. Lilly wanted to see what effects sensory deprivation had on the human brain. After conducting many experiments, he found that controlled sensory deprivation (i.e. not using it for torture) has many profound effects on the brain. Since then, many more studies have been done, and the list of benefits keeps getting longer.
Sensory deprivation had evolved into isolation therapy, and now into floating, floatation therapy and most recently REST (restricted environment stimulation technique). Through the years many things have changed, "floaters" no longer wear scary looking sensory depriving oxygen masks, or are floating upright. Today, floating is lying down, with the options of light and/or music or completely dark and/or silent, in very inviting pods, tanks, & rooms.
The benefits to floating seem to be endless and cover nearly every problem one might have. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, cortisol levels, stress, anxiety and muscle recovery time. It improves athletic performance, cognitive functions, creativity, sense of self and overall quality of life. It also helps those who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, depression, ADD, ADHD, fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression, addiction, jet lag, and fatigue. Floating is even helpful to relieve pressure all over by reducing the effects of gravity on the body, and this is great for pregnant women who need relief. Floating also increases brain wave functions and overall cognitive performance.
Aside from all of the benefits floating has, floating gets you down to the root of who you are. By removing all of the outside stimuli and the weight of life in general, it allows you to process things like you never would have before. Inside the tank, you let go of and conquer things that normally weigh you down (you might not even know) and puts everything in life into a different perspective that you can really understand. It takes you through the layers of yourself and gets down to the core of who you are, and what makes you, you. It will truly change your life and make it so much more, if you let it. Everyone will benefit from floating right away; some will feel it more than others. That being said, floating is a process, to get the most out of your floats it may take up to three times to trust the water and get comfortable with the idea of it, and once you do it only gets better from there!