What is a Flotation Tank?
A flotation tank is a large, enclosed, salt water bath designed to minimize sensory input to the brain. The water is ten inches deep with over 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt dissolved into it. This creates such buoyant water that anyone, no matter how dense or large they are, can float effortlessly like a cork on top of the water. There is virtually no gravity and the temperature of the environment is skin temperature. The tank is completely dark and quiet so there is also nothing to see, hear, smell, feel or taste. Since the user wears nothing into the tank, lying in such a senseless environment for even a short period of time will give the user a vacation from their body, their stress, tension and their pain. This environment will also allow the user an unique and intimate experience with themselves found nowhere else.
Floating is a scientific approach to relaxation. It allows the user deep relaxation in an almost weightless environment. It gives the body a chance to heal itself and the mind a chance to organize itself. It also helps to deepen one’s understanding of the human experience.
Why Flotation Therapy?
The float tank creates a tranquil environment free of distraction and stimulus. Without the intense stimulation of our modern environment we are able to experience ourselves as pure consciousness! This experience has provided inspiration for many people to begin the journey of extreme self transformation. Along with its ability to inspire us to live life to the fullest, flotation therapy provides deep relaxation and pain relief for the mind and body. The use of a float tank has been shown to dramatically lower the stress hormone cortisol which causes anxiety, suppresses the immune system and contributes to weight gain. Stress is the number one cause of disease. When we relieve stress from our body and mind we get to experience our being at optimum health. This means a body free of pain & tension, and a clear, relaxed, focused mind. By keeping ourselves in optimum health we can meet the demands of modern life as our most expansive selves!
“My float was transcendent. I was timeless and weightless and fearless.”
– Lauren Duker
Need some rich brain science?
Dr. Justin Feinstein is Director of the Float Clinic & Research Center (FCRC) at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR). The FCRC’s mission is to investigate the effects of Flotation-REST on both body and brain, as well as explore its potential as a therapeutic treatment for promoting mental health and healing. Anxiety and depression are the two most common psychiatric conditions, affecting over 25% of the population, and representing the leading cause of disability, worldwide. Recent meta-analyses and large-scale clinical trials suggest that only about half of patients improve with treatment, with substantially poorer outcomes and adherence in patients with comorbid anxiety and depression.
Given the poor treatment response and adherence to currently available therapies, it is imperative to explore new ways of helping individuals with anxiety and depression. This presentation unveils the results from the first float study ever conducted in a large group of patients spanning the spectrum of different anxiety and stress-related disorders, including PTSD, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, and Generalized Anxiety.
The findings detail the clinical and physiological changes induced by the float experience, along with a discussion about safety considerations with this population. Research papers based on the findings presented in this video have since been published, and can be viewed here and here.
Floating and the Immune System
M.C.Flux is a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder, he has been studying the mechanisms involved in the immune system. In this talk from the 2018 Float Conference, Flux breaks down the biochemical process that happens as we enter the fight or flight stage and how it triggers an immune response. He also presents some of the first data showing how floating might have an impact on this process.
Float Nation Documentary
Float Nation depicts people all across the globe visiting float tank centers in hopes of reaching states of sensory deprivation. With decades of promising research, why is floating so unknown and underutilized? The result of a trip across the United States, Float Nation explores the resurgence in using float tanks and the reason for its disappearance.
Ben Gleason and Isolate’s former location is featured in Float Nation.