On this week’s episode of ‘The Wellness Experiment,’ (watch it HERE) we get super chill and go into a womb-like environment to experience the floating trend also known as isolation tank, sensory deprivation tank, float tank, flotation tank, or sensory attenuation tank.
What is floating?
Floating is a lightless, soundproof tank with high epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) content in which the participants float in salt water at skin temperature.
How it works:
As you lay back, you float weightlessly, buoyed by the salts. The body-temperature water relaxes your sense of touch. The lights and sounds fade. Your heartbeat and breathing slow, your body unwinds, your mind opens. Flotation therapy is relaxation through science. Eliminating your sensory overload allows your brain to drift into the half-awake, half-dreaming Theta state, where meditation and creativity flourish. Levels of the stress hormone Cortisol drop, while the feel-good dopamine hormone rises.
Once your mind is at rest, your body can focus on healing itself. As you counteract the harsh effects of gravity, your muscles and connective tissues begin to unwind and unkink. Joints are supported and relax, and your lower back begins to decompress and align. You emerge sixty minutes later, relaxed and reenergized.
Regenerates, recharges, relaxes, recovers, releases.
Reduces risk of: hypertension, depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, pain from injury, heart disease, fatigue.
Enhances: detoxification, deep relaxation, creativity, super learning, right and left brain synchronicity, visualization, sports performance, athletic recovery, muscle and bone regeneration, hair, and skin health.
A few days before going to float, I was on a plane heading to New York when the stewardess made an announcement saying there was smoke inside the plane and we’d be making an emergency landing in Vegas. “Buckle up, immediately!” she said nervously. There was a good 15 minutes of uncertainty about landing safely and I was PANICKED. Luckily, we landed safe!
I was in need of some serious de-stressing and mental relaxation, and floating is supposed to be just that, so I eagerly went into the experience hoping to reap the benefits. We went to Pause Float in Venice, a beautiful, clean, contemporary space owned by passionate floater, Jeff Ono. Harper, who helped us, showed us the big white pods which were roomier than I anticipated. She explained that laying in 1,100 pounds of epsom salt in 10-11 inches of body temperature water creates an anti-gravity like environment which will help relax our muscles and ultimately our minds.
Before entering the pods, she had us shower to remove oil from our bodies; due to the high salt content, the water is rarely changed. Since we were being filmed, I went in a bathing suit but it’s recommended to float nude. Once you’re in the tank you have options of music and lights, but Jeff recommended trying it in the dark, sans music. “It’s the purest way to float,” he said. So, I did just that—dark, no music.
I climbed into the chamber, laid my head back into the salt water, and began the sixty minute float. It took me 15 minutes or so to surrender; I was busy moving around trying to find a position that felt natural to me. Once I got comfortable in this dark, wet pod, I began to relax. As I laid in a baby version of the Dead Sea, I scanned my body to see where I was carrying tension. I found that my jaw was where I was holding a great deal of stress. I opened and closed my mouth, wiggled it side to side, rolled my ankles, and then the next thing I knew the lights came on and a voice said the session was done. The time between scanning my body and the lights coming on was where I zoned out and connected to a deep floating mediation. I did it! I felt proud and accomplished.
Slowly I got out of the pod to shower yet again to remove the excess epsom salt, then finished the session by drinking lovely tea. I left feeling extremely chill but also refreshed, as though I had just taken a champion power nap. I left positive that I would be back for more.
Has anyone else tried it? What did you think? To watch the episode head RIGHT THIS WAY.