Floatation therapy

"In the final analysis, the hope of every person is simply peace of mind" - Dalai Lama -

  • Floatation Therapy (R.E.S.T.)

    Floatation combines the sensation of weightlessness with a technique known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, or R.E.S.T. Floatation therapy is a natural way to heal the body and mind. The concept is similar to the mineral salt baths at the Dead Sea in Israel. Eight hundred pounds of Epsom salt is dissolved into a well-engineered, soundproof enclosed tub of skin temperature water to create this effect.


  • 1 Session (60min) $88.50+tx
  • 1 Session (up to 90min) $110.00+tx
  • 3 Sessions
    (up to 90min) $255.00+tx
  • 6 Sessions
    (up to 90min) $450.00+tx
  • 10 Sessions
    (up to 90min) $650.00+tx

 
 

Floating Explained

Floatation Therapy (R.E.S.T.)

What is a floatation tank? Floatation Therapy (R.E.S.T.)

“The novice floater shouldn’t expect miracles the first time around, as it primarily involves getting your body accustomed to the new environment. It is recommended to float three to five times to initially understand the process of flotation and begin to reap its long-term advantages. The benefits are cumulative, which explains why flotation devotees incorporate this therapy into their everyday lives.”

Floatation combines the sensation of weightlessness with a technique known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, or R.E.S.T.

Floatation therapy is a natural way to heal the body and mind. The concept is similar to the mineral salt baths at the Dead Sea in Israel. Eight hundred pounds of Epsom salt is dissolved into a well-engineered, soundproof enclosed tub of skin temperature water to create this effect.

They were first used by John C. Lilly[1] in 1954 to test the effects of sensory deprivation. Such tanks are now also used for meditation and relaxation and in alternative medicine. The isolation tank was originally called the sensory deprivation tank. Other names for the isolation tank include flotation tank, float tank, John C. Lilly tank, REST tank, and sensory attenuation tank.

This environment then has a plethora of benefits and applications for health, personal development, spirituality, and well-being.

Doctors, athletes, and float enthusiasts are using Floatation Therapy for neurological, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, muscular, skeletal, and hormonal balance. Floatation brings the body back into homeostasis.

Though it sounds woo-woo wind chimes and fairy dust crystals, it’s a sensory deprivation healing modality that helps the body both physically and mentally. Studies performed in the United States and Sweden indicate that flotation therapy (tested in tanks) delivers wide-ranging benefits including significant reductions in not only stress, but also chronic pain, swelling, headaches, depression and insomnia, all while lowering blood pressure and improving skin.

“Several studies show ongoing flotation chamber sessions can positively ‘reset’ stress response hormones like cortisol, ACTH and epinephrine — and much of the research found that these positive effects last months after ‘floats.’ Studies on flotation's brain impact showed it improved creativity in jazz musicians and boosted focus in academic examinations,” says Mia Kyricos, chief brand officer for the Spafinder Wellness Trend Report.

Here’s how it works:

Clients typically enter a private spa room outfitted with a floatation tank that holds 93-degree water containing 1,000 pounds of pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salts. The water is as dense as the Dead Sea, where one can float on the surface effortlessly without any body manipulation. Clients enter the tank nude, wearing earplugs and close the hatch behind them. They then lie back and float for 60 to 90 minutes in complete darkness. Because the temperature of the water is the same as skin temperature, within a few minutes you lose the sensation of where the body stops and the water starts.

Why Float?

The Benefits of Floating

Floatation therapy is such a simple idea that some of the benefits seem too good to be true. But they are real and scientific research has validated the health giving and performance enhancing effects.

Improves Sleep

  • Promotes total mental and physical calmness;
  • Provides the most optimal environment for the mind to rest;
  • Energizes and revitalizes the mind and body while at rest; an hour of floating has the restful effect of up to four hours of sleep.

Alleviates Stress

  • Brings the mind and body into a state of relaxation;
  • Improves blood circulation and the distribution of oxygen and nutrients;
  • Allows the brain to better handle the mental load caused by work and daily life;
  • Reduces blood pressure and heart rate, allowing the body to calm down.

Reduces Pain

  • Provides the body with a zero gravity environment, encouraging total physical relaxation;
  • Reduces pressure on back, hips and joints;
  • Encourages muscle and joint regeneration;
  • Decreases production of Cortisol, Lactic Acid and Adrenaline; natural hormones which stresses the body and nervous system;
  • Increases the production of endorphin, a natural pain-killing hormone.

Promotes Higher Learning & Creativity

  • Stimulates left/right brain synchronization;
  • Encourages sub-conscious brain to become more active;
  • Aids to develop mental clarity, alertness and creativity to improve problem solving;
  • Heighten awareness and mental acuity, improves memory and accelerates learning.

Enhances Mental Focus

  • Provides the mind with an environment to focus without external distractions;
  • Increases self-awareness and motivation.

The Science

Understanding is Just A Float Away…

The pleasures and perks of the modern float tank are based on a revolutionary scientific approach to deep relaxation called Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique or R.E.S.T. for short, first developed back in 1954 by researchers at the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) in Washington. During the past 20 years the remarkable effects of the float tank have been systematically studied and applied in such areas as health care, medicine, fitness training, sports science and education. Meanwhile, floating has caught on in America, Australia and, more recently, Europe and Asia as a powerfully productive and creative form of recreation in its own right.

Recommended by doctors, sports trainers, and therapists, mineral spa floatation therapy is gaining popularity as a luxurious escape and an extremely powerful tool for strengthening the immune system and improving health. In the sound-proof and light-proof heated spa filled with 1,000 pounds of healing, soothing Epsom Salts, clients float away mental stress, physical stress, and chronic pain. Floating also has been shown to improve creativity, increase skin tone, and enhance athletic performance.

The Science of Floating

The body of scientific evidence supporting the health and wellness benefits of floatation therapy is growing all the time. One leading study by Karlsbad University in Sweden found that: “Floating was perceived as pleasant. An altered state of consciousness was induced, varying from a milder state including profound relaxation and altered time perception, to more powerful with perceptual changes and profound sensations such as out-of-body experiences and perinatal experiences. ” Neuropsychologists have found floatation effective for treatment of anxiety disorders, while clinical psychologists have found the “effects of floating to enhance creativity, physical performance, stress management, psycho and physiological effects, relief from chronic pain- fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.”

Though they might seem relatively new, floatation therapy tanks (aka sensory deprivation tanks, isolation tanks or float tanks) have been around since the 1950s. There have been numerous studies and articles written in newspapers and magazines to scientific journals, and the body of scientific evidence is growing all the time. Floating has been covered by the Chicago Tribune, Men’s Journal, The Atlantic, to name just a few major media outlets. You’ll see references to float tanks on TV, in several episodes of popular TV shows like Fringe, The Simpsons, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and CSI. It is also featured in the infamous movie Altered States.

Below is just some of the science that is increasingly supporting floatation therapy’s use for management of pain, reduction of stress, and treatment of a variety of disorders, as well as recent news, TV coverage and descriptions of the experience of float tanks.

History of Floating
Scientific Research
Media Coverage of Floating
Resources on Floating

The Seven Theories of Floating

doorway to spaceThe body of science on floatation therapy is growing all the time, but there’s already a range of theories as to how floating works as effectively as it does. Michael Hutchison, in The Book of Floating, breaks down the major theories of how floating and sensory deprivation work for the mind, body and spirit: The Seven Theories of Floating.

Seven Theories of Floating

The Seven Theories of Floating

by Michael Hutchinson, author of “The Book of Floating”

There’s no doubt that floating works – as a therapeutic, educational and entertainment tool it has powerful effects on a number of levels, including the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. But why is the floatation environment so effective? What can be so actively beneficial in an essentially passive device? This is a question that has intrigued scientists, and today there is floatation research going on in laboratories around the world. The evidence accumulated so far falls into a number of distinct, though interrelated explanations. Among the most important are as follows:

1 The Antigravity Explanation.

The buoyancy afforded by the dense Epsom salt solution eliminates the body’s specific gravity, bringing the floater close to an experience of total weightlessness. Gravity, which has been estimated to occupy 90 percent of all central nervous system activity, is probably the single largest cause of human health problems – the bad backs, sagging abdomens, aching feet, painful joints, and muscular tension that result from our unique but unnatural upright posture. This theory asserts that, by freeing our brain and skeletal system from gravity, floating liberates vast amounts of energies and large areas of the brain to deal with matter of mind, spirit, and enhanced awareness of internal states.

2 The Brain Wave Explanation.

More interesting than the well known alpha waves generated by the brain in moments of relaxation, are the slower theta waves, which are accompanied by vivid memories, free association, sudden insights, creative inspiration, feeling of serenity and oneness with the universe. It is a mysterious, elusive state, potentially highly productive and enlightening; but experimenters have had a difficult time studying it, and it is hard to maintain, since people tend to fall asleep once they begin generate theta waves. One way of learning to produce theta waves is to perfect the art of meditation. A study of Zen monks conducted by Akira Kazamatsu and Tomio Hirai, in which the monks’ brain-waves were charted as they entered the meditative states, indicated that the four meditative plateau’s (from alpha to the more sublime theta) “were parallel to the disciples’ mental states, and their years spent in Zen training.” Those monks with over twenty years of meditative experience generated the greatest amount of theta, the monks were not asleep but mentally alert. However, since many of us are unwilling to spend twenty years of mediation to learn to generate theta waves, it’s helpful to know that several recent studies (at Texas A&M and the University at Colorado) have shown that floating increases production of theta waves. Floaters quickly enter the theta state while remaining awake, consciously aware of all the vivid imagery and creative thoughts that pass through their minds, and after getting out of the floatation environment, floaters continue to generate larger amounts of creativity-promoting theta waves for up to three weeks.

3 The Left-Brain Right-Brain Explanation.

The two hemispheres or the neocortex operate in fundamentally different modes. The left hemisphere excels at detail, processing information that is small-scale, requiring fine resolution: it operates analytically, by splitting or dissection. The right hemisphere on the other hand, is good at putting all the pieces together. It operates by pattern recognition – visually, intuitively rapidly absorbing large scale information. Just as in the sunshine of a bright day it is impossible to see the stars, so are the subtle contents of the right hemisphere usually drowned out by the noisy chattering of the dominant verbal/analytical left brain, whose qualities are the more cultivated and valued in our culture. But recent research indicates that floating increases right-brain (or minor hemisphere) function. Floating turns off the external stimuli, plunges us into literal and figurative darkness – then suddenly the entire universe of stars and galaxies is spread out before our eyes. Or as brain researcher Dr. Thomas Budzynski of the University of Colorado put it, “In a floatation environment, the right hemisphere comes out and says, ‘Whoopee”.

4 The Three Brain Explanation.

In a series of seminal studies produced over the last twenty-five years, Paul MacLean, chief brain researcher at the National Institute for Mental Health (US), has produced convincing evidence that the human brain has three separate physiological layers, each corresponding to a stage in our evolutionary history. In this “Triune Brain Theory,” the most ancient layer is called the reptile brain, and it controls basic self-preservative, reproductive and life sustaining functions. Sitting atop the reptile, brain is the iambic system, which MacLean had dubbed the visceral brain, because generates all our emotions. The most recent part of the brain to develop is the “thinking cap” of convoluted gray matter called neocortex, seat of our abstract, cognitive functions; memory, intellect, language, and consciousness. While many of these three separate brains have overlapping functions they are all quite different in chemistry, structure, action, and style. Three brains should be better than one, but unfortunately, due to a ruinous design error, there is insufficient communication and coordination between the neocortex and the two older levels. This lack of communication results in a chronic dissociation between the higher and lower brains, which MacLean calls schizaphysiology, and which we experience in the form of conflicting drives – unconscious and conscious, savage and civilized, lusty and loving, ritualistic and symbolic, rational and verbal. There are times when the levels do act in harmony, as in peak experiences when body and mind unite in exhilarating moments of vitality, when our actions come effortlessly, spontaneously. But it’s hard to predict when these perfect moments will occur. Now there is evidence that suggests that, due to heightened internal awareness and decreased physical arousal, floating increases the vertical organisation of the brain, enhancing communication and harmony between the separate levels. Floating, it has been hypothesized, can provide us with peak experiences almost at will.

5 The Neurochemical Explanation.

Neuroscientists have recently discovered the brain is an endocrine organ that secretes numerous neurochemicals which influence our behavior. Our brains secrete hormones that make us happy, anxious, depressed, shy, sleepy, sexy. Each of us creates different amounts of these various neurochemicals, and those who create, for example, more endorphin – natural opiates – experience more pleasure as a result of a given experience than those who create fewer endorphin. Tests indicate that floating increased the secretion of endorphin at the same time as it reduces the levels of a number of stress-related neurochemicals, such as adrenaline, nordpinephrine, ACTH, and cortisol – substances that can cause tension, anxiety, irritability, and are related to ailments such as heart disease, hypertension and high levels of cholesterol. One other neurochemical theory is the “return of the womb” explanation. Since pregnant women produce up to eight times the normal endorphin levels, the fetus experiences true prenatal bliss. When a floater is suspended in the dense, warm solution, enclosed in darkness, body pulsing rhythmically and brain pumping out endorphin, it’s possible that subconscious memories are stirred and profoundly deep associations called up. It is no coincidence that at least one commercial float centre is named “The Womb Room.”

6 The Biofeedback Explanation.

Because of biofeedback research (including Johns Hopkin’s researcher John Basmajian’s conclusive study of subjects consciously firing off single motor-unit neurons), we now know that humans can learn to exercise conscious control over virtually every cell in their bodies. Processes long thought to be involuntary, such as the rhythm and amplitude of our brain waves, healing, blood pressure, the rate or force of heart contractions, respiratory rate, smooth-muscle tension, and the secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters are now thought to be controllable. The way biofeedback machines work is by enhancing concentration’, by focusing on a single, subtle change in the body, which is being amplified by the machine, we are able to shut off our awareness of the external environment. This shutting-off of external stimuli is exactly what the floatation environment does best – almost as if in an “organic” biofeedback machine, in the tank every physical sensation is magnified, and because there is no possibility of outside distraction, we are able to relax deeply and focus at will upon any part or system of the body.

7 The Homeostasis Explanation.

The human body has an exquisitely sensitive self-monitoring and self-regulating system that is constantly working to maintain the body in homeostasis – an optimal state of balance, harmony, equilibrium and stability. Considered in these terms, we can define stress as a disruption of our internal equilibrium, a disturbance of our natural homeostasis. Research now indicates that many of floating’s most powerful effects come from its tendency to return the body to a state of homeostasis. When we view the mind and body as a single system, it becomes clear that external stimuli are constantly militating against the system’s equilibrium, every noise, every degree of temperature above or below the body’s optimal level, every encounter with other people, everything we see and feel can disrupt our homeostasis. But when we enter the tank, we abruptly stop making constant adjustments to outer stimuli. Since there are no external threats, no pressures to adapt to outside events, the system can devote all its energies to restoring itself./ The normal state, of course, is health, vigour, enthusiasm, and immense pleasure in being alive.

©Michael Hutchinson

Floating Guidelines

Meditation Floatation Instructions

In preparation for your first float, there are several things to understand. In the dark, quiet compartment, you will be floating in salt-saturated water, heated to skin temperature. You will have a feeling of floating weightlessly in space. Your experience will depend upon your state of mind and expectations. Reactions have ranged from euphoria to boredom, but the most common response is a sense of deep relaxation.

For the safety, comfort and wellbeing of yourself and other clients, please follow the policy listed below:

  • 1. Floatation therapy session requires prior appointment.
  • 2. Dress in simple normal street cloth; we provide towels and bath accessories
  • 3. Please, refrain from wearing perfume or any skin products when attending your float.
  • 4. If you have hair coloring that has not set you will not be able to float.
  • 5. You should not shave, wax or tan the day of your float. The high salt content can irritate skin.
  • 6. Eat a small meal a few hours before your appointment, you do not want to be hungry while floating.
  • 7. Avoid consuming Caffeine, drugs or alcohol, you want to be in a peaceful and relaxed state of mind.
  • 8. Women on their menstrual cycle will not be allowed to float. The appointment will need to be rescheduled and you will not be charged.
  • 9. Arrive 20 minutes early on your first visit to fill out a form and for orientation. All subsequent visits arrive 5-10 minutes early.
  • 10. Leave coats, shoes and boots in the changing room.
  • 11. Lockers are available for safe storage of your valuables.
  • 12. We provide everything you will need for your float but if you wear contacts, we ask that you bring a contact case and solution.
  • 13. No food or drinks, including water, are allowed in the spa area.
  • 14. It is imperative to use the restroom prior to your float.
  • 15. Please keep voices low in the hallway rand verbal silence during therapy sessions.
  • 16. Mobile phones must be turned off in the treatment area.
  • 17. Shower, shampoo and rinse before your float is mandatory. Take a post-float shower to remove the Epsom salt from your body.
  • 18. Remove all clothing and jewelry (you may wear a swim suit if your prefer)
  • 19. Cover all cuts or abrasions with the petroleum jelly to prevent stinging from the salt water
  • 20. Insert your earplugs to keep the salt water out (your ears will be below the water’s surface)
  • 21. When entering the tank, stand with your back to the opening and slowly sit in the water
  • 22. Become familiar and comfortable with the tank before you lie down – you will lie with your head by the door
  • 23. There is a light on your left – turn it on and off a few times to feel comfortable with its operation and location
  • 24. There is a washcloth hanging on a hook by the light – keep this as dry as possible – you will use it if you happen to get water in your eyes.

FAQ

Frequent Asked Questions


What is floating?

Can anyone float?

What if I am claustrophobic?

What if I cannot swim?

What is Epsom salt?

Will I get hot or cold in the water?

What effects does floating have on the mind?

Is the water sanitary?

What do I wear?

What if I am pregnant, is floating safe?

Things to remember

“Life is a tide; float on it”

“Most importantly, the float tank is not a hypothetical laboratory phenomenon, but a viable, proven technology”

Dr Henry Adams, National Institute of Mental Health, Washington.

“Inspiration comes to us slowly and quietly... prime it with a little solitude.”

Brenda Ueland

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