Floatation or Float Therapy is a luxurious way to soothe and heal the body from the constant stress of life’s daily pressure you can leave the noise and confusion behind and perhaps, for the first time in your life, experience total relaxation and deep healing in your private, peaceful space … it is truly the ultimate ESCAPE!
Floatation requires a soundproof and lightproof fiberglass enclosed float capsule (sometimes referred to as float tank or spa – approximately 8 feet long by 4 feet wide by 4 feet high) filled with heated water (to skin temperature of 94-95 degrees F) and a very high concentration (800 to 1200 lbs.) of Epsom Salts. The resultant high density allows one’s body to float naturally and spontaneously without effort. Even the head floats the center of buoyancy and the center of gravity of the head are in about the same place so you can tilt your head back comfortably without fear of sinking.
Due to the high salt levels in the water, the floatation tank creates a zero gravity environment. Unless you are an astronaut the floatation tank is the only situation you will encounter where your body is free from gravity. NASA employs floatation to stimulate weightlessness. Zero gravity allows you to relax every single muscle, your neck, arms, back, and even ears. The tank enables you to find those areas you are holding tense so you can let go. Finding where gravity is and in which direction, then computing how you can move and not fall over, takes about 90% of your brain’s activity on a daily basis. When you start to float you are free from all the gravity computations and the physical world, which leaves the brain free to attend to other matters. The tank creates a state of sensory relaxation as the mind and body are shielded from all the external stimulation. The brain’s normal workload is reduced by up to 90%. In this situation, the body conserves energy and has a chance to heal and rejuvenate itself.
Floating in darkness allows areas of the brain which are always in use when awake to be liberated from their work. Tests have shown that there is a drop in electrical activity of the brain and you begin to generate theta brain waves, which are associated with deep relaxation. The darkness during floating also induces a balance between the left and right brain. There is a shift from the normally dormant left side of the brain (logical, analytical, rational) to the right side (intuition, mental clarity and creativity). For the first time both sides of the brain are in harmony and the balance creates allows you to use huge amounts of previously unavailable brainpower.
One of the major sources of stimulation in humans is the temperature gradient change on the surface of the body. Temperature inside the float tank is isothermal over the surface of the body so that the nerve endings covering the surface of the skin no longer perceive a separation between the skin and the solution inside the tank.
The floatation tank is soundproof. During floating, you may choose to wear earplugs, your ears are below the surface of the solution, which cuts out external sounds. Some people find that gentle music from underwater speakers help them to relax.
excerpt from FLOAT FOR HEALTH
THE FLOAT SESSION
A therapeutic session in a float tank typically lasts an hour. For the first forty minutes, it is reportedly possible to experience itching in various parts of the body ( a phenomenon also reported to be common during the early stages of meditation). The last twenty minutes often end with a transition from beta or alpha brainwaves to theta, which typically occurs briefly before sleep and again at waking. In a float tank, the theta state can last for several minutes without the subject losing consciousness. Many use the extended theta state as a tool for enhanced creativity and problem-solving or for super learning.
At FLOAT Spa San Diego, each tank is situated in a lockable cozy private room and changing area. Each room has its own shower for use before and after the session. You can bring your swim suit if you feel more comfortable; however, the rooms are private so you can float without the restrictive clothing.
After a quick shower, the individual enters the tank and soft music is played for the first ten minutes. Fifty minutes of golden silence follows, and as the session draws to a close, the music is played again to make the floater know that the session is over. Another shower is now necessary to remove the salt from the skin. Shampoos and soaps are provided free of charge. There is a room set aside for hair drying. Clients are advised to bring their own towels; otherwise, towels may be availed of with extra charge.