I had no clue either. Theodor and Andreas say, “floating means reaching a state of absolute tranquility by floating. When floating, the body, salt water, and air inside the tank all rest at 35ºC, and this equilibrium creates a relaxing feeling of weightlessness.”
History of floatation
The Sensory Deprivation Tank was first developed by John Lily (of dolphin testing fame). He spent a lot of time testing different aspects of the human consciousness. In the 1970’s it took on the name Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy. In the U.S in the 1980’s floating and saunas were all hit hard by the AIDS epidemic and fears about how it was transmitted and went out of style. In Europe though floating flourished. The Swedish government even has floating as a part of the national health system and covers 50% of the costs for its citizens (Theodor and Andreas are Swedish). In the U.S it started to regain traction in the early 2000’s in places like San Francisco where it is used for burnout. But floatation is still more popular in Europe, and is slowly making its way to China.
Benefits of floatation
Floatation brings you into deep state of relaxation, which allows you to recover from stress. It helps your aches and pains by stimulating blood flow to the body. You can imagine how good would be for business travellers, who are constantly stressed.
The specific benefits that floatation can bring for business travellers include- jet lag and fatigue elimination, mental and physical stress alleviation, and floatation can help revitalize and energize you after travel.
Business travel can also have a negative impact on your health as you are less likely to eat well, exercise, and could develop deep vein thrombosis on long flights. Floatation helps with DVT because it helps stimulate blood flow. There is also the emotional impact of being alone of the road.
My Floating experience
We walked in and were greeted by Theodor. He told us a little about his love of flotation and how he decided to open a flotation spa in Shanghai. As new floaters, we were walked through the process step by step — made to feel comfortable about the (unknown) bliss that was about to happen.
The spa was lush — sterile, yet calming. An instant vibe of peace, retreat and mindfulness as soon as you walk in. The floatation “pods”, were small futuristic rooms within the room. Once I got in I was greater with a space large enough to spread out in, and salt water warm enough to be comfortable. Basically it was my private Dead Sea experience.
In the beginning, I was super relaxed and just calmly floated in the salt water and it was really nice to just zone out. That didn’t last long though. I got restless and decided that an hour in the tank was too long. I pushed myself back and forth, and side to side. Wondering how I would entertain myself for the rest of the hour. (This was probably around minute 20). After this I started to see the benefits the tank had on creativity and awareness. I had streams of thoughts of planning and new ways to approach difficult tasks.
Then I started to think. I realized that this was probably one of the only times that I was truly alone. Which was weird because I spend a lot of time telling people I enjoy “alone” time. But what I mean by that is relaxing with a TV show, walking with some music to entertain myself, or lazing around with my phone. But if I am alone, I am not truly alone.
Even though I was at times really wired in the tank, when I got out I was super relaxed. At that point I probably even could have gone back in. The day after I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. I was exhausted, even though I slept like a rock.
Spending an hour in the float tank was definitely a lot harder than I thought it would be, there are definitely stages you go through inside. It took me a while to decide whether the hype was real because I was so wired during the middle. I would definitely go back again. It’s also probably a lot easier for some than for others. My friend was able to go in with no meditation practice and have a relaxing meditative experience throughout. I would have to train myself in meditation.
I also learned about the concept of “alone”. Being truly alone with yourself is hard. Going from our super sensory modern world to isolation is definitely an experience worth having just to see how truly wired we are as a population.
chozun are working closely with Floatasian to bring you the ultimate floating experience — find them on our platform and tell us about your floating experience.