The Power of Floating

Jan 27, 2015 by | lifestyle

By now most people have heard of this concept called floating. Vancouver alone has over 5 different places to float, including Float House, Pure Float, Metta Rest Spa and Float Yaletown. For those of you curious, floating consists of lying in a tank of water with highly concentrated levels of Epsom salt. The tank is devoid of light and sound therefore it is also referred to as a sensory deprivation tank. The water is not deep and you will float as if you are in the Dead Sea. Like most people I was immediately intrigued by the concept and promptly booked a session. The idea of lying in complete darkness and silence for 90 minutes made me slightly nervous but I was excited for the experience.

Entering The Floatation Tank

I entered the tank and after I shut the door I immediately started to panic. Complete darkness surrounded me and all I could hear was my own heart beating. I talked myself through it and started to focus on my breath. This helped calm me down and I was able to eventually lie peacefully. My mind however would not stop buzzing. I got frustrated and felt ridiculous that I was unable to shut it off. I decided to focus my attention to my breath and my body. I started at my toes and slowly made my way to my knees, then lower back. I tried to imagine myself releasing any tension I was holding in these areas; up to the chest out the arms and finally out to the fingertips. I cannot remember what happened after that. I suddenly awoke an hour later without any recollection of what had happened. No dreams. No thoughts No feelings. I felt amazing.

Floating in 800 lbs of Epson Salt

Not only does a float offer many mental and psychological benefits, it also impacts the body at a cellular level. The water in float tanks contains a high concentration of Epsom salt ranging from 800-900 lbs. per tank. Epsom salt is a naturally occurring compound composing of magnesium and sulphate. This compound is absorbed through the skin and has been used as a natural remedy since 1618. The health benefits of Epsom salt includes easing muscle pain, relaxing the nervous system, preventing artery hardening, drawing toxins and heavy metals from the body and reducing internal and external inflammation. One of the most fascinating benefits of the Epsom salt is its role in relieving stress. Under stress levels of adrenalin increase in the body, while magnesium ion levels are drained. The Epsom salt replenishes magnesium in the body, which promotes the production of serotonin. This serotonin is a natural mood-elevating hormone and part of the reason why I always leave a float feeling so calm and relaxed.

It has been over a year since I started floating and it has become an important part of maintaining balance in my life. I look forward to the silence; to 90 minutes free of distractions; to a time when the constant pull of gravity no longer tugs at my limbs. I am literally weightless both physically and mentally.