Floatation tanks are an amazing way to de-stress your body and mind through complete sensory deprivation. Think: the closest you’ll likely ever get to the sensation of floating out in space. I loved my first experience so much that I recorded a before and after video.
What is a floatation tank?
Also known as an isolation tank, floatation tanks are a lightproof and soundproof tank of heavily-salted water, heated to body temperature, which you can float in.
The tank is designed to screen out external stimuli such as noise, light, weight and temperature, to create a pure state of sensory relaxation. The brain’s heavy workload (analysing signals from the eyes, ears and skin receptors) is drastically reduced, allowing your body to focus on its natural ability to self-regulate, while your mind slips into a meditative state.
The tank’s water level is only around 30cm deep, with 350 KILOGRAMS (900lbs) of Epsom salt. That’s a heck of a LOT of salt!! So because of this, the body floats like you’ve never felt before. You just put in some ear plugs, let your head relax completely and your face stays above the water. It’s amazing.
Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulphate – two minerals that we often lack, and soaking is a great to absorb them into your body.
Magnesium is known to be a natural stress reliever and helps regulate the activity of more than 300 enzymes in the body, while sulphate is essential for many biological processes, helping to flush toxins and help form proteins.
What are the benefits of a floatation tank?
- One hour of floating is said to be equivalent to four hours of sleep.
- Helps release endorphins and calm the nervous system – reducing stress, depression and anxiety.
- Rejuvenates the physical body, boosting the immune system.
- Pain relief from arthritis, fibromyalgia, inflammation, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain and other chronic painful conditions.
- Reduces skin inflammation, including acne.
- Lowers blood pressure and improves circulation.
- Improves mental clarity, leading to enhanced learning, problem solving, memory and creativity.
- Improves quality of sleep.
- Jet lag recovery.
I feel this would be the ideal way to recover from an international flight, helping the body rebalance itself. I haven’t tested it on jet lag yet, but after my first session I walked out of the room so extraordinarily relaxed, I actually struggled to speak to the receptionist. I sat at reception drinking a glass of water in bliss.
Anyone who suffers with skin conditions knows that heading to the beach to soak up the salt in the air and water can be quite helpful in clearing it up. The day prior, I had a breakout on my face. After my hour in the floatation tank, I felt like my skin had been purified. Sure enough, the very next day I woke up and the spots were almost gone.
Affirmations & Meditation
The tanks at Inner Outer Health (where I filmed this blog) are connected to a sound system, so they play soft music for the beginning and end of your float. In this Vice documentary, Hamilton Morris records his own personal set of affirmations to play on repeat while in the tank. I love this idea.
- Be careful of the water getting in your eyes – salt stings.
- Don’t shave the same day you’re going to float – salt stings.
- Don’t go in with a full or empty belly as they’re both distracting, so eat a light meal approx 1-2hrs prior to floating.
- Any claustrophobic concerns, know that you don’t have to close the lid right away, or at all, but then you won’t get the true experience. I didn’t close the lid fully at first, just to let myself ease into the idea, and after about 10 minutes I happily closed it without a worry.