What is Float Therapy?
Float Therapy has become increasingly popular to promote relaxation and healing through the use of water suspension. Float Therapy combines the sensation of weightlessness with an experience known as Restricted Environment Stimulation Therapy (REST). REST is therapy based upon greatly reducing all outside stimuli to the brain through sensory deprivation and effortless floatation.
Zero stimulus is created by three factors; neutral water temperature, soundproof environment, and complete darkness. The water temperature is kept at 93.5 degrees Fahrenheit, the average external temperature of the human body. Keeping it neutral means that the water creates no cues for the skin to indicate any stimulation. The tanks and room surrounding them are built soundproof and lightproof. It will completely block out all outside noise and light, creating a completely stimulus free environment.
Zero gravity is created by adding approximately 850-1,000 pounds of magnesium sulfate (Epson salts) to about 10-12 inches of water. This process allows the body to become buoyant, floating at the surface of the water. This buoyancy puts the floater in a state where approximately 80% of the gravity we usually feel is no longer affecting the body. This allows our bodies to decompress, especially throughout our joints and spinal cavity. We use a large portion of our mental and physical resources defeating the pressure of gravity, Float Therapy allows us to relieve our bodies of this burden and feel rejuvenated in the process.
History of the Float Therapy:
Float Therapy first gained their roots in the early 1950’s, when John C. Lilly decided to find out the answer to whether the brain is simply an organ reacting to external stimuli, or is there some internal force that it responds to as well.He built the first tank in 1954 and for the next 20 years float therapy remained exclusively in a laboratory setting. Despite it being far from perfect, Lilly found that more and more people were coming out of the float tanks feeling amazing. In the early 1970’s Lilly teamed up with Glenn and Lee Perry to design and build the first commercial float tank known as, “Samadhi”.
In 1979 the first float therapy tank center, run by Samadhi, opened in Beverly Hills. Following its immediate success, float therapy centers were opening up in every major city. The early 80’s spiked the highest growth for floating. It was during this time that the US Float Tank Association was formed. An unfortunate decline in popularity took place the mid to late 80’s and 90’s, but the last 20 years has proven to show its definitive benefits and high demand.