The latest health trend seems to be something that somebody snatched right out of s sci-fi thriller, the floatation tank! Also known as isolation tanks or sensory deprivation tanks, these pods if I may refer to them as such, have hit the health scene with such an immense force that people are opting to float on their lunch breaks the world over. So what is it about these things that are making people turn up in droves at float spas?
The answer to that question according to many is the feeling that these individuals get after a float therapy session (the after effects of floating for about an hour). These individuals feel super calm, extremely oriented and have a higher concentration capability after each session for the next few days and most seem to display better moods, better appetite, better metabolism and better immunity systems with frequent use and the best part of it all is the fact that it is not an illusion that ‘floaters’ undergo, it has all been actually scientifically proven. So what does really happen when a person seals themselves in a dark, soundproof compartment filled with water that is heated to skin temperature and mixed with an extremely high level of Epsom salt?
Well, firstly their brain is relieved of its basic and most constant activities, which include balancing, fighting gravity and keeping up right, sensitivity to temperature, sight, sound and smell, although these things seem trivial, they are not as they keep the mind intensely occupied constantly and floatation therapy actually removes the necessity for the brain to pay attention to these activities, freeing up massive amounts of brain resources, allowing the brain to rest and reset itself as individuals allow themselves to stop holding on to their physical and mental selves. As soon as this happens the brain waves start to adjust and change frequency from active alpha and beta states towards theta states which are similar to what happens to us when we are in deep sleep and experiencing R.E.M (Rapid Eye Movement).
It is also the state of mind when the brain promotes healing and conditions organ functions. However, in order to reach a state of deep relaxation during sleep is often difficult for most people due to their hectic lifestyles and very often their sleep is disturb before they achieve R.E.M states, and this is the beauty of floating tanks, individuals are able to achieve Theta states within 15 minutes giving their minds a break from the arduous constant functions it has to contend with as mentioned earlier (sight, sound, temperature etc.) which frees up brain resources allowing it to alter itself from Beta waves (13-30 Hz that – rhythm of between 13 to 30 cycles per second ) to Alpha waves (8 – 12 Hz) and then to Theta states (4 – 7 Hz) and finally the Delta states (.5 Hz).
The sensory deprivation tank allows floaters to step down their brainwave patterns and allow their minds to recuperate and once these individuals are done, most of them do not just ‘feel’ invigorated, motivated and healthier – they actually are invigorated, motivated, healthier and positively charged up and good to go.