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Benefits of Sensory Deprivation

Questions we get a lot, that this blog post is trying to address.

-what is the point of lying in the dark for an hour?

-Oh, so I can just do this in the bath a home?

-Won’t I get bored?

Why sensory deprivation is so beneficial

(AKA why should you lie in the dark doing nothing for an hour)

Quite a lot of people who come in to float for the first time have the same question – what is the point of coming in to lie in the dark for an hour doing nothing? Surely I could do the same thing at home by lying in the bath and turning the lights out?!

The Idea behind Floatation tanks is that by placing someone in a sensory deprived environment the brain doesn’t have to do any work processing sensory input, and is therefore much more likely to slip off into a deep meditative state, or even fall asleep completely.

Whilst in that deeply relaxed state you get from floating, the brain generates Theta waves, which are usually associated with lucid dreaming, creativity and meditation. At the same time as this, levels of stress hormones (such as Adrenaline and Cortisol) are lowered, whilst the pituitary gland produces Endorphins (which have been known to provide a feeling of euphoria).

This is what makes float tanks so special – everything about them is designed to reduce sensory input, whether it be the feeling of weightlessness that comes from having so much Epsom salt (over 500kg) that you float naturally in the tank, much like in the Dead Sea, or the silence and pitch black that comes from having the lid closed and the lights off. It even comes down to the temperature of the water (35 degrees Celsius), which is as close as possible to skin temperature so that you can forget there is even water there! It is therefore extremely unlikely that people attempting to recreate the floatation experience at home will succeed.

Some clients on their first float have occasionally said they had a sense of boredom before they fully settled into their float. This is usually an unfortunate side effect of how we are so conditioned by the modern world to always be productive or on the go, meaning it can be hard to completely switch off and fully settle into your float, due to that feeling that you should be doing something.

The important thing to remember is that by the very act of doing nothing you are looking after yourself in an important way –removing all of that built up stress and exhaustion that comes from our hectic modern lifestyles.

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