Hello, all you beautiful humans out there.
Welcome to my blog and thank you for spending the time reading these words.
Now, let’s talk about floating. Fun fact – The German translation for float tank is Schwimmerbehalter, this doesn’t exactly explain what it is, but I think it’s a cool word and a fun one to try and pronounce (unless you’re German of course), so I’ll leave that there for you.
A float tank is essentially a lightless, soundless tank filled with concentrated Epsom salt water that is heated to skin temperature. The practice of floating is a form of sensory deprivation, with all sight, sound and essentially the feeling of your body removed. The theory is that it rejuvenates not just your mind, but also your body.. some people even report having psychedelic-like experiences going deeeeeep into their own consciousness (Joe Rogan). Boy oh boy wowee.. Now, did any of this happen for me?
Well, to answer my own question, yes.
I have floated three times total over about eighteen months, my most recent experience was two days ago. This time i walked into a dimly lit room with a shower, a few towels and the pod, which for anyone wondering looks like the below.
I then got naked, had a quick rinse under the shower and popped into the tank and pulled down the lid. The first five minutes of the experience the music is playing, so you can ease yourself into being alone with your mind, an experience most peoples including myself find daunting, eeeek. There was a large sensitive button to my left that controlled the light, I personally prefer to make it pitch black as soon as I get in and just lay back and listen to the music, others I have heard ease into the turning off of the lights. Once it was pitch black and I mean completely black, not any little morsel of light for my eyes to fixate on (the outside light has a sensor that turns off in about 20 seconds) and the music turned off, the real fun began.
The mind, as they say, is a wonderful thing, capable of creating our own personal living hell as well as any number of different versions of heaven on earth, and is in my opinion, a tool that we as human beings should learn to train and harness. Most people struggle with being with their own mind for five minutes if there is no added stimulus or distraction (try it if you haven’t recently), and here i was confronted with another 55 minutes of alone time with my inner juggernaut, or what i have always perceived as a juggernaut, ready to pound away at my inner being. Turns out, my mind is more my friend than my foe. If I allow it to be.
The first i’d say, twenty minutes or so i just went over what i was going to do later or the groceries i was going to get the following day, normal random thoughts popping in and out of my mind, then i would say shortly after this it changed. I started having some of the bigger questions i had in the back of my mind surface, some questions that had been causing anxiety in my life, and i felt content in those moments and the answers seemed to just fall out of me, i was completely okay with those answers in that moment. Now, i should have mentioned, i was not trying to control my thoughts.. More so just view them and not judge them, let the mind go and see what rabbit hole it led down or what bliss i could find myself in. I have a predisposition to negative thoughts, i often run over and over random negative things that could happen and i am actively working on changing those little neural pathways in my brain and i firmly believe floating is a going to be a big part of my changing this. Now, back to my float.. It was nice to just smile and view my most anxious thoughts as just that, thoughts. To smile and feel as if everything is going to be okay, i so rarely feel like this so it was rather pleasant.
After this period of questions and answers, i decided to check in with my body a little, as none of my usual senses were humming along i could only just lightly feel an awareness in my lower back. Picture this, when can you say you’ve felt like your back, ass, hands ect were not touching something? Or slightly tensed in order to sit or do some task.. Probably next to never right? Now, imagine how much your body would let go in this situation.. let go of all the tension and constant work. This is how it felt to me that i was completely physically relaxed and the only thing i could feel was my lower back as i have poor posture and a very tight lower back, (for now). It was not pain, more of just an awareness, something worth noting once i wandered back out into the real world.
The last period of my float experience i was following colours, yes colours.. You know when you close your eyes and you see the little flecks of patterns or colours behind your eyelids ? I was experiencing this, but with my eyes open. So i just followed the little flares of colours drifting in and out of awareness, smiling to myself that i was having this experience, until the music turned on. Thats when i sat up, stretched and popped open the hatch, hello world!! i thought to myself with a shit eating grin. I then jumped into the shower again, washed all the salt out of my hair and off of my body and chucked on my clothes to attack the day.
All in all whilst there were some challenging moments, confronting some tough questions, I found that the mental side of my experience to be completely positive and would do it again in a heartbeat. The physical benefits speak for themselves, you’re essentially having an hour-long salt bath, so i felt ridiculously relaxed and calm and my skin felt amazing.
Is floating for you? i can’t answer that. Only you can my curious little piece of stardust.
I can, however, answer it for myself and floating gets a big YES from me and i intend to try and make it a big part of my overall wellness routine. Give it a try sometime and I’m sure you will have a positive experience and if done consistently reap the rewards of another self-love practice. Oh, and if you’re not yet convinced – check out the below.
Until next time, Much love to you all. ❤