Close your eyes. Envision that you’re sitting in a park. You can feel the sun’s warmth on your body, the breeze through your hair, and see trees slightly swaying from side to side. Maybe you hear birds chirping, cars passing by or kids playing. Perhaps there’s an aroma of pine wafting in the air, or you take a sip of tea and taste the earthiness of the leaves.
Our senses offer almost constant input every moment we’re awake, but imagine if these inputs were no longer there. If all of our senses were to be turned off – our taste buds, the ability to touch or feel something or someone, our sight, or being able to perceive our surroundings through sound – life would seem rather dull, right? But what if we elected to remove these experiences for a while? What would happen then?
Sensory deprivation is the deliberate reduction or practice of being removed from stimulus from one or more of your senses in a regulated atmosphere. In flotation therapy, also known as isolation therapy, you climb into a womb-like pod, filled with body temperature water that has been mixed with about a half ton of Epsom salts, and effortlessly float.1 Not knowing where your body begins or ends, this feeling of weightless suspension acts as a profound tool to facilitate a deep state of meditation. Floating induces such a significant relaxation response that it relieves stress on the spine, lowers cortisol levels, stimulates blood flow and removes tension stored in muscles. In the act of liberating our bodies from gravity, temperature, touch, sight and sound, our minds have the chance to fully settle into the present moment. From stress and lack of sleep, to chronic pain relief and boosting creativity, after just one float you’re left feeing rejuvenated, recharged and re-centered.2
Sounds crazy? Here’s the deal... Through sensory deprivation, one enters the Theta brainwave state more effortlessly and effectively than any other form of meditation. Theta brainwaves are experienced briefly as we’re falling asleep, and then again when we’re coming back to waking. This almost trance-like state governs the part of our mind that lies between the conscious and unconscious, serving as a gateway to learning and memory.2 When we spend more time in the Theta state, inspiration and spirituality expand and our bodies are able to restore and heal.
“Surpassed feelings may arise and be recognized, while lost memories – re-called, re-lived, and re-processes. Spontaneous creative insights and problem-solving capabilities are increased. Out-of-body experiences and perceived sensations of oneness or wholeness while being in the Theta state of consciousness have been documented as well.”3
Floating has been proven to be one of the easiest ways to enter a higher state of consciousness, typically only achieved through a disciplined meditation practice. It facilitates a meaningful inward experience of the mind, therefore becoming the most profound non-invasive shortcut to enlightenment.
With the endless benefits of flotation therapy, we bet you're Googling right now to see which float centers are nearest you. If you live in the Bay Area, we highly recommend (and you’ll often find us at) Reboot Spa in San Francisco.
"The quieter you become, the more you can hear." – Ram Dass