Floatation therapy or sensory deprivation tank is a new kind of therapy which has become very popular worldwide especially in the United States and Europe, offered by various health and wellness centres and spas.
The floating tank is an isolating, soundproof tank in a dark room which is cut off from all sorts of environmental stimuli. The water in the tank is adjusted at skin temperature and saturated with mostly Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) so that the salted water can provide the buoyancy to help you float. As you enter the tank, remain floated in the salted water for an hour, all kinds of external stimuli of your senses are cut off. In darkness and deep silence, it is supposed that the brain enters into a state of deep relaxation.
Quite several studies have been reported to prove that in such a relaxed brain state, some health benefits can occur. Based on the scientific shreds of evidence, studies carried out, certain observations can be found.
- Since there is completely cut off from external stimuli, sensory deprivation, the brain enters into an enhanced creative state, a psychosis-like experience and increases chances of hallucinations. Such a brain state can help in clear and focus thinking. Deep relaxation can enhance both physical and mental healing.
2.Studies have shown that sensory deprivation state has reported having helped in a significant reduction of stress, tension, anxiety-related disorder, chronic insomnia, depression and irritability. The cardiovascular health has been improved in some cases which are mostly related to chronic stress and sleep problems. Some individuals have found to experience deep solace, peace, spiritual experience and an overall wellbeing state.
3.Many studies have been carried out on athletes during sensory deprivation state. It has effectively improved strenuous physical recovery by decreasing the blood lactate level, thereby reducing muscle pain, stiffness and fatiguability. Therefore, it has helped improve the performance level.
My impression on this floatation therapy is it does have some really useful health benefits. So, if comfortable, an individual can opt for this therapy with all necessary precautions. As the nature of this therapy is non invasive, zero gravity (weightlessness), it is normally safe. Usually, 7- 10 sessions of one hour each can bring about significant changes. Usually, such therapy is safe for all including pregnant women. But you should always need to ask your physician before going as motion sickness or mild issues can be discomforting.
The only danger is the risk of drowning which is rarely possible provided that the depth of water is appropriate. The risk of drowning is only possible under the influence of sedatives ( drugs or medication) or alcohol which should be avoided.