When I first saw the float tank, I immediately thought of the movie “Altered States” with William Hurt. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyBE_aKg858)
It looks similar, but the premise behind spending an hour in total darkness, floating in very salty, body temperature water is for relaxation, healing and possibly reaching a blissful state of being.
You get an hour in the tank. You have your choice of total darkness or light, music or silence. I chose total darkness and silence. I was told it may take “a while” to acclimate to floating, and letting your body relax.
Thankfully I am not claustrophobic, and I like to sleep in as close to total darkness as I can get, even at the risk of running into things on my way to and from the bathroom at night. (A different blog post on that…)
My warm, slightly humid tank room safely locked, I climbed in the tank, immediately acclimating to the salty water temperature of 98.6 degrees. The light in the tank was on, the control knobs were right by my side. I closed the tank all the way, turned off the light and stretched out in the foot deep water. My body never touched the bottom of the tank. Instead I floated with my ears below water (they offer you earplugs, and I recommend them) with my face and top of my body above the water.
I spent a few minutes adjusting my arms before allowing them to bend at the elbows and “rest” with hands palms up, just about shoulder level. I became conscious of actively relaxing, so that my body was floating without any effort on my part. That sounds easy, but it is not something that we are used to doing, so I spent some time scanning my body and consciously relaxing my muscles; especially my neck muscles.
I was in total darkness…I opened my eyes to complete darkness. I loved it; not a streak of light anywhere. The only sounds were my breathing, (still rather loud at this point) and my heart beating. As I am an intuitive healer, I began to scan my body, moving energy through and doing my healing thing. I spoke to various parts of my body that held pain (lower back) and spent time bathing my cells in love and gratitude. As I relaxed and entered a deep meditative state, I felt my body and mind relax even further as my breathing quieted. The feeling of weightlessness and deprivation of all sight and sound was extraordinarily peaceful. I lost all sense of where my physical body began and ended. I could not tell if I was moving in the water, or if it just seemed as if my body was moving. I felt very expanded in a way that I find a bit challenging to reach in my regular meditation practice. I loved the expansiveness; the releasing of all pressure and weight on my body.
At some point I became aware that all pain in my lower back was gone…I could not really feel my lower back, or any other part of my body. I took a few deep breaths and very gently moved my hands. It was an odd sensation because there seemed to be a lag between the time I chose to move my hand and the time I actually felt it move. I slowly allowed myself to stretch, moving my arms and allowing myself to feel weightless in different positions. I became aware that my hour was ending soon so I did a bit of deep breathing and relaxing before the lights came on signaling the end of my float.
I left feeling very relaxed, and pain free. I was able to stay very relaxed and focused for the rest of the day, and slept more deeply last night than I have in quite some time.
Floating combined with holistic energy work is extremely beneficial. One compliments the other in so many ways. I am a fan of the float tanks, and am looking forward to reaching deeper levels of relaxation and ultimately total healing.
Schedule your float: aquafloatcville.com