Try lying naked and face-up in a pitch-black tank of water at a temperature that matches your own skin about 94 degrees Fahrenheit with a higher concentrate of Epsom salt than the Dead Sea (up to 1,000 pounds). This hydrotherapy process is also known as restricted environmental stimulation technique (REST), flotation therapy and isolation tank therapy. Float therapy has been linked to increased creative performance and decreased depression and anxiety.
This hydrotherapy process is also known as restricted environmental stimulation technique (REST), flotation therapy and isolation tank therapy. The practice has been around since the 1950s, but is now making a resurgence in modern meditation, partially due to testimonies from celebrities such as Fear Factor host Joe Rogan and former UFC fighter Pat Healy.
With its long list of health benefits, East Coasters might say it’s about time. Float therapy has been linked to increased creative performance and decreased depression and anxiety. And the heavy salt concentration aids muscle pain by reducing blood lactate levels.
For newbies, however, claustrophobia is a common fear, while some people are even susceptible to out-of-body experiences. In a 2008 Swedish study, researchers interviewed people post-float session, and some reported hearing voices, seeing light phenomena or feeling as if they were soaring. According to Discover Magazine, when the brain is cut off from external stimuli, it begins to create its own.
Using Indiegogo to both create buzz around her project and for financial support, MacPhee raked in over $1,000 CAD in just two hours. After just five days she raised more than 80% of her $5,000 goal.
Christina Pistone, a former flight attendant and nutritionist from Los Angeles, first tried flotation therapy after being constantly jetlagged from flying for up to 20 days each month. Now she’s the cofounder of the hydrotherapy spa Vibrant Sea, which opened in New York last November
Clients typically spend an hour in the tank, but some stay there overnight for a full eight hours. They can come in anywhere from once per week to once per month, according to Pistone, depending on their needs.
She calls the float community supportive in spreading the word, saying she doesn’t care if a float tank center opens up down the street, because “we need more of them in the world.” Read more…