The effects of floating on mind and body.
In recent years, lots for research has been taking place on the effects of floating, most especially on anxiety, depression and PTSD.
While in the tank, there is a scientifically recorded slowing of the brain wave activity.
Super relaxed brain waves are associated with vivid memories, free association, sudden insights and creative inspiration.
Our mentally busy brains ordinarily produce beta waves while we are active. When we start to relax, slower alpha waves occur.
Scientists estimate that about 85-90% of all nervous centre activity is a result of our bodies dealing with the effects of gravity. With the total sensory deprivation environment of the tank, the brain relaxes even beyond the alpha state. The normal workload of processing our sense organ signals such as light, sound, balance is removed, and our brain wave activity slows down to a theta state.
Reaching theta is effortless in the tank
Outside of the tank, most people are unable to enter the theta state while still awake. ( In fact this is the kind of brain wave activity we see in experienced Zen meditators in deep Satori meditation.) However in the tank, we enter this state effortlessly and enjoyably and stay that way for most of the float.
In the theta state, you are far more creative; your learning abilities are at their highest; your ability to visualize effectively, and response to auto suggestion is greatly enhanced.
The hemispheres of the brain are effortlessly balanced
EEG measurements also show that the activity in the two sides of the brain becomes more balanced and synchronized. The right brain (intuitive and creative) becomes more active in the tank, creating a shift away from the normally more dominant left brain (logical, analytical and linear thought) scenario, to more of a partnership of logic and creativity.
Floating relaxes the body and reduces stress
While lying back and floating in the tank, your body will experience several subtle benefits:
The sudden de-stimulation of large areas of the nervous system triggers a spontaneous chain-reaction throughout the body known as the parasympathetic response.
The whole body chemistry changes at a time like this. Decreased muscle tension, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen consumption result. Blood vessels dilate, increasing cardio-vascular efficiency and supply of oxygen and nutrients to every single cell in your body. This is called the vasodilatory effect.
Floating reduces stress, improves your mood, and boosts your auto-immune system functioning
Tests indicate that floating reduces the levels of stress and stress related neurochemicals such as adrenaline, ACTH, cortisol.
At the same time increases in levels of endorphins which helps both to relieve pain, and improve your mood.
Blood pressure drops by 10 to 20 points
Excess stress chemicals also hamper the effectiveness of your autoimmune system. Highly stressed people are more likely to succumb to infections and viruses, than those who have well functioning immune systems.
Floating is the ultimate stress buster. It does not require any special training or techniques, just lie back and let it happen. Floating is also helpful in alleviating several other physical disorders such asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cardio vascular disorders, and tension related problems like headaches, back aches and insomnia
Floating is very beneficial for the mood. Anxiety, stress, irritability are all reduced. People report noticeable improvements in mood for 24 to 48 hours after the float.
Disclaimer: Floatation is an experience unique to each individual, as such, the experience and results may vary from person to person.