It’s not uncommon to hear of bizarre solutions to rid our minds and bodies of everyday stress. So far as it was yoga and detox diets, things were great. But then came the strange adaptations of goat yoga and snake oil diets, which were slightly questionable. On the same lines, a new-age method of relaxation is sweeping the millennial population – it is called floatation therapy.
Floatation therapy involves voluntarily submerging yourself in an enclosed tank of water. Floatation tanks are soundproof and lightproof pods that are filled with 12 inches of water. This water is meant to be at body temperature, and so is the air in the pod. In addition, the water contains 360 kilos of epsom salt. The large amounts of salts allow your body to float, creating a zero gravity state (not something you’d get to experience unless you’re an astronaut). In fact, even NASA picked up on these floatation tanks that are now used on people who are training to go into space.
So far it sounds like a extravagant and exorbitantly priced bath. But let’s get into what they claim the benefits are, and how it feels.
Also called sensory deprivation therapy, this technique is aimed at cancelling out every outside stimuli, which is done by making the tank and the room pitch dark and entirely soundproof. A regular session of depriving your senses lasts for about 60 to 90 minutes. In the beginning one might experience disorientation, suffocation, and loss of control — but the key is to stay calm and approach weightlessness with a positive state of mind. After entering a meditative state, the mind transitions from beta or alpha brainwaves to theta, which is the one that comes right before sleeping and waking. Many people who’ve tried it have spoken of hallucinating, and seeing patterns that kept their mind in a drowsy state of trance.
These sensory deprivation tanks were first studied by a scientist named John Lilly, who was attempting to find out the effect of it on consciousness. Since Lilly was previously involved in research of psychedelic drugs and dolphin communication, his studies were rubbished. It was only in 1980 that the floatation tank was commercialised. Today it is taking many cities by storm, claiming that the health benefits are unmatched. It is supposed to cure a variety of problems and ailments like anxiety, stress, insomnia, inflammation, and pain. It has also been suggested that floating in these salt water tanks helps enhance creativity.
The online reviews for floatation therapy seem to be quite divided — some positive and some negative. On the one hand there are people who swear by it, and on the other, there are people who’ve rubbished it’s efficacy. All said and done, this fancy rest comes at a cost. A standard hour-long session would burn through anything between Rs 2,000 and Rs 7,500.
Though it is fairly new in India, you can find flotation tanks in the following places:
– 1000 Petals, Bangalore
– Liquid Sanctuary, New Delhi
– Relax Essence Float Spa, Pune
– Verp, Kolkata
If at all you get around to giving this fancy rest a shot, let us know about your experience in the comments below.
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