52 Weeks of Self Care
What is Floating?
Floating is a sensory deprivation experience where you enter a chamber filled with water mixed and about 1000 lbs. of Epsom salt. This is much saltier than the Dead Sea and so you naturally and easily float. The lights are turned out and, as the previous sentence implies, you are deprived of your senses. If you think about how much stimulation we take in through sight and sound, this is a real break for our system. It’s common to think this will activate major claustrophobia, but studios report that actually because it’s a well ventilated area and you have the feeling of weightlessness, people report feeling more expansive rather than constricted. Of course, this practice may not be for everyone but it’s probably not as scary as you think.
The Floating Experience
I have been to a few float studios. I love trying anything that claims increased relaxation and reduced stress. Of course, I love to see what it’s like for myself and if I experience the benefits. It seems most studios try and extend the experience of relaxation to include long before and after your session. They usually provide comfortable changing rooms and showers, blow dryers and basic products to get ready in case you have to get back to work after your float. They also may provide journals and coloring books so you can reflect after your hour of meditation. One thing I will say is the water temperature is very important. I once left my pod door open too long and the water cooled. Not fun. But for the most part, I have been shocked at how quickly I go into a meditative state and all of a sudden my session is over and I realize I have been in that wonderful state between sleep and awake. It’s not something I do on a regular basis, I do it more like a massage and make an appointment if I feel like I need it.
Who It’s Good For
Floating is something you might want to try if:
- You get easily distracted in traditional meditation
- If you are drawn to the water, like the ocean or lakes, and find water tends to increase your sense of peace and relaxation
- If you just like new and unique experiences
- If you are overwhelmed and traditional meditation just isn’t helping at the moment
- Lying down or sitting agitates you
- You need a creative boost
Note: This is a series where I cover 52 healing practices to increase mental hygiene. They are not intended to replace necessary mental health or medical services. I am not paid to do this but it should be noted that these articles are my opinion and not medical advice. Please discuss with your healthcare professionals to determine what practices are right for your needs.