“I lay naked in darkness for an hour, and I loved it!”

Today I want to let you in on a secret, a secret with a LOT of benefits. A secret that athletes, entertainers and the Mindless have been keeping to themselves since 1954.

I’m talking about Floatation Tanks, Sensory Deprivation, Isolation Tanks, Weird Hippie Pods… whatever you call them, there is no doubt they are starting to make waves in Australia and around the world. I checked out my local float centre Beyond Rest in Prahran and here’s what I found.

How a tank of salt helped me lose my mind

An isolation tank is a lightless, soundproof tank inside which subjects float in salt water at skin temperature. They were first used by John C. Lilly[1] in 1954 to test the effects of sensory deprivation. Such tanks are now also used for meditation and relaxation and in alternative medicine. The isolation tank was originally called the sensory deprivation tank. Other names for the isolation tank include flotation tank, float tank, John C. Lilly tank, REST tank, and sensory attenuation tank. – Source Wikipedia

As you can see float tanks are nothing new, the Simpsons even featured them here,

My first introduction to floating was through one of my favourites Joe Rogan and an exert from his legendary Podcasts about 4 years ago back home in New Zealand,

The benefits of floating

There are many studies proving the physical & mental benefits of floating, I’ve taken this list from Beyond Rests website as it’s pretty comprehensive and accurate:

  • promote total calm and peaceful relaxation
  • eliminates fatigue and jet lag
  • quicken rehabilitation and recovery
  • relieve pain from arthritis, migraines and injuries
  • improve sleep, and alleviate both physical and mental stress
  • energise and revitalise
  • stimulate left/right brain synchronisation creating mental clarity and alertness
  • shift brainwaves from beta to lower frequency levels, alpha, theta, and even delta waves
  • accelerate learning, increase creativity, improve problem solving abilities
  • heighten visualisation, deepens meditation and expands awareness
  • enhance hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis.
  • enhance the potential for lucid dreams
  • increase your motivation and diminish depression, anxiety and fear
  • increase your productivity as you are clear and ready to work on whatever it is that is important to you
  • facilitate freedom from habits, phobias and addictions
  • Improve athletic performance, speed the healing process, and prevent sports injuries.
  • boost immune function
  • decrease the production of cortisol, ACTH, lactic acid and adrenaline which helps reduce stress, and relax you
  • increase the production of endorphins
  • increase and improve the circulation and distribution of oxygen and nutrients
  • help in healing people with fibromyalgia
  • reduce blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption
  • increase everyone’s overall motivation in the workplace.

Floatation compares well with other stress management techniques such as long vacations. A one hour float is like having a mini-vacation.

My first float

I entertained the idea of going many times but always put it off, then finally one day after realising Beyond Rest had opened up around the corner I bit the bullet and booked my first session…

The building is tucked away in a small back street in Prahran, and inspired by Sacred Geometry is gives a very warm first impression.

Greeted by the friendly staff I was asked to take my shoes off and take a seat. As I nervously waited I had 100’s of thoughts rushing through my mind…”I’m finally here”..”I wonder if it will be as good as I’ve heard?”..”Will I fall asleep?”..”Will I achieve a Mindless state and transform into another dimension??”

After a few minutes I was called through to my room where the staff member gave me a full run down of the tank, instructions & tips for the best experience and then left the room.

After a quick shower, throwing my ear plugs in I was ready, ready to FINALLY find out exactly what floating was all about…I got into the tank, closed the lid and so it began.

The first 5 minutes the light is left on inside the tank, and relaxing music plays for 10 minutes to ease you into your float. I spent the first 15 – 20 minutes (I think)  getting used to my surrounding and trying to switch off.

It was after about 30 minutes where I finally let go and let the nothingness take over. I say nothingness because that’s exactly what it is, nothingness. Pitch black, no sound, no distractions of the outside world, just you and your thoughts.

What felt like 3 minutes later I was greeted by the sound of the relaxing music bringing me out of my float…after some time the lights were switched on, I got out had a shower and left the room. My first float was over and I felt amazing.

It’s hard to explain how you feel after your first float, the term “post float glow” has been thrown around and now I understood what it meant. As I sat in the lounge I was greeted with a herbal tea and given time to sit in silence reflecting. I can honestly say I had never felt so relaxed. The glow lasted a few hours and I had one of the best sleeps I have had in years.

So there you have it, my first float. I try go back at least once a month. With a busy lifestyle it’s important to have time to be alone with your thoughts and I floating helps me do that.

I highly recommend Beyond Rest if you’re interest, check them out!

Beyond Rest 

Address: 26 Regent St, Prahran VIC 3181

Phone: (03) 9521 4963