Theory: Float Tank sessions have the ability to positively influence your body and mind. Doing so during an Eclipse affects the experience and doing so while meditating may intensify the results (with or without the Eclipse).
A float tank is a pitch black, fully enclosed, sound proof chamber filled with 10 inches or so of body temperature water and a hefty amount of Epsom Salt. You hear nothing, see nothing, and physically feel nothing.
The amount of Salt depends on the size of the chamber but a quick internet search presents multiple reports of about 850 pounds as the average. I was told the float tank I did had 1000 pounds of the highest quality Epsom Salt you can buy and that this creates buoyancy 7 times denser than the Dead Sea. My experience is shared near the end.
The salt and water ratio makes you float. You can’t sink. You’re completely safe to enter deep meditative and sleeping states. Sessions range from an hour to overnight.
The concept was first developed for use in Psychology Experiments in 1954. Referred to as a sensory deprivation tank, John C. Lilly built it with intention of heightening mental ability by allowing the individual to focus without distraction from the senses. Current year, the tanks are used as alternative medicine comparable with what someone would use massage therapy or acupuncture for.
Leading up to its more mainstream therapeutic reputation, sensory deprivation tanks have been used for various other purposes. The scheme of MK Ultra, supposedly used these tanks as part of their mind opening experiments in the early 50s. The MK Ultra experiments are referenced in the popular TV series, Stranger Things. At one point in an episode of Stranger Things, a young psychic girl is lowered into a water tank (sensory deprivation, isolation tank) and uses it to intensify her focus and enter a different dimension where a horrendous creature roams. Given my extreme susceptibility to wild imagination roaming, I really shouldn’t have watched that episode a week before my float tank venture.
Clearly there is a wild, almost psychedelic, side to general physical and emotional benefits of floating in an isolation tank. In fact, on the waiting room table where I had my float tank session lye a book entitled Get High Now (without drugs).
It is likely you have to be open to these types of otherworldly experiences to actually receive them though. So if unlocking your mind isn’t your cup of tea, you may simply partake in the general benefits.
Often when an activity lists substantial benefits it is immediately considered over exaggerated by the realist, cut the crap community. Each of these benefits are possible and probable, not definite and not easily documented because they are personal experience.
Benefits of using a Float Tank:
– Total Relaxation
– Stress reduction and illness associated with stress (lower blood pressure and cortisol levels)
– Toxin cleansing
– Anxiety, PTSD, TBI relief and healing
– Enhances creativity
– Improves focus
– Reduction in addiction related cravings, including eating
– Endorphin releasing (potential to last for days)
– Pain management including chronic pain
– Speeds recovery from strenuous activity and injury
– Improves athletic performance
– Helps minor wounds
– Speeds recover from Jet Lag
– Brain Hemispheric and pattern alignment
This list is not all inclusive especially when a person chooses to combine the benefits of meditation to their session. 100 Benefits of Mediation
There is also claim of Superlearning because the ability to learn new information is greatly intensified while in the tank (though I do not know where the source of information would be coming from).
I can tell you what I experienced without a doubt was total relaxation, endorphin release, lasting anxiety relief, stress reduction, creativity increase, greater awareness, muscle tension release, and maybe even some spinal alignment.
Before I get into my personal experience floating, I want to touch on potential spiritual meaning pertaining to an Eclipse event. As it so happens, the day and time I scheduled my 90 minute float session the eclipse was taking place. I did not do this intentionally.
An eclipse is a cosmic event therefore deeper meanings are never short in supply. Unfortunately most of what I found was negative in nature because of the darkening of the Sun and of course, I determined this about thirty minutes before the session.
I did, however, find solace in the one positive thing I read stating those who have been spiritually active throughout the year may actually experience the opposite effect of negative energy and even a 20% increase in power from their divinity. Of course, I also found comfort in the most basic wisdom of taking everything with a grain of salt.
The negative energy referenced is called Raja-Tama. It has negative effects on humanity and ill-intentioned ghosts supposedly use it to inflict harm as well. Raja-Tama is said to increase during an eclipse due to the blackening of the sun.
At risk of getting carried away, I chose to omit this particular information from my memory during the float.
Given their excellence, my husband and I went to Healing Waters in Denver, CO for a 90 minute float session coupled with an initial inversion table tip and binaural beats listen. Upon our arrival, we small talked with the host. She brought up the eclipse and mentioned we likely wouldn’t know if we were experiencing anything to do with it since it was our first float. I did a mind’s eye “phew!” with a wrist across the forehead and did not mention Raja-Tama.
I watched the instructional video beforehand, listened to about ten minutes of “creative inspiration with beach sounds” binary beats at a 95 degree angle, and then got ready to step in.
I opened the door and shined my phone flashlight in the black tank to alleviate some of that fear of the unknown… Yup, looks normal.
Down the rabbit hole.
Once in, I closed my eyes and crossed my limbs knowing I’d loosen up soon enough. It took a few minutes and lunging for the door once… ok, twice… to feel safe. I gave in and dropped all effort; I sensed I was starting to drift left then right. Only when my feet touched the bottom of the tank did I realize how far I’d drifted. It was alarming but once repositioned in the center; I deemed it normal to float around a bit and chilled.
After a few minutes of breathing meditation I allowed myself to chase a few thoughts and landed on the notion that claustrophobia cannot exist if one cannot perceive boundaries. I didn’t feel claustrophobic but the instructional video had mentioned this notion and it was amusing to test.
The darkness wasn’t an issue when I realized it was just kind of like being invisible for a time. What introvert doesn’t want that every once in a while?
I started to pay attention to my body; the more I let go of muscle control the more any remaining tension eased. I even heard a few little pops while my upper back loosened up. I experimented with the water density, playfully moving side to side.
I soon went back to meditating then decided to open my eyes which of course, proved no different than having them closed. Water conveniently dripped from the tank ceiling into them. Hammily, I slipped and slid around until I found the door handle and doused my burning eye with fresh water then returned to the tank… eyes closed.
I went back and forth between thought and meditation the rest of the time (quiet chimes play to end the session).
I left soft and relaxed.
A little something, something I took with me from my session stems from self-reflection, one leaf from that stem being fear.
If it’s not already evident, peppered throughout this post, I discovered a predisposition to fear and amplification as an initial reaction to most everything. Fear is great protection from danger and opportunity. The latter, not so ideal.
The only mind unlocking I did was personal barrier removal and I only visually saw small lights that weren’t physically there. It’s hard to say if that was psychedelic or not and honestly, I mentally avoided exploring them. Given this was my first time, it makes sense the mind portion of the experience would be mild.
I was simply relaxed and felt good. A day later I returned to work and noticed I was much calmer and balanced.