By closing the door in the flotation room, you are escaping the outside world. Devoid of light, sound, and touch, your mind is free to focus, visualize, learn, heal, and most importantly unwind – also known as sensory deprivation.
A therapeutic session in a flotation tank typically lasts an hour. For the first forty minutes, it is reportedly possible to experience itching in various parts of the body. The last twenty minutes often ends with a transition from beta or alpha brainwaves to theta, which typically occurs briefly before sleep and again at waking. In a flotation bath, the theta state can last indefinitely without the subject losing consciousness.
The relaxed state also involves lowered blood pressure and maximum blood flow. The idea of active floating is that when the body is relaxed, the mind becomes highly suggestible and any action taken during these states will enter the information into the sub-conscious. The water pressure on the immersed skin is lower than the blood pressure and thus blood flow continues in skin capillaries. When floating, there is no tendency to adjust posture and a person can lay immobile for many hours.
The natural tendency of the body in the floating posture at the correct temperature is to dilate the blood vessels, reducing the blood pressure and maximizing blood flow. The brain activity normally associated with postural muscles is reduced to a minimum. In this state, which we can call the floating state, natural endorphins are released.
Due to the high salt levels in the water, the flotation bath creates a zero gravity environment. Unless you are an astronaut, the flotation tank is the only situation you will encounter where your body is free from gravity. When you start to float you are free from all gravitational computations and the physical world, which leaves the brain free to attend to other matters. The brain's normal workload is reduced by up to 90%. In this situation, the body conserves energy and has a chance to heal and rejuvenate itself.
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