Contraindications for floating
People of all ages can float, though the younger should float with adult supervising.
There are very few contraindications.
It is not advisable to float right after shaving because it can cause discomfort in the sensitive skin, impairing your floating experience. For the same reason people with recent skin injuries should not float. It’s not possible do the Float Session during the menstrual period.
People with schizophrenia or serious mental illnesses cannot float being that only under supervision can epileptic patients float. People with serious skin problems should not float. It is also unadvisable the utilization by people with serious hypertension. It is not allowed to float under the influence of alcohol.
Epsom Salt is made from magnesium sulphate, combined with carbon and oxygen, that provides several therapeutic properties, as opposed to common salt which contains sodium chloride, therefore being harmful for health.
Besides revitalizing and rejuvenating the skin, Epsom Salt stimulates the blood flow, and is benefic for the joints.
The use of Epsom Salt in floatation, will also favors water hygiene, eliminating all bacteria. The anti-bacterial action of the salt makes the contact with bacteria far less probable inside the float tank than while you are walking on the street, or when you're simply in your work place.
The hygiene of the float tanks is also guaranteed by all the water filtering from the float tank in between sessions, and by the constant measurement and maintenance of the water's quality and equilibrium.
The electric activity of the brain can be measured by frequency scales and observed by an exam called EEG (electroencephalogram). This activity's oscillations can be differentiated according to 4 frequency scales:
- beta, in intense brain activity;
- alpha, in a state of calm, relaxing or recreative brain activity;
- delta, while sleeping and dreaming;
- and theta, in brain activity that happens in the moments before and after sleep or in states of deep meditation; during this period the brain reaches a state of absolute mental relaxation and allows a good flow of ideas or inspiration, that come without any censure or guiltiness. It is typically a very positive mental state.
Since that in normal conditions, the brain works in the register of theta brainwaves for short periods of time, it was hard for scientists to measure the effects in the body and brain of that kind of brain activity. After verifying that during the floatation period, in a sensory deprived environment, the brain is induced to work in theta brainwaves, those measurements were possible to make:
During the period in which the brain works in this frequency, the balance between the left and the right brain hemispheres, the release of endorphins, the stimulation of creativity, the increase in concentration and the learning capacity are favored.
It is also achieved a deep inner peace and general well-being state, existing even records, of mystical experiences and sensations that are beyond human rationality, during and after the floatation period.
Apart from floating, the only way of inducing the brain to work in theta brainwaves, for long periods of time, is through deep meditation. The Buddhist monks work in this brain register while they meditate. Therefore, it is obvious the relation between the effects of inner peace and emotional balance resultant of the floatation, and the same effects that come from the Buddhist monks' meditation.
Floatation is therefore, a shortcut for some of the benefits of several years of meditation.
Origins of Floatation
Portugal started the floatation therapy in 2008, with Float in, but the origins of this therapy hail from the United States of America in the 50's, when the neuropsychiatry Dr. John Lilly was looking for a way to achieve sensory deprivation for his practice of psychoanalyses testing, in the National Institute of Mental Health. Although his goal was to isolate the human brain the most possible from outside stimulus and therefore test the neurological effects in an atmosphere of sensory isolation, he quickly realized from his students' reports that float tanks caused a huge sensation of relaxation and well-being.
Those reports were published with great impact in the American community, which started the development of float tanks directed to the relaxation experience and their subsequent commercialization.
The scientific community was soon aware of this potential and companies like N.A.S.A. started using float tanks to simulate the absence of gravity in the preparation of space investigation.
In the end of the 70's, the University of British Columbia started the tests on the therapeutic effects of float tanks, and after checking the several health benefits, codified the several clinical applications of this method named R.E.S.T. - "Restricted Environment Stimulation Therapy".
In the last few years floating centers have been developed and used all over the world for entertainment, medical, relaxing, investigation, meditation, psychotherapy or physiotherapy purposes and sportive science among others.
According to the Flotation Association and Flotation Federation, more than 30 countries where you can find floating centers. For example, in the United Kingdom there are more than 50 places with float tanks and in Spain more than 20!