If you’ve never tried a sensory deprivation tank, we understand if you have a lot of questions before taking the plunge. Luckily, the team at Poosh are huge fans of this form of self-care. Pause Studio is one of the team’s favorite places to experience a float with several locations in Los Angeles.
Scroll down for a quick debrief on what to expect during your first float, the long list of health benefits, and things to know before trying float tank therapy.
How does sensory deprivation affect your nervous system?
“When floating, you are basically forcing your mind and body to stop processing external stimuli, often leading to a deep state of rest or a deep meditation,” Jeff Ono, cofounder of Pause Studio says. “When this occurs, the body stops producing stress hormones and stimulates production of feel-good endorphins. In this place of rest, your mind and body are able to focus on areas of need, which can lead to elevated moods, reduced anxiety, increased creativity, improved sleep, brain optimization, and more.”
What temperature is the water in the tanks?
Float tanks are not supposed to feel hot or cold. Instead, the water is kept at body temperature.
How does a gravity-free environment contribute to this therapy?
“This state eliminates the constant pressure of gravity on your body,” says Ono. “As a result, every inch of your body receives the benefits of full circulation. Your joints, tendons, and ligaments unwind and relax. Your spine lengthens and expands, and nutrients are effectively distributed, thanks to unencumbered circulation.”
Why is magnesium sulfate added to the water?
“Magnesium sulfate, a mineral many people are deficient in, is known to help relax the muscles and soothe aches and pains,” Ono explains.
What if you are claustrophobic?
“I’m usually claustrophobic,” says Poosh Wellness Editor Allie Flinn, “but knowing I could easily open the enclosure made me feel okay about being in a small space. I actually felt immediately relaxed once I was inside the float tank.”
How long does it take to feel the effects?
Research has found that most people find their mood state is enhanced significantly after a single float session. “I can’t remember the last time (outside of sleeping) that I took an entire hour to turn off both my brain and my body with no distractions,” says Liz Muller, Kourt’s Director of Business Development.” Once I entered the tank and began to float, I felt so weightless and relaxed that I entered a meditative state. Every so often, my mind would wander to my to-do list, but I really tried to focus on clearing my mind for the entire hour.
“Because of the buoyancy, the float tank was even more relaxing than a nap, because there is truly no pressure on your body. But even when I was out of the tank, I felt calm throughout the rest of the day. That night, my sleep was noticeably deeper and uninterrupted. My only note would be to make sure you drink lots of water before and after. I got pretty thirsty due to the salt.”
Things to keep in mind right before you float:
- Skip shaving the day of your session to prevent skin irritation.
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol.
- Eat a light meal or snack prior to arriving.
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