When a person floats in a floatation cabin they spend time in an environment where their nervous system is free of external stimuli. They are effortlessly suspended in water due to the high concentration of Epsom salt (about 1,000 lbs.). The water is skin temperature and there is no light or sound.
The reduction of the stimuli from gravity, changes of temperature, light and sound frees up circuitry in the mind for people to relax and reduce stress. People who float regularly also report a reduction in chronic physical pain.
The benefits of floating go beyond the physical. Perhaps most importantly, when a person floats, they have the chance to examine how they think and relate to other people. They often
discover practical ways of improving the relationships in their life.
Examining brainwaves is useful for understanding how floating is more than a tool for relaxation. As can be seen in the chart below, there are four different brainwaves. Each one seems to have a distinct function. It even appears that we learn distinct types of programming when each of the brainwaves develop as we grow up.
The reduction of stimuli in the floatation cabin results in a reduction of the faster brainwaves (beta and alpha) and an amplification of the slower brainwaves (theta and delta) which allows a person to examine and adjust the neural programming and other information stored in and directed from the slower brainwaves.
In the brainwave illustration, one can notice an increase in brain wave activity as one moves from delta all the way up to beta. People who float often report a great deal of dreamlike activity. They sometimes emerge from a float session talking of traumatic events from their life as early as childhood. These events seem to be related to something they believe is real or true about the world.
Actual reality may differ from what they believe it to be and it often seems they are adjusting what they believe to be real to what is actually real. This can be referred to as aligning your external reality with your inner reality.
The different brainwaves function simultaneously, even in small children. However, it seems that any given brainwave can somehow take precedence within the thinking machinery under certain circumstances and at certain ages. For example, the delta brainwave is often predominant during the first three or four years of life. The theta brainwave takes precedence from ages four to eight years, followed by alpha. The beta brainwave activity becomes predominant during the teenage years. Therefore, when a person floats they are amplifying the predominant brainwaves from early in their life. This explains why many people have early life memories while floating.
It is also important to have an understanding of programming in order to discuss how floating affects the mind. The neuroscientist, John C. Lilly, in Programming and Metaprogramming in the
Human Biocomputer, wrote about how the mind is structured like a computer. He explained that what a person programs in their mind early in life will control their programming later in life. He said floating in an isolation tank helps a person examine, understand and adjust disadvantageous programming from early in life.
Fortunately, time in a floatation cabin is an effective method of accessing those early memories which became the rule of our lives. We can use floating to help us change a limiting belief so they work more to our advantage. The vast majority of the memories and beliefs we formed as little children work to our advantage but for those that pose a problem we now have a way of accessing them and changing them without any interference from anyone at all.
If a person is exploring the flow of energy through their body and mind or if they are merely looking to remove some of the stress from their life, floating can afford them some extra space to address the issues they find important in their life.
Perhaps the most astounding thing people report is how they interact with other people as they accumulate time floating. It is normal to hear of people reporting that the life they share with their partners, children and even friends and co-workers take on aspects which are calmer and beneficial. No matter how a person considers energy flowing in their life, floating is a beneficial tool.