By: Annie Morgan
Imagine placing yourself in a dark room – and then stepping into an “isolation tank” full of salt water where you proceed to close the lid and “float” in complete darkness.
No outside stimuli. No sound. No light.
Complete enclosed darkness… so dark you can’t even see your own face.
Perhaps – but studies show float tanks can actually have health benefits like…
… lower cortisol levels and a “calm” nervous system which balance hormones and regulate digestive functions, according to Dr. Axe.
One could get on board with a calm system and regular digestive movements.
But here’s where it gets weird…
Some people want to try the float tank trend simply to “hallucinate”.
And as studies show, people actually can and do experience strange hallucinations while floating in these tanks.
“Many people have reported having hallucinations in a sensory deprivation tank. Over the years, studies have shown that sensory deprivation does induce psychosis-like experiences.”
Tripping out in the nude, entrapped in a dark enclosed float tank sounds a bit “out there” for most people.
So for the rest of regular Americans who are simply looking for relaxing health benefits, should they give it a go?
One guy checked it out and wrote about his experience.
Men’s Health reported:
“During the first few minutes of the float, I panicked. I thought I had made a huge mistake. I felt anything but relaxed. All the reasons I was floating in the first place—the racing thoughts; the tense shoulders; the jittery, nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach—felt amplified. It took everything in me not to feel around in the darkness to find the light and float my way out of there.
But the longer I stayed in the tank, the more things started to slow down. My shoulders loosened up. My breathing deepened. My thoughts stopped racing.
I was relaxed. And it felt AMAZING.”
Many other pro-float tank folks are saying the same thing, claiming they can go days feeling the effects of one session.
So are float tanks worth it?
More research still needs to be done before a firm conclusion can be made.
If you’re sore and looking for a miracle cure for your ailments – stick with more traditional types of relief like physical therapy and chiropractic care.
Or, if you’re bold you can try cryotherapy.
To keep it even simpler – take an Epsom salt bath.
However, if you’re looking to try something “new” and are seeking an alternative method to relax, destress, and unwind – then you might want to give float tanks a try.
Studies have shown that those who float have felt a rush of endorphins and experienced stress relief.
European Journal of Integrative Medicine reported:
“Several biological markers were allegedly affected by floating in a positive manner. Stress-hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, were said to be lowered. Prolactin, associated with immune function and psychological health, was said to be elevated, and the levels of endorphins, an endogen opiate, were said to be increased: ‘A single session in a floatation tank causes your brain to release endorphins, replacing stress with a sense of well-being.’”
Depending on your location, individual sessions vary from as low as $25 to over $100.
And don’t worry if you’re claustrophobic – many places have the “open air” technology where you don’t actually close the lid over yourself in darkness.
So, if you’re looking for a new way to relax – consider giving it a go!
And after you do, comment on our article and let us know how your experience went.
Have you ever tried a float tank?
If so, what was your experience?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family and let them know about the benefits of float tanks!