During the early 1950s there was a big question in the world of neurophysiology as the source of our brain’s consciousness. Is the brain simply an organ reacting to external stimuli, or is there some internal force that it responds to as well? There were many theories as to how the brain would react to a completely sensory-free environment.
One man named John C. Lilly decided to find out. By 1954, Lilly had built the first ever floatation tank in the National Institute of Mental Health Lab in the Virgin Islands. Lilly’s tank used water to allow people to float comfortably and to effectively reduce all sensation of touch.
The results were incredible. Lilly found more and more people coming out feeling amazing, reporting of personal discovery and self-actualization. This encouraged Lilly to continue his exploration of the float tank, building one or two more tanks in different laboratories in the United States.
For the next 20 years, floating remained exclusively in the laboratory setting, until 1972 when Lilly partnered up with Glenn and Lee Perry. He asked them to design a commercially available float tank that people could have in their homes. The first float center was opened, a five-tank center in Beverly Hills in 1979.
This center was met with immediate success and was emulated across the US. Float centers started popping up in every major city, new manufacturers started to enter the market, and the industry as a whole began to make a name for itself. After 60 years of progress, the world of floating is becoming mainstream. Tranquil lighting, therapeutic music, two-way communication and lobby controls, aesthetically pleasing design, and a welcoming environment have led to a new beginning in the industry.
the science of floating is definitive, given this research
Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014
This was a study of 65 healthy subjects, half of whom were given two float sessions a week over the course of two months. After a series of emotional and psychological tests, the researchers found that stress, depression, anxiety, and pain were significantly decreased. Optimism and sleep quality significantly increased for the flotation group.
floating eases emotional & sleep disorders
Quality of Life with Floatation Therapy for a Person Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, Atypical Autism, PTSD, Anxiety and Depression
Open Journal of Medical Psychology, 2013
A 24-year-old woman diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, atypical autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression had float therapy sessions regularly for one and a half years. Results suggest that floating may have beneficial therapeutic effects on mental health.
Journal of Psychology and Health, 2005
It has relaxing, mood and performance enhancing effects that seem to be more profound than those of other relaxation techniques. Especially in the field of burnout and chronic fatigue, floating can have practical use.
floating relieves physical pain
floating enhances athletic performance
Float Summit 2012 in Gothenburg, Sweden
Floatation provided significant temporary reductions in pain, muscle tension, stress, anxiety and sadness, as well as significant increases in relaxation, feelings of well-being, energy and ease of movement. There was also significant improvement in the quality of sleep.
Journal of Pain Research and Management, 2005
This study on 32 patients with chronic stress-related muscle pain and burnout depression (fatigue, memory problems, insomnia) found that floatation therapy is an effective and non-invasive method of treatment and should be an integral part of treatment.
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 1990
This study on basketball playing students at the University of British Columbia found strong evidence of improvement in athletic skill after floatation therapy.
floating benefits creativity
Journal of Music and Medicine, 2011
Looking to improve your musical performance skills? In this study performed by the University of British Columbia, it was found that floatation therapy has a beneficial effect on technical ability in freely-conceived jazz improvisation.