My first floating session was very different from what I had imagined it would be. Before going, I’d imagined that floating would be somewhat reminiscent of scenes from the movie WALL-E, with people drifting about aimlessly and smoothly on foam mats in a large, steamy pool. I’d recently moved to Vancouver from Wisconsin, where any news about floating probably won’t arrive until the year 2050. Judging by the signs and advertisements I’d seen around Vancouver, I imagined that floating would involved a big pool, low lighting and maybe a peaceful waterfall in the background. I also envisioned myself getting quite restless, attempting to float on a mat in too-cold water and getting all itchy from the chlorine.
Why do I bring this up in relation to floating? Floating allows me to slow down my thoughts down giving me the ability to pick apart the structure and value of these thoughts. Thoughts that are held valuable whether it be productive or destructive become thought patterns. You add a thought to another and we create these little worlds within our minds. Floating allows me to get rid of the thoughts that slows down the prosperity of my mind.
This may seem like a lot of abstract jargon, but here are two examples of a constructive thought and a destructive thought I had during my float.
When I started this blog, I hoped and wished that it would spread awareness to anyone suffering from cancer or going through the similar experiences that I went through. It’s been almost three full years now since my most recent radical neck dissection. In total, I’ve had 3 neck surgeries. After going through these, I have daily aches and strains in the left side of my neck to be particular. It feels as though I’ve been to the dentist and have had major freezing prior to having a tooth extraction or having a cavity filled or repaired. It’s a sensation that many may not be able to understand, but to me it’s a constant and I’m always looking for ways to deal with it.
Floatation REST is the act of lying in a sensory deprivation tank with water containing over 800 pounds of dissolved Epsom salts. This creates a strong enough buoyancy for you to float effortlessly. Combining this weightless effect with no sight or sound; your body & mind are guided to fall into a deep relaxation and recovery. The air and water within the tank’s unique environment are maintained at a constant skin temperature. This reduces the separation between the your skin and the surroundings, eventually your body seems to gradually disappear. Each session is close to 90 minutes in length but most recall the experience as feeling much shorter. Those practicing REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) regularly have shown to spark benefits in a multiple areas of health, well-being and mindfulness.