When people first try a float tank, they always think it’s going to be some dark experience, where you get “lost” in your unconscious and disappear into some void.
It’s not like that at all. The float tanks have dim lights in them if you chose to use them. Also, they’re not tiny little tubes, but closer to being small rooms, so you can stand up and walk out to catch your bearings at any moment.
There are many benefits to float tanks, some that you might not even think of.
1. Helps with Back and Neck Pain
The water inside of a float tank isn’t just water. It is some sort of salt mixture that makes the buoyancy levels of the water very high. So you always float at the top of the water line, and it keeps your body completely relaxed.
You don’t realize it, but at almost no point in your life are you able to completely remove pressure from your neck and spine. Even when you’re sleeping, your neck may be contorted a bit and some parts of your body will be feeling the weight.
In a float tank, it’s one of the few times you can truly relieve all weight and pressure from your body. When you first jump in a float tank, you wont even realize that you are still tense because no one is used to being completely relaxed.
You can’t get this from a massage table or from hanging upside down.
It’s true muscle relaxation and I promise you, if you lay in a float tank for at least an hour, you will walk out with a releases of tension in your neck and back that you didn’t even know was possible.
2. The Meditative Benefits
Any time you give your mind space from the millions of data points we experience every day, it will be beneficial for you.
Meditation is something I wish I practiced more. I go on hot streaks with meditation, where I build a habit of meditation into my life and then after a month or two I’ll lose the habit.
But the float tanks still serves as a good way for me to observe my thoughts and ease some of the constant anxiety that nags me, like it nags so many others.
3. Dealing with all the Festering Thoughts
A lot of people think that the point of meditation is to “empty your mind.” That has never ben my objective because when you have a goal for meditation, it turns into a bad experience because as we are meditating we are constantly judging ourselves in our ability to meditate.
What we should be doing is “observing our mind.”
Let your thoughts do what they will, and try to separate yourself from your thoughts and observe what is happening.
In a float tank, you have no light, no sound, no heat, and no cold. You have nowhere to run once a festering painful thought enters your mind.
This is a great exercise and a great cleansing process on how to deal with those nagging thoughts that stick around.
Dumb shit you don’t even think of. Random memories of…
That embarrassing experience you had in high school
That time you got super shit faced and made a fool of yourself
The irrational fears and anxieties that lay beneath the surface
All of those thoughts will come into your mind, and for apparently no good reason. Last time I was in the float tank, I randomly had an entire run through experience of the last time I was in LA with my friend Brad Lamm, and I kept thinking of a joke I said that I don’t he thought was very funny.
Most likely, he didn’t pay any attention to it, but that thought got in my head and stayed there. It’s very strange.
Don’t try to make sense of it, try to observe what you’re thinking, with no judgement or expectation.
In the float tank, you learn to process the things that are going through your mind, and you may even learn a thing or two about yourself.
I invite everyone to give a float tank a try. I do it once a month. It’s an experience I highly recommend.