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Flotation Therapy

The Healing Powers of Extreme Downtime

The darkness is swallowing me. My pulse is racing, and there is nowhere to hide. No sights, no sounds, no smells, no taste, not a single sensation.

Slow, deep breaths quieten the noisy storm in my mind. I surrender to the void, and enter the deepest state of relaxation I’ve experienced.

My first float (also known as flotation therapy), was an intensely mind-expanding experience. I’ve been trying to achieve meditative states for years, with spurts and dips of success. Flotation is a shortcut to meditation, and can assist beginners to get started.

Palm Avenue Float Club, started by Derrick Foo in Singapore, is expanding. Here, I experienced altered states in a natural, convenient, and comfortable way. If you’re stopping by Singapore, I recommend checking it out.

Palm Avenue Float Club in Singapore

What is Flotation Therapy?

If you can take a bath, you can handle flotation. First, you shower down and climb into an open tank, inviting you with warm lights and soft music. When you settle in, you close the tank, switch off the light, and allow yourself to ease into the darkness. The music plays for 5 minutes, by which stage your mind has begun to slow down. Then, you float in a state of semi-conscious silence for 60 or 90 minutes. To conclude, you shower off the salt, and relax into a comfortable space with a warm cup of tea.

Flotation is a fast-growing therapy offering respite from the distraction-oriented world around us. But what does science have to say about it? Is flotation research a fringe pseudoscience, or are there measurable and lasting benefits? Let’s dive in and find out.

The Scientific Benefits of Extreme Downtime

Flotation removes all external sources of distraction. It’s an efficient form of rest, activating your body’s natural restoration mode. Following a float, participants report feeling mentally energised.

In the scientific literature, flotation is “Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique,” or REST. It’s a fancy term for lying in a dark tank of water. Feel free to use it. Or, don’t.

A Shortcut To Slowing Down?

I see flotation as a therapy that offers downtime in a fast, noisy world. From personal experience, it complements a daily meditation practice. An extended float allows me to go deeper in daily meditations. I also believe it’s a shortcut for aspiring meditations looking to get started.

Have you tried flotation therapy before? If not, why haven’t you tried it for yourself yet? Let me know!

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