Floating can help with meditationThe floatation environment is a particularly powerful tool for meditation
Stop the inner chatter
If you have ever tried to meditate, you’ll know how the flow of thoughts tends to carry on regardless, even seeming to resist any attempt to stop it. Your awareness jumps from one thought to the next incessantly.
Furthermore, if and when the chatter does stop, the very surprise of noticing the fact can easily start the whole thing up again.
There are countless methods for focusing your awareness in meditation. From repeating a sound, to counting breaths, to point-concentration, to narrating bodily sensations… and so the list goes on.
Escape the distractions
One of the keys to help with meditation is being able to block out the distractions…. perhaps easier said than done!
It can take years of practice to learn how to stop your inner chatter, and before you can make this happen at will.
For many people who try meditating this can be very dispiriting. Some people will inevitably give up when the desired results are not forthcoming.
Floating can help with meditation
If this sounds familiar, chances are you will love floatation.
You float effortlessly on the surface of water saturated with Epsom Salts. You are completely supported by the buoyancy, which gives a feeling of weightlessness, and furthermore removes any discomfort from pressure or gravity. The water is heated to skin temperature, so after a while you can’t feel where your body ends and the water begins. The room is quiet, and you can choose to turn the light off if you wish. Distractions can be reduced to an absolute minimum.
Floating can take you to a deep, calm, silent state.
It can do this reliably and rapidly, without the need for years of work.
You may find that your body awareness increases dramatically in the absence of external stimuli. Perhaps your breathing and heartbeat may fill your senses at first. This is an ideal opportunity to concentrate on your breathing. With no distractions, all those meditation methods suddenly make so much more sense.
Now you can transfer your attention entirely to your thoughts. One noteworthy aspect of the floatation environment is that your train of thought is no longer filled with awareness of your surroundings.
Your mind can let go, and your inner chatter can gradually quieten down.
Floating as a ‘shortcut’ to meditation
In fact, it is pretty common for the extreme relaxation experienced during floating to lead naturally into a meditative state without requiring you to have any technique at all.
Of course, everyone’s experience is unique. For some it takes two or three floats to become familiar enough that your body lets go and accepts it as a safe environment.
Others may find that this can happen on their first float.
The beneficial effects of floating are cumulative, and regular floating can be transformative in surprising and beautiful ways.
State of relaxation
Above all, meditation and floatation have many physical and psychological benefits in common.
Floating can activate the parasympathetic response. This involves muscles relaxing, heart rate and blood pressure dropping, reduced cortisol and adrenalin, reduced lactic acid and circulation improving.
Changes in the brain waves
The frequency and pattern of brainwaves also changes during floatation.
Higher frequency Beta waves (16-31Hz) are associated with the normal waking state, logical thought and inner dialogue. These tend to drop off while floating.
Lower frequency Alpha waves (8-15Hz) and Theta waves (4-7Hz) dominate during floatation.
Theta waves are found when in a state of deeply relaxed awareness, such as the moments before sleep, and during meditation. They are also associated with REM sleep and visual imagery.
Research shows floating helps with meditation
A team at the Medical College of Ohio carried out some research into floatation in comparison with other relaxation techniques.
One of their most striking findings was that while most relaxation techniques require some internal strategy, in contrast floatation uses an environment to induce relaxation without any effort from the individual.
Learn to focus
For those who already have an interest in this area, floating is certainly a great way to help with meditation and learn to focus.
You can experience what it is like to switch off the mind and really be present. This will make it easier for you to do so in your day to day life.
If you practice meditation or mindfulness regularly, we invite you to give it a try while floating. Meditating while being suspended and weightless in the silent darkness could be something very special indeed.
Some people find that their state of mind after floating is similar to after a couple of days on a silent meditation retreat.
We describe the feeling afterwards as the ‘post-float glow’. This blissful feeling can carry onwards and outwards into your life. We will take great care to provide comfortable and relaxed surroundings, to give you a smooth transition back out into the world.
Why not go for a walk among the rich green trees, listen to the birds, and feel the breeze on your face.