Floating for Happiness

happiness hap·​pi·​ness | \ˈha-pē-nəs  \

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Happiness as follows:
a) A state of well-being and contentment
b) A pleasurable or satisfying experience

Shorter days, colder temperatures, busy schedules….. All of these things can chip away at your level of Happiness this time of the year.  But, did you know that floating can give you a happiness boost?

Here are 5 ways that floating can keep you feeling happy this Holly Jolly season:

1.  Happiness has a molecular basis, according to Yale biochemist Philip Applewhite.     The good news is that we can increase the levels of these pleasure-creating neurochemicals through frequent conscious use.  We know that the deep state of relaxation that you reach during a float session causes the body to release endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which contribute to feelings of happiness.   The more frequently you float, the more often your body is producing your happy hormones.

2.  Re-create the feelings of happiness anywhere, any time.    People who float frequently know that ‘sweet spot’ – that feeling of flow and deep relaxation, where your body has disappeared into the nothingness, and you melt into pure bliss.   Brain research suggests that all experiences are stored away in the brain, and we can instantly recall them with the right signal.  This state becomes a clear ‘body memory’ that becomes easier and easier to access both inside and outside the tank.  The float tank is a natural biofeedback machine which allows us to become aware of these states of deep relaxation and remember them clearly. With a little practice, you can recreate this bliss wherever you are.  Try it next time you are in line at the grocery store.  Pause for a second, and revisit those feelings from your last float.

3.  Your body will feel like doing a Happy Dance.  Removing the effect of gravity from a sore and achy body can do wonders.  If you are suffering from chronic pain, recovering from a great work out, or itching to get back out on the slopes ASAP, a float will make your body happy.   The anti-gravity float environment allows your body to relax without any pressure points,  allow easier blood circulation, heightens your body awareness so that you can easily pin point areas where you may be holding tension and more.  Visualize the sore parts of your body releasing and healing, and the total experience can be very powerful.  When your body is happy, chances are your mood will take a great leap up the happiness scale as well.

4.  Take some much-needed ‘ME’ time. Family commitments, work commitments, shopping, baking, visiting, wrapping, and let’s not even mention the crowds – oh my. This time of the year can feel a little bit overwhelming.  A 90 minute reset can provide just the reprieve that you need to let the chaos go, gain some clarity on what is really important, and catch up on some much needed rest.  Some of our customers report some pretty epic naps during their float, leaving them feeling incredibly recharged and refreshed.

5.  Be present and savour the precious moments.   With so many memory-making moments this time of year, isn’t it important to be truly present to enjoy them?  Floating has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression and overwhelm.  Guess what happens when your precious energy is no longer being used to feed the anxiety monster?  You have more energy to focus on the things that matter, like truly connecting with the person you are with, noticing the true beauty of nature, savouring the joy of simply being alive.  It is truly a glorious feeling.

So, if you are looking for a happiness boost that lasts a few days, give us a call at 250-377-7716 or book your appointment online here.

Posted: December 5, 2018 By: Comment: 0

Float Fact – Floating reduces anxiety

At the 2018 float conference in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Justin Feinstein presented results of one of his studies around the impact on floating on anxiety.

His results show that across 50 patients in the study, every single one of them experienced a reduction in anxiety.  The amount of reduction varied from patient to patient, but across the board, everyone reported less anxiety after floating.  He commented that this type of reliability with other other interventions is unheard of.

Don’t take our word, or Dr. Feinstein’s word for it – book your float and see for yourself.

 

For further information on this studies, and other studies on floatation therapy, visit www.clinicalfloatation.com

 

Posted: November 21, 2018 By: Comment: 0

Being Body Aware

 

Over the past week or so, I have had quite a few conversations with customers who are surprised about what their body ‘tells’ them during the float.  Several customers were surprised when their body showed them that the source of pain was actually somewhere slightly different than the area they had been treating through massage or physiotherapy.  The absence of pressure points and gravity, along with the quiet float environment provided the perfect environment for them to really pay attention to their body and the messages that it was sending out.

In his book “The Deep Self”, John C. Lilly describes the body sensation of floating .  “Automatically the body assumes a position in which all sets of agonist/antagonist muscles are precisely balanced, with knees and elbows flexed…. I learned a good deal about my habitual physical tension-patterns and tightness from old injuries from the asymmetry of my body in this relaxed state”

So, we recommend spending a bit of time in your float, deeply listening to your body, sending loving thoughts to the places that need healing and to the parts that help you move through your day.  You may be surprised at what you learn.

Posted: November 3, 2018 By: Comment: 0

How floating can boost your GPA

Back to school, it’s time to hit the books!  Summer is over – back to the big projects at work.  Are you looking for ways to make the most of your hard work?  Here are 5 ways that Floating boosts your GPA and your performance at work.  

1.  Reduce your stress, clear your mind.  With all the projects to complete, pages to read, papers to write, stress is everywhere.  When you are stressed, your brain triggers the release of many neurochemicals like cortisol and adrenalin.  While a little bit of stress can help you ‘get in the zone’ and be super-productive for a short period of time, long periods of stress can lead to an excess of cortisol and other stress hormones.  When cortisol levels are too high, they can impact your memory and hamper your mental performance, hence the saying “stress makes you stupid”.  So, now you can become stressed out and forgetful.  Not a good combination if you are on a deadline.

Floating has been proven to provoke a relaxation response that reduces the levels of cortisol  and other stress hormones in your body, leaving you with a greater ability to focus and concentrate.  Furthermore, floating has been been shown to produce a beneficial ‘maintenance’ response, meaning that your body has a reduced stress response for several days after your float.

So, consider scheduling a float before, during and after your exam period or project completion timeline to boost your retention during studying and preparing, mental performance during the exam or presentation, and a quick recovery after your busy time is over.

2.  Fight that cold  When you are stressed, your body’s immune response can be compromised, leaving you at a greater risk of getting sick.  A head cold is the last thing that you need when you are studying for a big exam!   Floating reduces your stress response which gives your body’s immune response a chance to function at full capacity.  Plus, studies have shown that people who visualize their bodies healing and feeling strong and healthy recover faster .  So, float regularly to reduce stress, and imagine your body being as healthy as possible.  Keep your body healthy to ensure your peak performance!

3.  Recovery from sitting too long. You know that stiff feeling, after you’ve been sitting for a long time.  Muscle tightness, aches and pains are uncomfortable and can be distracting.   Floating effortlessly and feeling weightless for 90 minutes can release muscle tension, reduce aches and pains, and allow for increased circulation to help your body move again.   You can try out the selection of pillows and pool noodles if you find that your body likes to float in a particular position.   Make your body comfortable so that you can focus on studying, not on your sore neck.

4.  Superlearning. There is an increasing amount of science emerging that shows that the greatest amount of learning takes place when the learner’s state of mind is one of deep relaxation combined with mental alertness.  In fact, studies have shown that the deeper the relaxation, the more the student is able to learn.  When you are deeply relaxed, your brain enters the Theta Wave state that is highly conducive to complex learning.  In theta state, the mind is most open to the absorption of new material and most capable of complex thinking and retention of what you have learned.   “A-ha” Moments come when you are in Theta state.  During a float, the absence of distraction also makes the brain even more highly receptive to the information presented to it.

Come in for a float to give your mind to process and absorb all your new knowledge.  Or, if you have a particular audio segment or lecture that you would like to listen to during. your float, let us know and we can set that up for you.

5.  Visualize Success.   If you can imagine ityou can achieve itIf you can dream ityou can become it ~William Arthur Ward

Whether it is success in school, success in sport, or success in the workplace, there is mounting evidence supporting the powerful nature of visualization.  The more clearly you can see a situation in your mind’s eye, the more possibility it has of becoming real.    The subconscious mind tends to accept vividly imagined scenarios as real. By accepting a positive experience as real, or that it has already happened, you can spend your energy pursuing the goal instead of playing ‘what-if’.  If you are visualizing a pleasant experience, like success in an exam, your brain automatically responds by releasing feel good neurochemicals like endorphins.   The effect of your feel-good neurochemicals can also last for several days after your float, helping you to maintain a sense of clear-headed calm.

Try this out during your next float – picture success, and soak it in (literally).    How does your success feel, what does it look like, what are the sights, sounds and smells that come with success.  Play it out during your float, and watch it come to life at the exam.

So, give these strategies a try during your school year, and let us know how they go!

Posted: September 21, 2018 By: Comment: 0

Want to improve your golf game?

Float Fact:  Want to take strokes off your golf game?

A commonly known benefit of floating is pain relief.  However, did you know that floating can also help you take strokes off your golf game?

Athletic performance has two major components – physical and mental.  Floating in the anti-gravity and magnesium rich environment makes your body feel pretty amazing after 90 minutes, so you can get out there doing what you love even faster.

The mental part of floating – visualization – can have an even greater impact on your game.  Playing the course in your head, imagining yourself making every shot easily.  Seeing the ball fly further and straighter.  Feeling how your body moves effortlessly through the stroke.  Seeing yourself sink the perfect putt for your best round ever.

Studies have shown that athletes who visualize success have a slight improvement in their game.  However, athletes who visualize and mentally experience the entire physical process of the game improved their performance dramatically.  Floating promotes the generation of large amounts of slow Theta brain waves, which are directly linked to the production of mental images of uncanny power and reality.  *

Come in and play a round here before heading out to the course and see for yourself!

 

(*Taken from “The Book of Floating, Michael Hutchison, pg 173,175)

 

 

Posted: June 7, 2018 By: Comment: 0

Tip from The Tank – Jan 2018

TIPS FROM THE TANK – water temperature

As you know, water temperature in a float environment is an important part of the experience.  The idea is to have the water at skin temperature so that your body can ‘disappear’ into the water.   We set the water temperature around 94.9 F – a temperature where we find most people are comfortable – but we totally recognize that temperature is a personal thing. We do find that the seasons affect floaters’ perception of temperature, so as a rule of thumb, we usually make some adjustments for the seasons as well.

Here are some tips to help you feel the most comfortable while floating:

1.  If you know that you naturally run hot or cold, we may need to adjust the temperature for you a little bit.  Simply let us know if you need us to make an adjustment, and we will keep a note on your file.   Sometimes a point or two can make the world of difference.

2.  Reduce the temperature of your pre-float shower a little bit.  By more closely matching the temperature of your shower to the temperature of the float environment, the transition is so much easier.

3.  Find a comfortable body position and stay as still as possible during your float.  The air temperature and the water temperature in our float cabins are slightly different.  So, every time you move, your skin adjusts to the water and air temperatures.  So, if can find a comfortable position and stay there as long as possible, you will probably find that you feel warmer.

Hope these help!

Posted: May 11, 2018 By: Comment: 0

Float Fact – March 2018


Movies like Stranger Things and Altered States feature floating, in its not-so-relaxing and not-so-appealing forms.  Have you ever wondered where this amazing therapy started??

In the early 1950’s, Dr. John C. Lilly, a MD with training as a psychoanalyst and specialist in experimental neurophysiology set out to study areas of neuropsychology.  He reasoned that the best way to study the brain/mind was to isolate it from external stimulation.  At this time, there were two main schools of thought about brain activity.  The first school of thought was that the brain needed external stimulation to remain conscious, and that sleep resulted as soon as the brain was free of this external stimulation.   The second school of thought was that the brain’s natural cellular circuitry was autorhythmic and continue without any external stimulation.

He started his study of sensory deprivation in a tank constructed during WWII for experiments by the navy on the metabolism of underwater swimmers.  This tank had the floater suspended upright, entirely underwater, head covered by a breathing apparatus and mask.

During his initial experiments, he described what happened to our minds and bodies when categories of external stimulation were eliminated:

People – There are no other people in your float tank, so there is no need to worry about social roles, or what you look like.  You can be free from any expectation of others in a float tank.

Light –  A large portion of our cerebral cortex is given over to visual processing.  When we eliminate light from our environment, our ‘biocomputer’ continues to generate ‘visual displays’, presumably from stored memories.

Sound – Like light, when external sound is eliminated, the internal ‘biocomputer’ fills the acoustic sphere with information.  He called these internal sounds ‘sonic displays’.

Gravity – In our everyday activities, and below our level of awareness, we are constantly computing the direction of gravity.  Floating in water distributes the countergravity pressure over a maximum possible area, therefore reducing this source of stimulation.

Temperature – In everyday life, our skin is stimulated by changes in heat, humidity, clothing.  Changes in temperature and heat flow are powerful programmers for our state of well-being.

It is interesting to note, that in the mid-1950’s, the thinking was that sensory deprivation was a road to ‘madness’.  Instead, what Dr. Lilly found was a ‘richly elaborate state of inner experience’.  “This environment furnished the most profound relaxation and rest that he had ever experienced in his whole life”.  Within a few hours of his first satisfactory float, he was able to scientifically conclude which school of thought was correct – that the brain was indeed able to sustain itself in the absence of external stimuli.

Dr. Lilly continued his work to develop much more user-friendly float environments that are the basis of the float tanks that we know and love today.

Next time you are in to the shop, feel free to browse our sources of information for this article – “Centre of the Cyclone” and “The Deep Self”, by Dr Lilly as well as “The Book of Floating” by Michael Hutchinson.

Posted: May 11, 2018 By: Comment: 0

So, what are Theta waves anyway?

I am writing this on a foggy, grey day in January, which today is also being called “blue monday”. The combination of the weather, the lack of sunlight, the reality of your new years resolutions, and credit card bills coming in all have a profound effect on your mood this time of the year . So, if you are feeling a little ‘off’ or are experiencing increased feelings of anxiety or depression, this could be why. I know that I am definitely feeling it.

So, I am here to explain how floating can help!!

Stress, depression, anxiety all stem from your brain chemistry. When you are stressed or anxious, your brain produces particular neurotransmitters and hormones like Adrenaline and Cortisol and ACTH. Most of us have heard of the ‘fight or flight’ stress response, but the same response can also be triggered with feelings of helplessness or frustration.

When you float, you enter the deeply relaxed and meditative state. This is amazing for your body to feel refreshed and reset, but it also does great things with your brain.
Emerging science shows that floating has a significant decrease on pituitary / adrenal activity by sharply reducing the biochemicals associated with stress and anxiety – so reduces the adrenaline and cortisol. Some studies have shown that cortisol levels are reduced for up to 5 days after floating. More studies have shown a very distinct improvement in mood and feelings of well being post-float. So, not only does floating have a positive impact on your brain chemistry, but it can also interrupt the cycle of depression or anxiety long enough so that you can get a toe hold and work your way out of the bad state of mind.

Also, when you are deeply relaxed, your brain releases the desirable neurotransmitters and hormones like endorphins that make you feel so good.

I have definitely increased my floating frequency lately, trying to climb out of this funk. One technique that I have been using to help me relax into my float is to start with a list of things that I am grateful for. I think of what I am grateful for, then I pause for a few minutes and really focus on the feeling of it . It normally makes me cry, but they are all good tears. Plus, I just tell people that I got salt in my eye ….

I would love to hear in the comments below some of the tips and tricks that you have for staying positive in this not-so-nice time of year.

So, if you are in a funk , call us today or visit us online at blissfloatcentre.ca to book your float today.