Why do float pods work?
Float pods, or sensory deprivation tanks, have been around for a while now. We even have a great float spa here in Effingham! The tanks are silent enough to hear your own heart beating. You are meant to lay still in darkness, suspended in salty water set to match your internal body temperature.
I went for a two hour float this week. I was hoping it would help pull me out of my latest energy slump. My home life has been a bit hectic since my third child was born four months ago. I have been feeling overwhelmed and with that I've been questioning everything in my life in search of balance. It’s classic mommy-blues type stuff, combined with middle-aged angst and of course the tense state of the world at large. It gets to be a lot on a person, so I knew I needed to get out and find a change. The float gift card I got for Christmas seemed like the thing to do.
I was worried I’d have a hard time relaxing (it's not often I get two hours completely to myself!), but that wasn’t the case at all. My Yoga practice for a better part of the past 7 years has been training me to get more and more comfortable with stillness, silence, and being with my Self. During my two hour journey I really felt like I connected with my Soul. It was a spiritual experience and has definitely ignited a shift for me this week.
But, how does floating in a dark bowl of salty water help us meet our selves in this spiritual place? How does it even help us heal, reduce stress, and all the other benefits? My best educated guess is it has something to do with how it impacts our brains.
When our neurons fire to communicate with one another they send out electrical impulses. When we measure these brain currents we see them as different wavelengths. There have been five brainwave states observed and measured by researchers. They have learned that most of us spend a lot of time in Beta brainwave state. This is great for problem solving, focus, and communicating and a lot of other things we need to do on a regular basis.
The problem is that we we spend too much time in that state and we become overstimulated. Then, we have trouble focusing and start to feel stress and burnout. Everything is connected. Our brainwaves directly impact our mood. If we never shift into a slower, deeper brain wave pattern it is hard for our bodies to produce the right hormone concoctions to keep us feeling balanced and well.
In my case, I was stuck in beta brainwaves and it was making me miserable. The misery is important. I felt it guiding me in the direction of change. I had to DO something about it. The funny thing is, the thing I needed to do was NOTHING. Yep, just nothing, for two solid hours, except lay there and LET myself heal.
Activities like float pods and sound healing work because they help us shift from beta to theta state. This is a state of deep relaxation. The mind actually slows down and the body shifts energy to autonomic functioning, which is the state of replenishing cells and bodily systems.
In Theta state our brains are fully active, both hemispheres of the brain become synchronized. We enter a state of heightened intuition, inspiration, and spiritual connection. As our brainwaves slow down we feel more calm. Our creativity returns. Our sense of being fully embodied, feeling the connection of body and soul. When we avoid entering Theta state (or simply forget to make time for it) we lose the opportunity to deeply connect to our Being. We miss out on the chance to sense our higher selves and a feeling of oneness with Creation.
Does one float change your life forever? Nope. But it can help you shift and remind you how powerful shifting your level of consciousness can be. I would argue that this is in fact a VITAL part of self care for the modern human.
So, have I convinced you to go try and find yourself in a float pod? Or maybe just take a long walk in the woods? Or come to a sound healing session? I hope so, because you might just remember who you are if you take the time to retreat into yourself for a solid hour or two.
By: Kaycie Metzelaars