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Northwest Floatation Center

The Science Behind REST and Float Tanks

The Science Behind REST and Float Tanks

Sensory deprivation tanks today are featured on popular media and are being used more frequently by average people looking to relieve stress, pain, and other chronic ailments. How did floatation therapy come into being? How does it work?

The first sensory deprivation tank was created by neuroscientist John C. Lilly. He was curious about what the effects the elimination of external stimulus would have on the mind. An LSD enthusiastic who believed in creatures from other dimensions, he had some particular expectations on the effects the tank would yield. This first tank had 160 gallons of water, and participants were submerged completely from the neck down. They wore a “blackout” mask to eliminate any light pollution. The temperature of the air and the water were tightly controlled to be the same as average skin at 34 degrees Celsius.

The tanks eventually morphed to become more like what they are today. The masks were done away with, and rather than facilitating complete submersion, newer tanks contained a high concentration of dissolved Epsom salts, allowing participants to float easily.

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An Introduction from Sweden

 

An Introduction from Sweden

Published by Anu Enok and Catharina Jacobsson on January 22, 2013

swedish-floatation-associationLooking back, I realize that I’ve been a ”seeker” most of my life. I have always ”wanted to know what to find around the next corner”, which means I have tried a lot of things. I have been mixing jobs and studies. I have studied different stuff like market economy, relaxation pedagogy, different kinds of handicraft. I worked as a teacher, a secretary, a silver smith, and a project manager at an advertising agency (in which I was also part owner). 10 years ago my ”seeking” partially stopped.

I ran into a friend who had been to Stockholm to float. ”What’s that”, I asked. She told me, and I got stuck. I quit the advertising agency and started my own business with two floating tanks. During these 10 years I’ve been one of the founders of the Swedish Floatation Association. Being a member of the board I also helped starting the first education in the world for the floating business. I’m definitely no expert on anything, but with my multicolored background, I can say I know a little about a lot, and after my 10 years with floating I hope to be able to contribute with my experience and the work we do within the Swedish Floatation Association.

I will discuss the different topics with Catharina and we will answer as ”one mouth”, as representatives from the SFA. Sometimes it might happen that I will give a personal opinion as well. 

I am an economist and wellness consultant with specialization in mental training. I have not managed to try as many jobs as my colleague Anu. Athletics and health have always been close to my heart. After having been a regular floating customer for many years, I decided to start my own business with the vision to combine floating and mental training, for those who wish, a way to achieve a better "flow" in everyday life or enhanced performance of athletes. 

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Float Tanks Solutions

An Autobiography of Floataway

An Autobiography of Floataway

Published by Colin Stanwell-Smith on January 25, 2013

floatawayI was always interested in making things and taking things apart. So after A levels in Physics, Chemistry and Maths, I chose Mechanical Engineering at Bristol University, UK, My first floating experience was in an inflatable toy boat before I could swim, and it was another forty years before I made my own float tank.

In the meantime I invented a whole lot of things for other people as a consultant in Europe.  These went from toys to nuclear bits and pieces.  For example I invented a better filter coffee machine, an electron beam recording machine (the forerunner of the CD), an award winning range of wheeled steel containers, the current BT coin accepting telephone, stuff like that.  My apprenticeship was firstly in Aircraft during the development of Concorde and then in a major consultancy where I became chairman of senior consultants and promptly left to do my own thing.

For a while I lectured on Newtonian mechanics, design, production and materials at Brunel University.

I read John Lilly, "Centre of the Cyclone" some time around 1976  but it was not until I was asked to make a float pool in a suitcase to use in hotels that I really latched onto floating.  It was of course a crazy idea but I realised the products around then were, what shall I say, not really designed to appeal to the eye.  By that time I had experience not only of production engineering but also product design and I felt I could contribute.  When the time came for me to take the plunge into having my own product, in 1999, the float tank was my goal.  I wanted a niche product, ethical, possible for a one man band and fun to design.  With my wife Gini we sold the first one at the start of the millenium having literally hand made all the patterns, it is now called the Tranquility and we still sell it today.

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Float Tanks Solutions

A Little Past - History of Floatation from Glenn Perry

A Little Past

Published by Glenn Perry on January 20, 2013

In the late 1960's, I was a systems computer programmer. At one point, I was in a department with just two other people. If I went down to the cafeteria with one of them, I would talk. But if I went down with both of them, I was too shy, and I would be silent.

In 1972, someone at work recommended John Lilly's"Center of the Cyclone". I was so impressed with it that, a short while later, when I saw an ad for a 5 day workshop he was giving, I immediately signed up.

There were 8 of us and we were each able to use a makeshift tank that was there. That first morning I used it. I came out to a scintillating, vibrant, energy universe. My senses were heightened and my sense of time was distorted. I was in a very unusual altered state. It was fantastic and I felt incredible.

Then after lunch, John asked me to share my experience. I did so and found something even more incredible. I was comfortable. I was actually comfortable talking in front of a group of people. Now, that was significant.

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