Invented in the mid 1950's by neuro-scientist Dr. John Lilly, floatation therapy tanks were originally named "sensory deprivation tanks," and sometimes "isolation tanks." Over the years the name was changed to float tanks or floatation therapy tanks.
Although floating was invented in the United States, it has grown quickly over the past two decades in Europe. You can now easily float around the world.
Floatation therapy is based on a scientific approach to deep relaxation called Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique or R.E.S.T. for short. The idea was developed in 1954 at NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) in Washington. Floating in a floatation tank triggers a deep relaxation response, much deeper than normal sleep. It enables us to drift into the elusive Theta state, which is hard to achieve.
Floatation REST has many physical and mental benefits because it provides an unparalleled level of relaxation. With the elimination of external stimuli, the central nervous system's workload is reduced by as much as 90%. This reduction draws a person's energy inward and promotes relaxation--also known as the parasympathetic response. The parasympathetic response is the mechanism by which the body naturally regenerates itself and maintains chemical and metabolic balance. Old wounds and injuries are allowed to heal faster. Increased T-cell production strengthens the immune system. This deep level of relaxation also benefits the cardiovascular system. Known as the vasodilatory effect, the body's circulation is increased while the blood pressure and heart rate are reduced. Furthermore, the elimination of gravity on the body allows muscles and joints to release tension and heal more rapidly. For this reason, people suffering from musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions greatly benefit from Floatation REST.
The "Brain Wave Explanation" by Michael Hutchison best describes what happens to us at each of the 4 stages of brainwave frequency. Floating subtly changes our body chemistry, creating profound benefit for an individual's emotional balance. Negative emotions such as anxiety and fear are replaced by positive feelings of empowerment, confidence, and well-being.
As a person floats, the brain waves slow down into theta frequencies, a state of tranquility, creativity and very deep relaxation. Theta waves, measured at 4-7 Hz, represent the brain in a state of REM sleep (dreams), hypnosis, or lucid dreaming. Theta is the twilight state just before sleeping and just after waking, the border between the conscious and the subconscious world. By learning to consciously use a conscious, waking Theta brain wave we can access and influence the powerful subconscious part of ourselves that is normally inaccessible to our waking minds. While in the Theta state, the mind is capable of deep and profound learning, healing, and personal growth.
Pioneers in the development and study of floatation tank therapy
In 1954 neuro-scientist John Lilly, MD invented the first Sensory Deprivation tank, to access a range of higher brain functions, meditation & healing. Find out more about Dr. Lilly at http://www.johnclilly.com/
Michael Hutchison wrote the very informative The Book of Floating.
Approximately 40% of the population spends some amount of time taking positive care of themselves, whether it’s through hitting your favorite local Yoga studio or utilizing the powerful tool of mindful meditation. Doing something positive for your mind and body is truly priceless. It's time to unplug, turn off the smart phone, and just be in the moment.
Floatation therapy requires only 10 minutes of training, you simply need to be able to shower and get in and out of the tank to receive an enormous amount of benefits. The benefits of floatation therapy can be enjoyed by anyone over the age of 18.
Floating in a floatation tank creates a level of virtual weightlessness, removes external physical stimuli, (sensory deprivation) and allows your mind to drift into the deepest possible level of sensory relaxation. After an hour in the floatation tank you'll feel positively refreshed, rejuvenated and calm. Floatation tank therapy results in ultimate stress reduction that improves the immune system. Floating slows down your heart rate, brain waves and slightly lowers your blood pressure. Floating helps remove toxins from the body, and reduces your cortisol level and increases circulation. In addition, Epsom salt has been used for centuries for its many healing properties.
Lucid dreaming is the conscious perception of one's state while dreaming, resulting in a much clearer experience and sometimes enabling direct control over the content of the dream. In other words, dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming, you are in the driver's seat.
Lucid dreaming takes place during the REM sleep cycle—the final cycle of sleep before waking, when most dreams occur. But the brain behaves a little differently during a lucid dream: during a Frankfurt University study, EEG recordings of six experienced lucid dreamers revealed that lucid dreaming “constitutes a hybrid state of consciousness with definable and measurable differences from waking and from REM sleep”.
Indeed, float therapy can aid the pursuit of lucid dreams even during regular sleep (i.e., not in the tank). For lucid dreaming, being able to reliably enter the REM state is crucial—and flotation therapy helps individuals who may struggle with insomnia or disrupted sleep experience REM more consistently.
Athletes have used flotation tanks since the 80's, to enhance performance, aid in speed healing and recovery from physical activity and injury.
Visualization is enhanced in the tank, this can allow athletes to focus, and better prepare for an upcoming event.
Coach Thomas Weatherspoon, CEO of Training Ground has been training professional athletes, including NFL players for the past 18 years. He uses floatation therapy to increase mental clarity and become more focused, in order to enhance athletic performance.
Increases endorphin levels that can last up to a week, this is ideal for managing chronic pain.
Reduction of lactic acid (a toxic by-product of anaerobic glycolysis) in the muscles caused by over training. Floatation therapy will allow you to recover in record rate.
Within as little as 15 minutes, floating can induce a meditative state equivalent to that of a skilled mediator with many years of experience in meditation technique.
Floating can be passive or active, depending on the purpose. For relaxation, one simply floats and 'clears the mind.' Active floating has many different techniques. One may perform meditation, mantras, self-hypnosis, utilize educational programs, etc. The idea of active floating is that, when the body is relaxed, the mind becomes highly suggestible, and any action taken during these states will enter the information into the sub-conscious.
Floating is one of the only forms of treatment that eliminates all weight from your joints, bones, and muscle tissue. It is one of the most effective, natural ways to provide pain relief and support healing in a number of conditions including:
WELCOME to ZEN Natural Wellness
Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your first float. Our knowledgeable staff will introduce you to our facility and give you a brief orientation to prepare you for your float. Before you float, we have a few guidelines that will make your experience more comfortable:
PRO FLOAT CABINS
Our Float Cabins are perfect for those who want a bit of extra space. With high ceilings and easy access, beginner floaters who might be a bit claustrophobic have nothing to worry about.
The Float Cabin features a spacious entry door, a beautiful white interior with a high ceiling, client-controlled LED, underwater color light therapy, and sparkling-clean water.
Our float cabins are also known as a traditional model of an isolation tank. Without the light, it is a lightless, soundproof tank, allowing you to experience true R.E.S.T (Restricted External Stimulus Therapy) and truly enjoy being unplugged.
The cabin door is set about 22” from the ground at an angle, making it easy to step in and out of. The door handles are located both inside and outside for your convenience.
After the pre-float orientation, the ZEN Natural Wellness staff will take you to your own private Float Room. (Please remember to lock the door from the inside.) The room has a high quality shower. It is important to shower pre and post float. The pre-float shower ensures the quality of the Float Tank water stays pristine. Showering and rinsing your hair removes oils and contaminants from your body. Showering post float helps remove the Epsom Salt from your hair and body.
We provide the following:
You can expect to be in the float room for about an hour and a half*, typically, during which you may choose to relax and clear your mind, or actively float with meditation or other mental techniques. Either way, flotation therapy will offer you various benefits.
*90 minutes includes float and shower time. The FLOAT time is 75 minutes plus and additional 15 minutes for pre-float and post float shower.
The water will be a comfortable temperature, heated to match the temperature of your skin. This helps the feeling of being in water fade away as you become still. Salt makes the water incredibly buoyant so there will be no pressure on your body at all. This frees your body and mind from sensory input so you are truly able to relax. Breathe and relax. Let go of any racing thoughts. This may take a while. Muscles may ache as they relax, this is normal. It becomes easier with each additional float.
You can position your arms either above or below your head. Find the position that feels more comfortable to you. Avoid touching your face and eyes. Epsom salt will sting. Use the small hand towel provided to wipe the water from your face.
Relax Post float. Give yourself time to enjoy your post-float experience. Sit and relax with a Water in our Lobby area. Our staff are there to talk about your experience if you want to share or write it in our Salty ZEN Journal.
Whether you are interested in float therapy for the mental benefits, or to help treat bodily issues like migraines, arthritis, or other pain, it is certainly worth trying! Once you have stepped into the world of float therapy you will understand why so many others are visiting float tanks in Vancouver, and it might just become a part of your regular routine
Although the owners of ZEN Natural Wellness purchased the FLOATHOUSE Abbotsford Assets only, they agreed to honour the monetary value of valid Float House Abbotsford Gift Cards for a limited time only. (Only Float House Abbotsford gift cards will be accepted.)
Each gift card and scenario will be slightly different, and we ask for your patience during this transition period.
Gift card value can be used towards any ZEN Services or ZEN Retail products. (Some restrictions may apply.)
Monthly memberships: Effective November 1st, 2022 all monthly memberships will automatically rollover from FloatHouse Abbotsford to ZEN Natural Wellness.
Packages and sessions: All valid (non-expired) Float sessions that are currently on file at Float House Abbotsford will continue to be honoured by ZEN Natural Wellness.
We encourage all Float house clients to come in for a tour of the ZEN Natural Wellness Centre and book a wellness session. Some of the new products and services offered will include:
· Halotherapy (Dry Salt Therapy)
· Float Therapy
· Infrared Sauna
· Red Light Therapy
· Himalayan Salt Lamps
· ZEN Epsom Salt Soaks
· ZEN Essential oils
· ZEN Kids Bath Fizz
Float Therapy is an effective method of relaxation and stress relief. Each Float Tank or cabin has around 10" of water mixed with 800 - 1000 lbs of pure Epsom salt, creating buoyant water for you to float in. The water is heated to skin temperature (around 93.5 F). Once you settle into your float, it becomes difficult to distinguish which parts of your body are in contact with the water and which aren't.
Your senses are void from input, therefore the tank or cabin is sometimes referred to as a sensory deprivation tank. However, you may notice your senses go into hyperdrive while floating right down to hearing yourself blink, which makes for a pretty amazing experience.
Floating provides a plethora of benefits for your mind, body and spirit including stress and anxiety relief, deep relaxation, meditation, pain management, sports and injury recovery. It also enhances creativity, improves sleep and boosts athletic performance.
No, float therapy was invented in 1954 by a physician, John C. Lilly at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the effects of sensory deprivation on the mind.
The Float Research Collective, led by Dr. Justin Feinstein , continue to study the benefits of Floatation Therapy. Its mission is to establish worldwide acceptance for Floatation-REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) as a treatment to naturally relieve pain, stress, anxiety and other related conditions.
While it is safe to float everyday, we find the relaxing effects of Floating can last up to a week. For best results, we often recommend regular sessions, and many clients find floating once or twice per week the most beneficial.
The answer is nothing. Since you are in a private environment where you are required to shower before and after your float, there is no clothing or bathing suits required. Anything you wear will press against your body, becoming a distraction.
Every week we perform a very in-depth maintenance of our facilities focusing on our tanks.
We add fresh epsom salt and water, with the entire volume being replaced over a period of 10 weeks. Between the super-concentrated salt solution, an approved oxidizing agent (bromine), a UV light disinfectant filter, and 10-micron cartridge filter, these are probably the cleanest recreational water sources you’ll encounter!
The water is fully filtered several times between each float, passing through a 10-micron caliber filter. The Epsom salts are a natural disinfectant and are at an extremely high amount. We are also required to put a minimal amount of a disinfectant (bromine) by health authorities, however with that said, you will not smell like you just came out of a public swimming pool.
We don’t know what it will be like for you since it is such an individual experience. Nearly every customer reports having profound peace and relaxation, deep concentration and creativity. We like to avoid saying too much before people use the tank, so that they aren’t influenced by what someone else says. Not only will it be different for you than it is for anyone else, it will be different each time.
Yes, however we recommend Floatation Therapy for pregnant women within the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, and only after a medical clearance from your doctor. Floatation therapy can offer a brilliant level of relaxation, and pain relief not found outside of the tank.
Floatation Therapy allows you to escape the added weight of pregnancy by floating in a weightless environment, thus taking the strain off the body and spine. It promotes excellent sleep, a lovely sense of well-being, and can help with all the aches and pains normally associated with pregnancy.
Floating in a floatation tank can help the pregnant mom to be, literally float through the pregnancy with a level of calm and comfort, and the Epsom salt solution will decrease inflammation and the pregnant mom will absorb lots of magnesium from the solution in the float tank.
There is often a comment about the 'mirror effect' of the baby floating in the womb of the mother, and the mother floating in the womb of the tank and the spiritual/communal pleasure for the mother in this regard, deepening her connection with her baby.
In the third trimester of pregnancy you are the most uncomfortable. You have all this pressure on your lungs, and organs, you may have trouble breathing and sleeping. Imagine if you will a brief respite. If we evolved from the sea it only makes sense to use floatation therapy to draw comfort, we are 80% water after all.
You can get out anytime. There aren’t any latches on the tank doors and you control your experience, that said, the 75-minutes usually go by quite quickly. Also it takes the mind and body time for some to completely relax and go into deeper states. It is not instantaneous and giving a longer exposure to the sensory reduced environment is the best medicine to dramatically calm the central nervous system.
If you do exit your session early, please be mindful of others who may still be floating.
Although it doesn't happen often, if it does it will sting. If this happens, we recommend you open the Float Tank door, grab a towel, dab the salt water off, then get back in the tank. If this does not help, take a shower to rinse the salt out of your eyes, then continue your float.
We don't recommend it as it can be extremely uncomfortable and distracting. Please call us to reschedule your session. This coming from the female owner of ZEN and a frequent floater. Trust me ladies...
We will not allow you to float if you:
We expect you to inform us of any conditions for your own safety and the safety of other floaters! We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone at any time.
Being in the float tanks is more like floating in outer space than being shut in a box. You are always in control of your environment, and even people with extreme claustrophobia have reported having no problems with their time in the tank. Giving yourself what you need, being compassionate, and remembering you can exit at any time. We suggest for those apprehensive to start with some calming, welcoming, non-word based music to start the float.
It is nearly impossible to drown in the float tank. Since you are floating you do not need to know how to swim. The water is only about 10″ deep and has a very very high density of salt. This water is buoyant and will support you regardless of your size or weight. Since the water is pushing you to the surface, rolling over requires conscious effort, unlike in your bed. IF you were to manage to turn over, the salt in the water would sting your eyes and wake you. Additionally, it’s not dangerous to fall asleep in the tank. Some people even use floating for this purpose! One hour of sleep in the tank is roughly equivalent to 4 hours of regular sleep.
On November 1st, 2022 ZEN Natural Wellness became the new owners of the FloatHouse Abbotsford assets and location.
Services at this location still include Float Therapy and Infrared Sauna, with the addition of other wellness services.
Although there is no longer a FloatHouse in Abbotsford, there are still several locations throughout the lower mainland and Vancouver Island.
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