Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Floating to Escape

Today I experienced something completely new. I went to the East Bay to experiment with floating. Floating is a relaxation therapy that helps to relieve stress and pain, promote creativity, sharpen senses, and it is a way to escape for an hour from the world.

I went to The Float Center to interview the owner and pick her brain about what exactly floating is. She talked me in to talking a dive and experiencing it first hand.

First you take a shower to remove all of the excess oil from your body and hair. Then you put on a robe and head to the floating room, which was a typical room, but there was a huge space craft looking object in the middle of it: the float tank.

The float tank is probably 10 by 6 feet. It is a rectangular box that has a door at one end, which is where you step into. The inside of the float tank is pitch black and filled with about 10 inches of highly dense salt water.

Once I got into the tank, I lied down in the salty water. The water felt thicker than drinking water and had a slippery gooey feel to it.

I shut my eyes as my body lifted to the top of the water: I was floating. I tried to relax myself and quiet my thoughts. But I couldn't. I continued to hush my stream of thoughts for a few minutes. By this point my body was twitching a little because my relaxation was getting deeper.

I could feel every inch of my body and no part of my body at the same time. I was weight less and I felt like I was drifting into outer space. Once in a while my finger tips would hit the side of the tank and my body would feel like it was slowly spinning in spirals. Or my feet would touch the bottom of the tank and I would suddenly be cruising upward.

I decided that maybe I should picture a peaceful image to further my relaxation. I saw the sky, I saw a light blue sky with small fluffy clouds passing by my eyelids. The clouds turned into stars that turned into bridges that turned into lights. I opened my eyes and the small twinkling lights were still there.

I closed and opened my eyes again. The images didn't go away. For a minute I thought maybe I had been slipped a little something in my tea, but quickly dismissed that idea. I closed my eyes and let the salt water wash over me as a enjoyed my floating visuals. And somewhere in between my spiraling into space and floating hallucinations I fell asleep.

It was a awaking sleep. Barely sleeping, but fully relaxed, with my thoughts and anxiety dissolving in front of me. Time passed.

I suddenly sat up and found myself in a box of darkness, naked, and wet. My heart started racing until my mind caught up with my body and I realized where I was. I felt for the door and lifted myself out of the tank. I was shaking from the experience I had just had. I took a few minutes to catch my breath. As I toweled off I realized how mellow I felt. All of my muscles were calm and my aches had disappeared. I was totally relaxed, which is the point of floating.

I had achieved one of the deepest relaxation experience a person can get from floating I had fallen asleep. Through my floating acid trip through space I achieved complete relaxation.

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