When I was given the opportunity to try a floating session at the Zen West Float Center, I was very excited. I had floated at a center in Grass Valley (California) before, and had really enjoyed the experience. I remembered how calm and relaxed I had felt after completing that session. It was like waking up in the morning, feeling alert and at peace with yourself and the world.
So what is “floating” anyway? Basically, the concept is that a “giant tub” sized environment is filled with warm water, and so much salt is dissolved in the water that your body remains naturally buoyant and suspended. It requires a little bit of faith, entrusting that the water will hold you. And it will, since you cannot sink. The tub area is completely dark to prevent your body from accepting more sensory input. When this happens, your body naturally enters a regenerative state, also called homeostasis. Some people say this is when you experience Theta brain waves, which is a natural state we enter when going to sleep or entering meditation. Both are very relaxing states, and are regenerative to the mind and body, even though you are mentally “awake”.
Upon the day of my appointment, I entered the Center, and was greeted by crystals, pictures of nature, and relaxing music. The office interior was tastefully decorated in a well balanced and calming manner. I was impressed with the layout and attention to the Feng Shui details. I could not have asked for a more welcoming environment before beginning my float.
Before entering the “tank”, Keith sat down with me and talked about what I should expect during my float. The idea is to not to anticipate anything, because everyone’s experience is different. The one common thing that everyone usually experiences after a floating session is feeling more relaxed, calm, and centered. You may feel “spacey”, but I don’t think that’s because you feel “disconnected” from reality. I think it’s more because we are all used to carrying our worries and cares with us; and after a floating session, you feel more free, because (temporarily) those cares are either gone, or don’t feel as important. You may find people commenting on how much calmer you seem to be after a session.
I was given a pair of earplugs, which really fascinated me. I generally don’t like earplugs, but these were made of some form of clay that you roll into a ball, and then put into your ear. The soft, pliable material naturally contours to the shape of your ear canal, making it more universal and effective than conventional earplugs. I actually enjoyed wearing them!
I was really impressed with the size of the tank. I could actually stand up (being 6 feet tall) and still have about 4 inches to spare. The tank at the center in California didn’t have anywhere near this much space. It took me about a minute to get situated, since every movement in the water is multiplied, and it was a little challenging getting my body to remain stationary. When your body encounters one of the tub walls, your first reaction is to push your body away from it. I highly recommend just TOUCHING the walls, since the momentum of a push has a much greater effect in the reduced resistance of the salt-water environment. Also, be aware that rubbing your eyes will cause them to sting, since there is so much salt content in the water.
The session started with relaxing music channeled via speakers located inside the tub. I was told that it was a chakra rebalancing CD using singing bowls and Tibetan chants. I don’t normally listen to that type of music, but found it fascinating and relaxing. During my float, I felt very calm, comfortable, and supported. There was a point halfway through the session, where my mind “got bored” and I almost sat up to stretch. I told myself that this was a natural reaction, and encouraged my mind to relax and focus on something else. Since there is no sensory input, your mind is more powerful during this time, which makes it great for meditation or visualization. If you believe in the Law of Attraction, I would think this would be a great time to imagine your perfect life, since there are fewer distractions, making the visualization more effective.
I was slightly disappointed when the CD returned, informing me that my time was complete, and guided me back into the “real world”. There was a private shower adjacent to the tank for washing off the salt water, and get the added benefit of negative ions, creating positive vibes while coming back into your body. After the session, Keith sat down with me to talk about my float, which I really enjoyed.
I felt this whole experience was a very positive one, and look forward to returning. I highly recommend any interested readers to take advantage of this Center and what it has to offer. You will be glad you did!
Zenwest Floatation Center
130 A Street Suite 2
Ashland‚ Oregon 97520