Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer
Imagine yourself effortlessly floating in water that's about
93.5 degrees F--not too hot, not too cold. You're in total
darkness. All is silent except for the comforting sounds of your
own breathing. In this pleasurable and totally stress-free
environment, every muscle feels deeply relaxed. Your thoughts
wander, but you don't really think about much of anything.
What you're experiencing is R.E.S.T. (Restricted Environmental
Stimulation Therapy)--more commonly known as flotation therapy.
In this stimulus-free setting, your heart and breathing slow
down, muscle tension dissolves, and stressful feelings disappear.
To achieve this state of bliss, all you have to do is sign up for
a session in a float tank at a flotation center. The tank is
slightly longer than a bathtub and contains very salty water that
allows you to effortlessly float on your back. Some tanks have no
lighting or sound; others are in a room that is dimly lit and has
recorded music of your choice piped in. Float sessions last for
an hour or so.
Flotation has benefits other than reducing stress.
instructional tapes while floating can sharpen learning skills.
Flotation can help
to control blood pressure.
sessions can help to alleviate arthritic pain, other types of
and nausea resulting
Note: Flotation may not be appropriate for everyone.
Anyone who is being treated for a mental health problem should
check with his or her therapist before considering flotation