Origins of Floatation
In 1954, physician, neuroscientist and psychoanalyst Dr. John C. Lilly devised the floatation tank as part of his research at the National Institute of Mental Health. He was testing the premise that mental activity would cease in the absence of external stimuli. He found floating to be profoundly relaxing, and that it facilitated the discovery of richly elaborate states of inner experience. Since then, many people have discovered the multiple benefits of floating.
With more study and use by both researchers and the public, the initial terminology for floatation, sensory deprivation, was changed to Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy. With this change and the research that followed has come a greatly enhanced understanding of the many benefits for those who practice floatation. A great volume of published work continues to show improvements for users in managing stress, lowering blood pressure, reducing the presence of stress-related chemicals in the bloodstream, ceasing addictions, controlling chronic pain, and enhancing creativity, among other known benefits.
Such studies and their results merely confirm what veteran floaters have known for years—the practice of floating in warm salt water in a quiet, dark place does good things for one’s mind and one’s body. This realization has resulted in float centers forming in all parts of the world, and many more float tanks being installed and used in private homes. Floating is a natural, healthy way to relax and rejuvenate.