The History of Floatation Therapy
How it all started
Floatation therapy is a fast-growing trend across the world, and for good reason. There are several benefits you can get from floating. But before you book your first session, it is essential to know the history of floatation therapy and the scientific research that went into its development.
The History of Floatation Therapy Is Not as New as You Might Think
The concept of what we now know today as floatation started back in 1954 with a neuroscientist know as John C. Lily in the USA. Originally referred to as Sensory Deprivation, floating was developed by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Washington.
It was initially used to study human consciousness and for controlled experiments of the brain. Sensory deprivation experiments were also used to seek answers to questions like what keeps the brain going and what is the origin of its energy source.
The experiments were conducted in, what was called, Restrictive Environmental Stimulation Tanks, now commonly known as floatation tanks. These tanks were designed to cut off all stimuli to the brain.
The test subjects would float in the tank in a solution of Epsom salt-filled water. The temperature was regulated to body temperature, with there was no light or sound in the tank. This resulting effect was profound relaxation. This also increased theta brain-wave activity of the brain and allowed the body to relieve stress and heal faster.
Floatation Therapy Usage – From Science Labs to The General Public
In the 1970s, at the University of British Columbia, two scientists, Peter Suedfeld and Roderick Borrie worked further on the idea of sensory isolation by looking at its therapeutic benefits. Their technique was labelled as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST). It was soon recognised as a powerful technique to relieve stress built up in both the mind and the body. This is what led to the commercial float centres that we see today.
Their research led them to identify many benefits that floatation can bring to musculoskeletal disorders and pain, fibromyalgia and how it can help chronic pain sufferers and positively benefit sportspersons.
In the meantime, the first commercial float centre was opened in 1973 in Beverley Hills, California. By this time, the design of the tank had undergone changes to make it commercially friendly.
While the solution within the Floatation tanks remains the same to this day, there have been variances to the tank. But once you are inside, the experience itself will be the same.
Many studies have shown that floatation can provide a lot of health benefits – especially to mental health.
The Next Step Big Step – Setting Up of Standards
The next big development happened in 1981 when the Float Tank Association was formed. This paved the way forward for further research and led to setting up standards for floatation therapy worldwide.
In 2005, Michael Hutchinson, a journalist from the USA, set out to debunk floatation and inadvertently wrote the most definitive book on floating, its benefits and why it is such a rare experience. “The book for Floating- Exploring the private sea” by Michael Hutchinson was released in January 2005.
Where to Book a Floatation Therapy Session to Experience True Relaxation
Now that you are familiar with the history and scientific background of floatation therapy, I highly recommend that you try it out yourself.
At Paramount Health, we have always focused on providing state-of-the-art health and well-being solutions to our clients.
Our floatation tanks and therapy sessions are uniquely designed to provide maximum health benefits while you experience true relaxation in a tranquil and hygienic environment. It’s an experience you will cherish throughout your life.
Reach out to us to book a floatation session. If you have any questions, you can also give us a call on (02) 9719 2060 to speak with our friendly staff.