While watching the Netflix original series, Stranger Things, I was intriguingly attracted to the scenes where one of the main characters is submerged into a sensory deprivation tank. The sensory reduced environment is used to channel
other planes of existence with enhanced clarity and focus. All external stimuli on our earthly plane of sight, sound, smell, taste, and even touch are reduced as much as possible. Curiously, I began to research sensory deprivation and its effects on the human conscious for meditative processes.
In 1954, Professor Dr. John C. Lilly, an American neurophysiologist, developed the first float tank in attempt to test reduced sensory environments on the brain and body. Over the years studies have proven float benefits of intense relaxation, pain management, memory recall, and heightened senses. The science behind the therapy is from the sensory reduced environment allowing the brain to enter into theta waves. Theta waves are the brain waves recorded when the brain enters into sleep and upon waking up. This state allows the brain to have elusive experiences of visuals, subconscious connection, and creative states. Theta waves are also recorded
in deep relaxation states associated with meditation. Float tanks and pods are gaining increasingly widespread interests as they are being used in hospitals, spas, fitness centers, and universities. Float Brothers in Destin is the first business in the Panhandle to offer this unique therapy experience. I was remarkable enough to revel in this pleasure for a 90-minute float. The facilities are exceptionally clean and offer four themed rooms to enhance your experience. The spa offers the space room, the nature room, the ocean room, and a patriotic room. The patriotic room is dedicated to our veterans that faithfully serve our country. Float Brothers also generously offers free floats to veterans diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder!
I was interested in floating to enhance my own meditative practices. Being in a sensory reduced environment, relaxing the mind and body to enter a higher state of conscious seemed infallible! The float pods have a futuristic appeal with colorful LED lights, music options, and a call box connected to the front desk. In the float pod you have the option of closing the pod door, listening to house music or using the aux cord, and turning off the lights. The tank is perfectly heated to 94 degree and filled with 1000 pounds of Epsom salt in a foot of water to create the buoyancy.
Along with being the science behind the float, the Epsom salt is comprised of sulfate and magnesium. Magnesium is shown to improve circulation, relieve stress, restore electrolytes, and assist with insulin processing. Along with these internal benefits, you leave the tank with a natural glow that leaves the skin supple and radiating.
After my pre float shower, I plugged my phone into the aux cord and played a guided meditation with binaural beats to help me relax. I laid in the tank overfilled with anticipation to float in complete relaxation. With the water heated at body temperature, when the body relaxes, the brain cannot differentiate between what is in the water and what is exposed to air. This enhances the feeling of floating in zero gravity. I was completely weightless and no matter how hard I tried to sink under water, I buoyantly floated straight to the surface. I shut the pod cover, turned off the lights, and began to float into the deepest state of relaxation I have ever experienced.
I could feel every muscle in my body that held tension, mostly my neck, and for the first time I was able to easily breathe into the tension and feel the immediate release. The pods also offer neck floats to assist in the journey if one struggles to find comfort relaxing the neck. I experimented with the Float Brothers new neck assistant prototype device. The material was lightweight and allowed me to comfortably prop my neck in cervical alignment while floating. After awhile of listening to the guided meditation, I was ready to experience complete silence. I reached over and turned the music button off. I was completely alone with my thoughts and with zero external stimuli; it was unlike any meditation I have practiced. I felt like I was spinning and was just able to surrender my thoughts and body to the weightlessness. There were points where I could not feel my body and it felt as if I was floating in space. (Perfect for my space room experience!) Before I knew it, the music, jets, and lights gently turned on to wake me from my floating trance. I completely lost sense of time and physical awareness. It was the most effective meditation session I have been able produce! After exiting the tank, my skin appeared noticeably clearer and I was in such a delightful mood. I had vivid dreams while I was asleep that night, and even woke up in my bed upside down!
The float pod is beneficial to new and experienced meditators to transcend their mind and body into deeper states of relaxation. The process really reveals the stillness and clarity the mind and body seeks during meditation. Without stimulus, it is easier to focus inwards and relax tension that creeps into the muscles. Not only was it valuable for meditation, but it also helped with muscle recovery. I was experiencing shoulder soreness and pain from multiple Chaturanga Dandasana sequences the prior day, but upon leaving the pod, my soreness was completely gone! I was in disbelief how 90-minutes floating could make my body and mind feel immediately rehabilitated. Along with my bliss from my rejuvenated mind and body,
Float Brothers offers a tea and coffee bar set along a wall mural of inspirational quotes and comments from guest experiences. The quote that resonated with me was, “A spiritual bath of warm, velvety goodness.” That is exactly how I would describe it. The water is warm, velvety and spiritually cleansing as it nourishes the mind, body, and soul. It is an absolute must for spiritual practice, pain management, or just a relaxing spa day.
The owners, brothers Chris and Trey Hearn, are exceptionally warm and welcoming. Their earnest custom service radiates their genuine passion to help people. Along with their dedicated program for free float therapy to veterans, the spa aims to service people in any practical way possible. Chris mentioned that float therapy is an excellent safe zone to make important decisions, reflect on life, and figure out ones passions. The float pod is therapy that benefits all aspects of ones daily life. The float experience exceeded my expectations in every way and it was more beneficial than any massage, energy work, or other therapy I have partaken in. The prices are practical and Float Brothers offers different membership packages. Take your mind and body to another dimension of relaxation and float away with Float Brothers.