Deprive your senses
Sensory deprivation or float therapy is what I'm talking about. And be prepared to be amazed at why I think it's amazing -unless you don't like science, then bye 🤓🤣
One of the things I love most about floating is my ability to be alone with myself and be bored. Seems weird, right? When you’re in a chamber in complete darkness and silence, naked and floating on top of highly salinited water, you got z-e-r-o distractions. A multitude of things can happen: you can meditate, you can follow thought streams to completion (something I find near impossible in real life), you can focus on your breathing, you can just be. Obviously there may be a million things that individuals more capable than I are able to achieve in 90 minutes, but I’m still a floating neophyte. The science behind sensory deprivation is what originally drew me to it -shocker. If you’ll indulge me, I’ll tell you why it’s so damn cool.
A scientist did some experiments in the 1970’s that proved external stimuli such as light, sound, touch and gravity accounted for 90% of the central nervous systems workload. I’m gonna nerd out just a tad deeper, so stay with me…
With the elimination of all that external stimuli, our energy is drawn inward which is the parasympathetic response (where the body naturally regenerates itself and maintains a chemical and metabolic balance). Our T-cell production strengthens the immune system, which is always helpful with the amount of time I spend in airports, and around babies at story time. Having this deep level of relaxation is pretty nice for our cardiovascular system too, because our heart rate slows and our circulation increases. OH and you know what else? Since our brain is free from all the crap, it becomes more efficient, slips into a creative state, and helps with learningand processing information. But wait! Theres more! With gravity thrown out the window, our muscles and joints have a better chance of releasing and healing themselves. And finally (and most favorably in my opinion) our brain relaxes into a theta state where endorphins are released into our blood stream. Our blood levels of stress hormones -adrenaline & cortisol- chill out too.
I noticed within the first 5 minutes of floating that I wanted to ‘scroll something’. Damn you social media. But you know what happened? After that momentary social media withdrawal, I didn't check FB, IG, ETC for the rest of my trip. At dinner I went and sat at the bar of Posana’s and had a wonderful dinner by myself and chatted with my highly capable bartender -who taught me all about Chartruese, and what drinks one could concoct with it. When I got back to my hotel, I read my book, took some sleep spray and slept like the dead. The next day I went to a fantastic coffee shop (Trade and Lore), sat outside in the sunshine and watched some birds peck at the ground completely content with life. Me and the birds. What I'm trying to say is, floating is kind of like a detox and certainly helped me get some valuable 'no screen time'.
I shared more about my two float sessions over in my travel blog about Asheville and the mountains, if you want to read more. I mainly wanted to answer the questions I've been asked from friends and social media strangers about what the hell sensory deprivation is, why I like it, and if I think they could do it. For the record, I know a lot of people that would lose their minds (kinda the point, I know) for 90 minutes. But honestly, they are the people that legit need it the most. If you're someone who can't freaking stop and feel like a waste of space if you're not constantly doing something; you need to try sensory deprivation twice. No, not once. Do AT LEAST two 90 minute sessions within 48 hours of each other. Then please report back to me. Cause I want to know what your experience was like. Or if you already float, tell me your thoughts and give some tips so I can be better at it. Also, if you go to Asheville, you need to check out Still Point Wellness and get your float on.