One man's vision.
Floatation therapy is based on a scientific approach to deep relaxation called Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique or R.E.S.T. for short. The idea was developed in the mid 1950's at the National Institute of Mental Health by a neuroscientist named Dr. John C. Lilly. Lilly was a pioneer in his field. Some of his accomplishments included being the first person to map the pain and pleasure pathways in the brain, as well as creating an entirely new branch of science aimed at interspecies communication. It was clear that Lilly had an infatuation with the power of the human brain. It was that drive that led to one of the greatest discoveries of the century.
The origin of the sensory deprivation tank.
The isolation chamber was created through a question that Lilly was determined to answer. What keeps the brain going? The argument was, that the brain was biological and completely internal, meaning that it made no difference whether outside interference was present as it would operate normally either way. Others claimed that if all external stimulation was removed, then the brain would completely shut down. Lilly began constructing a chamber that would isolate all stimulation in order to find an answer to this question. A mask was worn to isolate sight and sound. The water inside the tank was heated as well, isolating the sense of touch (feeling). What transpired next was truly astonishing.
An astonishing discovery.
To the surprise of all involved, the brains' overall performance actually accelerated and improved. The lack of external stimuli caused the brain to function on a higher level. The creative (right) side of the brain awakened like never before. Thoughts became clearer and the imaginative qualities inside the brain were enhanced. The left and right sides of the brain worked together synergistically and a new chapter in neuroscience was written. However, this was just the beginning.
Once the world caught wind of Dr. Lilly's discovery, many improvements were made to his original design. Filtration enhancements, improved soundproofing, and light isolation were amongst a few of the upgrades. The thought of wearing a mask was completely taken out of the equation as well. Significant research began to take place, not only in testing the mental benefits of floatation therapy, but the physical attributes as well. The high level of epsom salt content inside the tank was shown to aid in multiple regenerative aspects inside the human body. Physical performance improved, and many published reports began flooding the media, heralding the floatation tank as the next big thing in the health and wellness field.
Athletes like Carl Lewis and the 1993 Superbowl winning Dallas Cowboys made headlines through their use of the isolation chamber. Partially attributing their success to the time they spent floating. It would appear that a new era was born. One where anyone could reap the benefits of this amazing tool for self discovery and improved physical performance. The commercial era.
However, that simply was not the case. How could a revolutionary tool of this magnitude not be recognized the world over? By the turn of the century, other than in Europe, society had pretty much distanced itself from this dark and mysterious practice. Terms like Isolation Tank, or Sensory Deprivation Chamber were alienating and simply not catching on. It didn't help that many people compared float tanks to meat lockers. This would soon change.
Floatation therapy. 2.0
Something had to be done. A discovery of this magnitude had lost traction and dwindled into one of the worlds best kept secrets. It would take a complete innovation in design. An environment that welcomed everyone. A rich new set of features that made the world of floating inviting for all. Simply put, change.
This change is what is fueling float centers across the world today. Finally after 60 years of progress, the world of floating is becoming mainstream. Tranquil lighting, therapeutic music, 2 way communication and lobby controls, esthetically pleasing design and a welcoming environment have led to a new beginning in the industry. One that from the inside and out is designed just for YOU.