As a vehicle for both relaxation and recovery, float tanks are fairly unparalleled. There are lots of studies and anecdotes about the benefits that even a single hourlong float can offer. The most profound (and often inspiring) results, however, actually come from floating more regularly.
We hear this everyday in our conversations with our members and regulars. So, for this month’s blog, we wanted to highlight some of the personal stories from long term floaters that have been shared publicly. While these are just a small sample of the incredible stories we’ve heard, they help to illustrate the wide variety of benefits flotation has to offer. Stories like these are why we opened FLOAT, and why we’re so proud of the work that we do.
Emily Noren, as a young teenager, developed anorexia and bulimia. Maintaining her weight occupied much of her thoughts and actions for the next decade and a half of her life. The treatments and medications she tried never provided long-term solutions. All too often, eating disorders like this are more than just unhealthy – they can be tragically fatal. Floating, which started off as an uncomfortable and slightly unsettling experience, became the catalyst for change in Emily’s life. She credits floating with, not only helping her have a healthier and happier life, but also with her full recovery from anorexia and bulimia: an achievement that some experts in eating disorders have questioned is even possible.
Here is a link to Emily Noren’s book, “Unsinkable,” in case you want to read more about her story.
An Australian soldier, Michael Harding was deployed to Afghanistan as an infantry machine gunner. He faced hostile contact, experienced the deaths of those around him, and was returned home experiencing severe symptoms of PTSD, including full body muscle spasms. He and his partner Bek tell the story of his trauma, his struggles and substance abuse upon returning, and his path towards recovery through a regimen of alternative treatments: including support groups, medical cannabis, yoga, and floating.
Read more about Michael’s story in this article by Time magazine.
Murphy Monroe tells his story of nearly debilitating verbal and physical tics. He spent most of his life, from childhood on, working to overcome these through disciplined habits, such as clenching his whole body and running through mental distractions like adding large numbers in his head. His first year of floating completely reframed his control, and his views, of his previously uncontrollable habits:
In our own center, we have countless customers with stories like these. People who are struggling – with physical injuries, chronic stress, sleep disorders, and more – who find relief in floating as part of their ongoing efforts to better themselves. There is more and more evidence showing our long-term health and happiness depends on these habits of recovery and self-care.
Whether it’s a practice of stillness (like floating and meditation), or something more active (like yoga, bicycling, and running), routines that involve giving your mind a break from constant input are crucial. A single, novel experience can definitely be beneficial to people on many different levels. However, there’s no doubt that for floating, as with so many things in life, the benefits become stronger as you integrate the experiences into your everyday life over time.
We want to leave you with Melissa Martinez, who floats every week – not to overcome an acute disability or trauma recovery, but instead to simply have time set aside for herself, and no one else. Time free from the demands of the world and the people around her. Time to think, to recover, and to relax. She talks about how the practice of floating regularly has impacted her joy and her stress levels, and why she believes that she will continue to float for the rest of her life.