Anyone who is claustrophobic might feel anxious about spending time in a floatation tank. But this only happens before he/she sees the inside of a floatation tank.
For starters, there’s no other place where you’ll feel more relaxed than a floatation tank. Your blood flow is stimulated through all body tissues and; your brain is stimulated to release natural endorphins, the body’s very own natural analgesics (painkillers).
The alpha waves from the brain are associated with relaxation and deep levels of meditation – levels that are not easily reachable in normal circumstances, not even in yoga.
Given this backdrop, you can picture what it is like to be inside a float tank, nearly filled with water maintained at the body temperature, with all stimuli optimised to deliver the most desirable experience for the body.
Once you take the plunge, your body would naturally put on course to the peak of relaxation and relief from every form of stress. This is needed so the body can regenerate from any tension or pain that has accumulated in it over time.
Given this, would you still let the possibility of claustrophobia prevent you from enjoying these benefits? This is admittedly one of the most commonly expressed fears of people before getting into the relaxation tank.
To allay fears and encourage you to get in the tank , let’s take a closer look at claustrophobia and how it happens.
Claustrophobia – how it happens
Claustrophobia is the fear of confined spaces. This fear has two essential components:
- Fear of restriction – a claustrophobic person fears being trapped in a confined place.
- Fear of suffocation – this is essentially a feeling that you lack air and you would suffer asphyxiation.
These two components would not even remotely be felt in a floatation tanks. Note that the tank is optimised not just for relaxation but safety as well. You are always in complete control of the environment, meaning there’s virtually nothing that will prevent you from enjoying the benefits and put your safety at risk. Here’s why:
- It’s easy to open the lid of the tank
With the freedom to leave the environment anytime, we have removed the element of being trapped. You are in charge. No way you could get trapped in a place that you personally control?
The tank has a constant supply of fresh air as the lid is not airtight. This also rules out the possibility being suffocated inside.
Normally, what you feel about floatation before you test the tanks is prompted by the fear of the unknown, rather than the clinical claustrophobic fear. Remember that once you are inside the relaxation tank, all of the external stimuli disappear.
This means that even the factors that make you fear getting into the tank are forgotten and your mental chatter is allowed to slow down. You’ll become in control of your mind.
- Floating in the tank may even help you overcome your claustrophobia
The relaxing conditions in the tank help you get a better control of your thoughts and body. Thoughts and emotions are translated into ideas, ideas which you can control over time. This includes fear, especially claustrophobia.
If your thoughts turn back to fear, simply sit and avoid letting it in. In that relaxed state, you’ll be able to notice where your fear comes from, then you can control and even get comfortable with it.
Further, there are intellectual and psychological benefits of REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy), as pointed out by several peer-reviewed medical journals. REST is the theory upon which the whole idea of floatation tanks is grounded.
Floating is an effective cure for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, alongside other psychiatric conditions.
- Floatation tanks are quite spacious
Floatation tanks are giant tanks. They not only seem huge from the outside, they are actually very spacious inside and can fit someone as tall as 7 feet 2 inches tall.
With this, you will not get the feeling of confinement. There’s big space and you have it all to yourself. Those who float for the first time often notice how large the space is once they enter the tank.
With the temperature being maintained to suit your own body temperature, you’ll not even feel the water beneath you. Rather, you drift into nothingness, giving a feeling that you are suspended in mid-air.
The secret is to reserve judgment until you have gotten into the tank yourself. Instead of guessing how it would feel, go right into the tank and give it a try.
- The tanks have buttons for the lights and an assistance button as a final resort
Every floatation tank is designed to make you feel comfortable and safe. Besides freedom of movement and the power to get out, you can also put the lights on or off. There are buttons for that.
The assistance button is a bonus. With it you can call for assistance without the need to sign or wave. And if anything, it would be your last resort.
With the relaxed and sensory-deprived environment prompting decreased level of stress hormones, not only can you work on your claustrophobia but l you can also deal with other stressors,
So, are you claustrophobic? There’s no need to worry when you get into a floatation tank? You shouldn’t wait any longer. Get the experience firsthand now.