FYI, the neurons in your brain would really like a break. Every second of every day, they are busy sending electrical signals that allow you to breathe, drive, walk and switch quickly between YouTube and work at your desk. These electrical signals rise and fall like the brain waves they are. Doctors discovered in the 30’s that certain brainwaves can be stimulated to achieve certain results. Theta waves exist at a 3-8hz frequency level associated with the early stages of sleep and deep relaxation. Scientists are finding that achieving this state offers many mind/body benefits, and floating is an easy, enjoyable way to get there.
Theta waves have been studied extensively and have been shown to improve a number of conditions. One study showed a 56% reduction in anxiety symptoms. Another showed a strong link between theta waves and improved memory. Many show an overall increase in feelings of physical and psychological wellness. Zen meditation masters learn to achieve the Theta state after years of practice. Current research shows that people who float can achieve this state much more quickly and effortlessly. So if you, like me, are quite unlikely to achieve Zen Master status anytime soon, the float tank may be the most pleasurable shortcut to happiness.
So, in addition to those listed above, what positive effects are associated with the Theta state?Enhanced creativity and problem solving seem to flourish in this state. Improved relationships and tolerance are found in the Theta state, along with feelings of self-acceptance, self-awareness and peace. Perhaps the most exciting possibilities in the Theta state have to do with neuroplasticity, the proven fact of your brain’s ability to form new neural connections and “re-wire” itself, even in adulthood. This means that your brain can learn to overcome bad habits, even addictions, let go of negative feelings and even increase IQ. This is at the forefront of float research, but the link between neuroplasticity and Theta waves has already been proven by studying meditation.
The beauty of the float experience lies in its simplicity. You lie down in warm, salty water and effortlessly float. And, it turns out, that without even trying, your brain can produce healing, powerful Theta waves as you float. Stay tuned; the new frontier of brain research seeks to prove how amazing the floating brain can be!