Are Floatation Tanks AKA 'Adult-Sized Wombs' The Key To Perfect Meditation And Stress Relief?

Even the most dedicated meditators can find it difficult to find a spot that's calm, quiet and distraction free.

So it's not that surprising that as meditation has grown in popularity in recent years, so has the use of floatation tanks.

Dubbed 'adult-sized wombs', the tanks aim to provide the ultimate sensory deprivation experience.

For those uninitiated, floatation tanks are essentially pitch-black, enclosed bath tubs. They contain salt-water about 25cm deep that is the temperature of the body (35.5°C).

The tanks are designed to aid relaxation. Previous studies have also linked them to reduced levels of pain and stress.

Although the tanks have been around since the 1950s they have become far more popular in the last 18 months.

Tim Strudwick has been running the world's largest floatation centre, The Floatworks since 1993. It now has nine tanks and pulls in around 1200 customers each month.

"We've always been used to year on year growth at around 5 to 6% a year - but in the last couple of years this has jumped to 15% with more calls, more emails, more bookings and more hits to both our websites," Strudwick tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

He puts the rise in popularity of floatation tanks down to the public's dissatisfaction with the fast pace of modern day life.

"We are all constantly connected and it's becoming almost impossible to processes all the data that's thrown at us each day," he says.

"Floatation is an ideal place to switch off, disconnect and to then tune back in to yourself, leaving you feeling fully refreshed, invigorated and ready for the world again.

"So far there are no major companies involved and this incredible growth is due entirely to word-of-mouth as floating for a lot of people is the most profound experience of their lives."

Celebrity attention may have also boosted the reputation of floatation tanks.

Kate Bush spoke about using a floatation tank to create special effects for her live show in 2014 and Joe Rogan a.k.a the presenter of Fear Factor” previously said: “Everybody should do the tank. You will learn more about yourself than in any other way.”

So what is lying in a floatation tank really like?

Christina Pistone, a former flight attendant from Los Angeles spoke to Mashable about her experience of floatation tanks. She said she decided to try the therapy after being constantly jetlagged from flying for up to 20 days each month.

"Before, it [using floatation tanks] was like a weird, mysterious thing that a lot of people didn't know about.

"On the mental [and] emotional level, we’re so overstimulated in our everyday lives, especially in New York City. Getting into that place where you can sit with your own thoughts and be quiet — it's the perfect meditation place."

Pistone's experience may have been overwhelmingly positive, but those prone to claustrophobia might want to give this womb-like trend a miss.

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