People use floating to relieve stress

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Exercise, a glass of wine or perhaps a warm bath may be some ways people get over a stressful day.

However, more and more people are choosing a new form of stress relief called “floating.”

One form of it, according to experts, is simply laying in a pool without a tube.

“It was probably the most relaxing thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Karissa Stevens of Hamden, Connecticut.

Stevens, a Hamden High School senior, said she can’t say enough good things about her first time in a float tank.

“I don’t even know how to describe it,” she said. “It’s just something you kind of have to experience for yourself.”

Floating fan Griffin Davis showed Eyewitness News how the tank works.

A user steps into the 18-inch deep water that’s about body temperature at 94 degrees. The water is filled with a thousand pounds of Epsom salts, which keep the body more buoyant than if you went into the Red Sea.

With ear plugs in, the user pulls a door shut and is left in complete darkness. Then, they simply lay down in the water.

“It does feel kind of weird and cool at first,” Davis said.

Davis said it’s total sensory deprivation.

“You kind of start to lose all the senses and it’s and you more or less become mostly in the mind,” he explained.

“By taking away or reducing the effect of those four factors – light, sound, change in temperature and gravity, it frees up an enormous amount of circuitry in the brain,” said David Conneely of iFloat. “And that’s what helps people get to a really slow meditative brainwave states very quickly.”

Conneely said he’s a longtime floater and owner of iFloat. He said this kind of sensory deprivation can be life-changing.

“A person actually forgets where they are,” he said. “And that’s really powerful because one of the biggest causes of chronic stress is this desire for people to be in control of everything. And so when a person floats, they are able to unplug from external stimulation and just completely let go.”

Davis said it has worked wonders for him.

“I think what’s probably my most favorite benefit is the relief of our hectic lives and our hectic daily stressors that we have,” Davis said.

A floating session at iFloat costs about $100 per one hour session. Conneely said it’s less if a customer buys a package.

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