Thanks to the Netflix super hit show Stranger Things, most people know what a sensory deprivation tank is.

When Eleven goes into the Nina Project and floats as she remembers her past, the scene can scare you, but the tank shouldn't.

High content salt tanks are part of wellness therapy.  In fact, so much Epsom salt is used that you float even if you try to sink.  Buoyancy causes you to float and also relax in darkness.

Stranger Things via YouTube
Stranger Things via YouTube

In Hampton and Portsmouth, there are wellness centers called Flote.  According to the Flote Facebook page, the mission is "to help unwind and unplug you from the stressors of your daily life."  Sound good, right?

It does more than that.

Floating is sensory deprivation. So, all of those triggers for stress in your life are eased, and it takes your mind and body to a happy place of relaxation, with pain and muscle release as well as anxiety relief.

According to New Hampshire Float Therapy in Londonderry, floating benefits include an increase in endorphins (kill pain and increased euphoria), boosts dopamine (controls emotions), ups serotonin levels (feelings of happiness), and lowers adrenaline (heart rate), cortisol (stress hormone), and blood pressure.

According to Peak Recovery & Health Center in Manchester, the salt makes the body weightless, thus creating a relaxed state.  The water temperature is the same as your body temp, so you can't always tell if your body is immersed or above the water.  This promotes a very deep state of mental and physical relaxation.

Imagine no pressures on your bones, joints, or muscles.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Flote in Hampton and in Portsmouth offers therapy and wellness options, and touts these benefits from float tanks: pain relief, stress reduction, mental clarity, immune system boosting, energy increasing, and improvements in performance and sleep.

You probably have some of these questions in your mind.

Do they change the water every time?  That's a no, because there's no need to.  The H2O is highly filtered between sessions, and is cleaner than the water you use in your shower.

How do I prepare?   Don't drink caffeine, have a heavy meal, and don't shave before a session.  These will all take away from the total experience of relaxation.

What if I am so relaxed that I fall asleep in the tank?  That's ok.  You won't sink because you are so buoyant.  Often, people do fall asleep because they are in such a peaceful state.

Can I wear a bathing suit?  Yes, you can, or go in the buff.  The lights and lid are all controlled by you, so do what's most comfortable until you get used to floating.

Get calm with a salty float, and just relax.

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