I have regular conversations with customers who are surprised about what their body ‘tells’ them during the float. Being body aware was a new experience for them.
Some people are able to pinpoint a specific source of pain. Sometimes the source is in a slightly different spot from where they had been treating. Others have discovered imbalances or potential issues and seek early treatment. The absence of pressure points and gravity, along with the quiet float environment provide the perfect environment for you to really pay attention to your body and what it is trying to tell you.
In his book “The Deep Self”, John C. Lilly describes the body sensation of floating . “Automatically the body assumes a position in which all sets of agonist/antagonist muscles are precisely balanced, with knees and elbows flexed…. I learned a good deal about my habitual physical tension-patterns and tightness from old injuries from the asymmetry of my body in this relaxed state”
At the beginning of my float, my body starts out in a position that mimics how I was holding it throughout the day. At first this feels comfortable and natural. But soon, it doesn’t feel quite so natural and comfortable. I like to do a slow body scan to tune into what’s going on.
For my body scans, I start at my toes and relax them one by one. Then flex and relax my feet and ankles, relax my calves, bend my knees, twist my hips, relax my belly, chest, arms and each finger. Finally relax my shoulders, neck, jaw, ears, forehead and hair. (Don’t laugh- you may be surprised at how much tension you can hold in your scalp.)
Tuning in to the results
After some gentle movement or stretching, my body adjusts to a newer and even more comfortable position. Because of the quiet and supportive float space, I am able to really notice which muscles have loosened, how my posture has changed and where I feel more aligned. I often need to do this several times during my float. Even though the adjustments in my body get smaller each time, I am still able to notice each subtle change.
Tuning into subtle changes in my body during my float practice makes it much easier to notice how I hold my body outside the tank. I am more aware of where my body is twisting or uneven. This allows me to correct it to either prevent injury or improve performance. I am also better at noticing where muscle tension is building so that I can take corrective action. It’s also easier to notice what feels good, healthy and strong.
So, we recommend spending a bit of time in your float, deeply listening to your body, sending loving thoughts to the places that need healing and to the parts that help you move through your day. You may be surprised at what you learn.