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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

The Benefits of Cloud9 Floating

May 29, 2015 10:05AM ● By Savannah Noir

A state of well-being that consists simultaneously of a quiet body, tranquil emotions and still thoughts is rarely attained, other than by monks that have been meditating for at least 20 years. This meditative state is largely described by psychologists and psychiatric researchers in terms of theta brainwaves, which are associated with calmness, relaxation and two different time periods during the 24-hour cycle—at night, when drifting from conscious drowsiness into sleep, and in the morning, when rising from sleep to consciousness.

Other than these two intervals, the mysterious and elusive state of theta brainwaves, which are potentially highly productive and enlightening, has been challenging to study. That is, until research studies began including the flotation tank, a lightless, soundproof container inside which individuals float in salt water maintained at skin temperature. Originally referred to as a sensory deprivation tank, it was developed in 1954 by John C. Lilly, a medical practitioner and neuro-psychiatrist interested in determining the origin of consciousness, as well as the origin of its energy sources. Lilly theorized that the brain would go to sleep if all stimuli were cut off.

Cloud9 Flotation Therapy in South West FloridaA more recent study by Gary S. Stern, an associative professor of psychology at the University of Colorado at Denver, found, “The significant effect of floating…indicates that individuals who had floated in the isolation tank for one hour significantly raised their theta level.” Another study to analyze the effects of floating (measured with EEGs), compared floaters with individuals in a relaxed state in a dark, quiet room. It also concluded that floating leads to an increase in the generation of theta waves.

Michael Hutchinson, author of The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea, was a naysayer regarding the benefits of buoyancy created by the dense Epsom salt solution until he experienced floating. Unable to distinguish between parts of the body that were in contact with the water and those that weren’t, Hutchinson’s brain, like that of every floater, was fooled into believing that his body was floating in mid-air.

“Few people understand that they use a huge amount of brain power every second to deal with the strain that gravity places on the body,” says Kristen Stump, co-owner of Cloud 9 Spa, in Naples. “In our Samadhi Epsom Salt Flotation Tank, where the body is totally supported and external stimuli reduced, there is nothing for the brain and muscles to do but relax completely. While the state of relaxation is deep and profound, in its dream-like state of awareness, the brain generates theta waves and a vast amount of endorphins. The effects can last from hours to days.” Cloud 9 Spa also offers an infrared sauna, oxygen bar, therapeutic massage and facials, as well as wellness consulting and planning.

Cloud9 Float and Spa is located at 1250 Tamiami Tr. N., Ste. 208, in Naples. For more information, call 239-529-3235 or visit

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