[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]
ARCHIVED  September 24, 1999

A trip to the tank defines relaxation

Business Report Staff Writer

A strange combination, this: Darkness, silence, warmth, weightlessness.

Being inside a closed flotation pool is far enough outside the realm of ordinary experience that adjustment takes a little time.

I spent my first few minutes taking in the unfamiliar. Can I sink? No. I tried, by bracing my palms against the walls of the tank, applying some leverage. No go. The water is just 10 inches deep, but the density makes depth irrelevant. It might as well be 5 feet, or 50, or a mile.

Try to imagine something that is “just right.” It is the temperature of the water that I lie upon.

Using toes and fingertips, I propelled myself slowly from one end of the tank to the other, gentle collisions marking the end of each trip. Side to side, same way, using elbows.

I had gotten a tip before slipping into the closed pool: “Relax your neck and head,” Joan Welsh told me. “People find it hard to do that.”

Something about self-preservation keeps most ordinary people from allowing their heads to flop around while floating in water. Setting aside the instinct to stay partly rigid takes some effort, but the payoff is that the last muscle is set free. The point of all this then becomes more clear.

When body consciousness begins to fall away, the senses become more attuned. Heartbeats echo through the water. Somewhere, off in the distance, a heavy truck rolled by, or so a distinct vibration told me.

I nearly drifted into sleep toward the end of an hour I had allowed myself in the pool. I¹m told that people do that.

Look in the dictionary under the entry for “relax.” The definition says nothing about floating in high-density salt water. Maybe it should.

Business Report Staff Writer

A strange combination, this: Darkness, silence, warmth, weightlessness.

Being inside a closed flotation pool is far enough outside the realm of ordinary experience that adjustment takes a little time.

I spent my first few minutes taking in the unfamiliar. Can I sink? No. I tried, by bracing my palms against the walls of the tank, applying some leverage. No go. The water is just 10 inches deep, but the density makes depth irrelevant. It might as well be 5 feet, or 50, or a mile.

Try to imagine something that is “just right.” It is the temperature of the water…

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]

Related Content

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-interstitial zone="30"]