Need To De-Stress? Floating In Salt Water Might Be The Solution
Flotation tanks were invented in 1954 by John C. Lilly for the
purpose of researching how the brain reacts when all sensory stimuli are cut off. “At the time, people thought that if sensory input was removed from human experience that consciousness would stop,” explains David Leventhal, the co-founder of
Lift/Next Level Floats, a flotation spa with locations in Brooklyn and Long Island. “[Lilly] and his team used the tank to [prove] the opposite.” In 1972, one of Lilly’s mentees, Glenn Perry, invented the first commercial flat tanks, called the
Samadhi, which then prompted a handful of float centers to open, according to Leventhal. These included Tranquility Floats, the 24-hour center where
Anthony Bourdain was said to float with his kitchen crew to relax after long nights out during the ‘80s. This initial heyday coincided with the AIDS crisis, however, Leventhal explains, and “due to a lot of ignorance and homophobia, people thought they could get
HIV or AIDS by floating. That killed the industry and it went dormant for close to twenty years.”