The Seven Theories of Floating
by Michael Hutchinson, author of The Book of Floating

There’s no doubt that floating works – as a therapeutic, educational and entertainment tool it has powerful effects on a number of levels, including the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. But why is the floatation environment so effective? What can be so actively beneficial in an essentially passive device? This is a question that has intrigued scientists, and today there is floatation research going on in laboratories around the world. The evidence accumulated so far falls into a number of distinct, though interrelated explanations. Among the most important are as follows:

1 THE ANTIGRAVITY EXPLANATION
2 THE BRAIN WAVE EXPLANATION
3 THE LEFT-BRAIN RIGHT-BRAIN EXPLANATION
4 THE THREE BRAIN EXPLANATION
5 THE NEUROCHEMICAL EXPLANATION
6 THE BIOFEEDBACK EXPLANATION
7 THE HOMEOSTASIS EXPLANATION

3. The Left-Brain Right-Brain Explanation

The two hemispheres or the neocortex operate in fundamentally different modes. The left hemisphere excels at detail, processing information that is small-scale, requiring fine resolution: it operates analytically, by splitting or dissection. The right hemisphere on the other hand, is good at putting all the pieces together. It operates by pattern recognition – visually, intuitively rapidly absorbing large scale information. Just as in the sunshine of a bright day it is impossible to see the stars, so are the subtle contents of the right hemisphere usually drowned out by the noisy chattering of the dominant verbal/analytical left brain, whose qualities are the more cultivated and valued in our culture. But recent research indicates that floating increases right-brain (or minor hemisphere) function. Floating turns off the external stimuli, plunges us into literal and figurative darkness – then suddenly the entire universe of stars and galaxies is spread out before our eyes. Or as brain researcher Dr. Thomas Budzynski of the University of Colorado put it, “In a flotation environment, the right hemisphere comes out and says, “Whoopee.”