Float Away Anxiety - Excerpt 8
Floating spontaneously induces meditative states of being.
Subjects with symptoms of anxiety and depression were given the MAIA test: the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness.
This is a questionnaire for measuring multiple dimensions of interoception by self-report. Interoception is the process by which the nervous system perceives, interprets and integrates signals from within the body.
The test showed that attention regulation and self-regulation increased significantly during the float session. Twice as high as when watching a film. This sounds like meditation!
Attention regulation is the ability to focus and maintain attention on physical sensations. An example: "I could focus my attention on my breathing without being distracted".
Self-regulation is the ability to regulate distress by focusing attention on bodily sensations. For example: "When I was lost in thought I could calm my mind by focusing on my breathing".
Some subjects in the test had never meditated before, others had tried, to no avail. Several analyses have been published in the last two years* showing that meditation is difficult with these patients. It just doesn't click. Feinstein himself had tried meditating with PTSD war veterans before, and it didn't click. Their minds, their nervous systems would not allow it.
And here are some quotes from those same people after their float session:
"It was so easy. I felt completely at one with my heartbeat, completely different from when I have anxiety or a panic attack. The sensation of my body was so different, I felt so relaxed, I felt one with the water."
One hour in the flat tank, with no prior training or instruction, and they spontaneously enter the state of meditation. This is great!
*These results were published in Biological Psychiatry CNNI:
This is the 8th excerpt of 18 out of Dr Justin Feinstein's talk at Float Conference 2018, Float Away Anxiety. Research results can be found at: