Floatation therapy has been gaining popularity over the years since it was developed. The first floatation tanks were developed in the 1950’s to study the effects of sensory deprivation on the body. Since that time, there has been much research into the health benefits that occur with floating. NASA has used float tanks to study the effects of a gravity reduced environment on astronauts. Floatation therapy is also being used as a form of stress removal and relaxation technique by many people, including prominent athletes. The practice is considered therapeutic. Regular use of floatation therapy can extend and amplify the health benefits that floating brings.
How it works
Float Therapy involves a tank or container of water densely saturated with magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt). This highly concentrated solution allows a person to float on the surface of the water with any effort whatsoever. This essentially eliminates the effects of gravity on the body, allowing the spine to decompress, and reducing stress on the joints. The temperature of the water is very near to a person’s skin temperature, which decreases sensory input related to hot and cold. After a period of time in this environment, people will often report not knowing where the water ends and the air begins. Between users, the float tank solution is filtered several times, and may also be treated to eliminate any pathogens. There are various models and shapes of pods available for your needs. Some are shaped like bathtubs, others like space ships and others like refrigeration chambers. Some have options for soothing music to help calm the mind. In the tank, there’s a feeling of all senses going away hence the term Sensory Deprivation Tank. Sensory deprivation has been, however, termed as a misnomer. In that your senses are not really stripped away, but reduced in a way that give you greater clarity and relaxation.
Benefits of floatation therapy
So, why is this therapeutic method so important? And why is it gaining popularity so fast? The following benefits addresses these questions.
- Relief from pain
People are always busy making a living, with little time dedicated to exercise and relaxation. There is therefore increased stiffness and tension in body muscles. This is mostly around the lower back and shoulders. Floatation therapy helps to reduce such muscle tensions, able to relieve pain that most people didn’t even notice they had.
- Relief from stress
Floatation therapy provides deep relaxation and peace from within. This helps in reducing stress. The technique works by reducing the response of the body to stress. After the therapy, a person feels a sense of deep fulfilment and less worry, able to notice a vibrant nature to the surroundings. Floatation therapy could thus be used in the treatment of pain and illnesses associated with stress.
- Improving sleep
Lack of sleep and insomnia are bad for your health. The brain needs rest to be able to perform important functions. Sleep provides the necessary rest that the brain and the body needs. A brain that gets regular rest gives a person energy to make good decisions, improve his/her focus, maintain emotional stability, solve problems, etc. Rest also decreases the chances of developing illnesses and infections such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Floatation therapy helps by providing relaxation, restoring and refreshing senses, and help to reduce worry. With floating for only 2 hours every week for 2 weeks, the mind will be at ease, and you would be able to sleep peacefully. This eliminates insomnia.
- Reducing anxiety
Studies from Sweden show that over about 12 sessions of floatation therapy, patients with anxiety disorders such as general anxiety disorder (GAD) said that their symptoms had gone away, and no longer felt pain and anxiety. They also exhibited regulation of emotion and reported better sleep. Floatation therapy could thus be used to treat general anxiety disorder which affects a fifth of American adults.
- Battling addiction
Studies conducted among addicts show that floatation therapy helps in overcoming addiction by treating the underlying causes of addiction. The therapy helps to reduce stress that may lead us to drinking and smoking.
- Healthy hair restoration
Epsom salts in the floatation tank strip off unwanted materials and chemicals from your hair. These foreign chemicals come from cosmetics and hair products that we use every day. After prolonged usage of hair products, our hair looks dull and frizzled at times. After floatation therapy, hair looks clean and refreshed. What is more? Hair looks natural and restored.
- Provides break from electronics
We are ever so engrossed with the electronics in our lives. Solving this, doing that, multitasking here and there, and overworking our brains. We spend too much time on electronics without really noticing it. Floatation therapy provides a break from that. For just an hour in a session, the mind and body are relaxed, giving us the rejuvenation we need. Smartphones and tablets have been known to promote sleep deprivation especially if we chat, browse, and game late into the night. Floatation therapy helps in providing break from this and enabling us to sleep well.
- Better skin
Epsom salts contain magnesium sulphate. Magnesium sulphate exfoliates the skin and removes dead cells from the skin. The young skin underneath the dead cells is thus exposed giving a person a vibrant and young look. Skin pores are also unclogged by magnesium sulphate.
- Muscle Recovery
Athletes and those who engage in physical activity are all familiar with the aches and pains associated with an active lifestyle. Being able to have the muscles recover quickly is essential in reducing discomfort and improving performance. A proactive approach to muscle recovery also allows people to continue to train and be active while reducing the risk of future injury. Floating is an excellent method for muscle recovery and utilized by many top athletes around the world.
- Fibromyalgia treatment
Under immense amount of stress, the human body undergoes negative changes in physiology. This is described by bodily distress syndrome, BDS. Markers of BDS are greatly reduced by a flat session in the floatation tank. BDS signs have been associated with symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Floatation therapy has been found to provide beneficial healing mechanism to people with fibromyalgia. With this therapy, there’s an increased feeling of well-being, relaxation, movement, and increased energy.
With all the hustle and bustle of life, we are always bound to experience fatigue and stress. Several methods of stress and pain relief are chemical, and/or drug related, which may increase toxins in the body. However, floatation therapy, helps to provide the therapeutic relaxation that our bodies and minds need without increasing drug or chemical exposure. The benefits of floatation therapy are vast and every person should give it a try if they can.