What is Floatation Therapy?
In A Nutshell
Floatation therapy is a method by which one can easily obtain the deepest physical and mental rest and relaxation very quickly. Essentially, it’s spending hour or so floating quietly in a purpose-built float tank containing a highly concentrated Epsom salts solution, twelve inches deep and so dense that you float effortlessly. The solution is heated to 35 degrees Celsius to match your body’s skin temperature for maximum comfort.
The dimensions of the float tank installed at my health centre measure 8 foot long by 4 foot wide and it stands 7 foot tall. This allows ample space inside to move around and stretch out and also, to lessen any claustrophobic worries.
Unless you happen to be an astronaut, floating in water is the only time that your body is going to be free of the forces of gravity and this in itself is a quite extraordinary feeling. The combination of weightlessness and the absence of external stimuli enable the body to relax deeply. In this zero gravity environment all your muscles will relax simultaneously while your brain enters a deep theta state, much akin to being hypnotised.
Floating does not require any swimming skills, as you actually float like a cork, no matter what weight or shape you are. Your skin will not wrinkle either; due to the high salt content of the water (wrinkling is actually caused by water leaching salts from your skin).
During the float there should be no feelings of being confined in a tight space. The lights and door are controlled by you so even if you are
feeling claustrophobic, you can choose to float with the light on and the door open. You are always in total control. You just need a willingness on your part to let go and see what happens. During the float you can also choose to hear gentle music in the tank to further help you relax.
Some people may need to float a few times before they are able to completely relax both mentally and physically. Generally though, one quickly enters a profoundly relaxed state where they will lose all sense of time and drift off into a dream-like state, partially induced by the release of endorphins; the body’s feel-good chemicals. After your floatation session ends, this euphoric feeling will stay with you for many hours and even days. And the more often you float, the better it gets. People who regularly float experience a raft of health benefits most of which are listed below.
Click To Play Floatation Video
The Health Benefits of Floating
Apart from general relaxation research has shown floatation therapy to measurably reduce blood pressure and heart rate whilst also lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. In addition, endorphins, the body’s natural opiates and painkillers, are released.
As you relax in the warm salt solution, your capillaries and larger blood vessels all dilate, increasing blood flow and facilitating the elimination of metabolic wastes and other toxins from your body. This benefits arthritic pains, muscle spasms and tenderness; often eliminating the need for pain controlling drugs entirely. For example, individuals suffering from the constant pain of fibromyalgia, get amazing relief when regularly taking floats.
But floating isn’t just for people in pain. As a society, most people in this day and age are under enormous mental pressure in their daily lives and so, a one hour floatation session, allows their brain and nervous system to power down and recuperate.
Floating is also helpful for insomnia (one hour float has the restorative effects of six hours of sleep) for fatigue, for mental concentration and creativity, and for detoxification (Epsom salts draws toxins out of the body).
In a nutshell: Floating can help with the following:
- Intense physical and mental relaxation
- Relives stress
- Lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol
- Releases endorphins (body’s feel-good hormone)
- Decreases anxiety
- Improves mental concentration
- Improves sleep patterns
- Increases energy levels
- Pain-relief form back injuries and muscle and joint pain
- Detoxification of the body
- Improves the condition of the skin
- Provides relief from aches and pains during pregnancy
- Increase creativity by balancing the left and right brain hemispheres.