Physical, mental & spiritual healing.
Benefits of Floatation Therapy
There are wide ranging positive health and wellbeing benefits to floating, some are anecdotal but there has also been extensive research* done over the years to test the effects of the experience on treating both pain and trauma.
The benefits of floating can broadly be divided into two categories: the first being physical, the second, mental and wellbeing:
Physical benefits of floating
The Epsom salt used in floatation is actually a form of Magnesium which is also a naturally occurring mineral found in the body. Magnesium helps to control hundreds of chemical reactions in the body as well as regulating blood pressure, strengthening muscles and bones and helping to keep our immune systems strong. During floatation magnesium is absorbed through the skin supplementing the body’s level of this incredible substance.
Research has shown that this absorption of magnesium coupled with the relaxing effects of floating has been known to have positive effects on the body. The list below is far from exhaustive but gives an indication of some of the physical benefits that floating can have and some of the ailments, illnesses and injuries that may be aided by the experience.
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Reduce Cortisol levels
Cortisol is an adrenal hormone that is released when the body is under stress. Excessive levels of Cortisol can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms as your immune system no longer works efficiently. Studies have shown that high levels of cortisol are often found in people with Fibromyalgia – a common chronic pain condition. Fibromyalgia sufferers can experience some pain relief from floating regularly as their cortisol levels are reduced.
Floating has been used by athletes to aid muscle recovery. The salt solution is believed to act as an anti-inflammatory facilitating healing of recent injuries and enhancing the rehabilitation of chronic injuries.
The healing properties of the salt solution have also been used to relieve pain in particular amongst arthritis sufferers, pregnant women with aching joints and migraine sufferers. In the case of arthritis whilst it cannot be cured the floatation room provides an environment in which the muscles can relax and the feeling of weightlessness takes the pressure away from the joints, providing a relief from the pain.
Increased Immune Health
Low magnesium levels can result in a variety of ailments if a person’s immune system is low. Floating can help to top up your levels of magnesium, therefore aiding and improving your overall immune health.
As we get older poor circulation can become an issue leading to stiffness of muscles and joints. As you relax in the floatation tank your blood pressure is lowered increasing your blood flow. This increase in oxygen around the body helps the muscles and joints to relax, easing the pain.
Mental and wellbeing benefits of floating
During a float, you produce slower brain waves, known as theta waves. Most of us usually experience these waves as we drift off to sleep, or as we are waking up but aren’t consciously thinking. Being in this peaceful relaxed frame of mind (“theta state”) is believed to provide extensive mental and wellbeing benefits including:
Relieves stress and anxiety
Research shows that floating measurably reduces blood pressure and heart rate whilst lowering the level of the stress related hormone, Cortisol in the body. Eliminating the external stimuli that cause anxiety and providing an environment to completely relax has been found to alleviate stress and revitalise both body and mind.
Treatment for post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD)
Evidence suggests floating can have a positive psychological impact and it has been used alongside conventional therapy to treat people with post-traumatic-stress-disorder.
A reduction in stress and anxiety leads to a calmer person which in turn can help to improve the quality of a person’s sleep. Whether you suffer from insomnia or have other troubles that prevent you from resting floating can help you make up for your lack of sleep. It is even believed that a one-hour float can have the restorative effect of up to four hours of deep sleep.
Away from the daily hustle and bustle of modern life, some users of floatation therapy have found they have experienced vivid imagery, clear creative thoughts, sudden insights and inspirations whilst they float, boosting their creativity post-float.
As you can see the array of benefits of floating is extensive. Each individual’s floating experience is unique, as are the benefits they perceive. As this form of therapy becomes more mainstream, we feel sure that the list of benefits will increase further.
For further information on the reported benefits of floating please see our blog post ‘Floating in the news’.
* Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov