Imagine being suspended in a bath of Epsom salt or magnesium sulfate. It’s dark, quiet, and the water temperature matches your body temperature so you feel like you are floating in mid air.
Sounds relaxing right? Floating in a floatation tank is certainly calming, but this therapy offers more than simple relaxation.
Here are some additional benefits of floatation therapy:
Magnesium sulfate is a mineral that nearly everyone is deficient in. When you float in a flotation tank, your body absorbs these minerals and your body’s magnesium and sulfate levels increase. This helps to calm your nervous system and enhances your body’s natural ability to heal.
The deep relaxation state the you enter when floating helps to reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels. Blood flow is stimulated and endorphins are released. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that reduce feelings of pain and trigger positive feelings. Studies have shown that floatation therapy can even help with depression. The endorphins released during a float last beyond the float session itself.
The extreme buoyancy that individuals experience when floating is essentially like experiencing anti-gravity. This allows those with joint or muscle pain much needed relief that they cannot get otherwise.
Pregnant women can benefit from floatation therapy in several ways. Floating relieves pressure from feet and back and offers an escape from the added weight and strain from carrying a baby. Floating can also help mothers-to-be create a symbiotic sense of connection with their babies. Some women see similarities between floating and the womb—which deepens their connection to their unborn baby. Pregnant women should get an okay from their doctor before participating in floatation therapy.
The combination of weightlessness, water temperature, increased blood flow, and endorphins provides relief from migraines. If migraines are caused by restricted blood flow, the increased blood flow experienced during a float session may alleviate migraine symptoms and possibly even prevent migraines from starting.
Floating can improve athletic performance by reducing recovery time between intense workouts. This helps athletes train their bodies faster and condition it harder. Floatation therapy is often recommended by trainers and used by serious athletes.
Flotation therapy has been shown to enhance performance in general. Several studies by Peter Suedfeld of University of British Columbia and Arreed Barabasz of Washington State University show enhancement in human performance of scientific creativity, instrument flight performance, and piano performance.
Floatation therapy has also been proven beneficial for the following:
- Insomnia and sleep problems
- Tendency towards diabetes
- Muscle strains
- Addiction problems
While floatation therapy is not a magic cure, it can be helpful at managing or improving many conditions. Always consult your physician about any medical or psychological concerns you are having.