The Low Down on Flotation Therapy
Flotation therapy may be a new concept to most, but has actually been around for decades. Freed from external stimulation, floating weightless atop a bath of Epsom Salt water heated to match your internal body temperature; Sensory Deprivation Tanks allow your body to achieve a state of deep relaxation that is more beneficial than sleep… Even when we sleep, our body is still receiving sensory signals from things such as gravity, the bed sheets on our skin and sounds around us. So by completely removing those stimuli, your mind can focus purely on rejuvenation and repair.
Despite its recent spike in popularity, Float Tanks have actually been used as a form of therapy since the 1950s as a way to insight creativity, concentration and connection to others. In 2018, floating is now more widely known and researched for its ability to reduce the body’s stress response, inducing deep relaxation and quietening the minds chatter.
Essentially, floating helps to lower cortisol levels and calm the nervous system; activating the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing the activity of our sympathetic nervous system, and helping to restore balance of our immune and hormonal systems. More research is being done into the application of float tanks as a recognized therapy for different types of emotional distress such as PTSD, chronic pain and sleep difficulties. A study measuring the beneficial effects of sensory deprivation in the flotation tank (Kjellgren, A., & Westman, J. (2014)) showed results of a significant decrease in stress, depression, anxiety and pain, and a correlating increase in optimism, sleep quality and daily mindfulness.
Sold, right? Now you’re probably wondering how often you should be incorporating a float. Ideally, once or twice a week is the way to go, but everyone’s budget and schedules are different; so all I’m going to say is that the best thing you can do is just float whenever you can.
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