Benefits of Floating
Reduction in pain
The magnesium in the Epsom salt eases muscle, joint, and low back pain, as well as increasing circulation and reducing blood pressure. A 2006 study involving seventy patients, 54 of which who had stress-related pain, found that after twelve flotation-REST treatments pain, stress, anxiety, and depression decreased. Optimism or positive attitude, sleep quality, and prolactin increased and stayed increase for up to four months after treatment. It was determined that flotation-REST is an effective way to treat stress-related pain.
Fibromyalgia, a disease which is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, is relieved with floating. In his paper, “The Effects of Flotation REST on the symptoms of Fibromyalgia,” Dr. Borrie found that study participants diagnosed with Fibromyalgia experienced, “significant reductions in pain, muscle tension, stress, anxiety, and sadness, as well as significant increases in relaxation, feelings of well-being, energy, and ease of movement,” after only three sessions. These subjects also experienced better sleep quality.
When you float, the effects of gravity on your body are muted. As a result, your body is allowed to completely relax, whereby allowing your blood vessels to expand more freely and deliver greater blood flow to all parts of your body. Greater blood flow allows your body to remove toxins at a greater rate, along with it lactic acid crystallized in between muscle fibers.
More restful sleep
Just one 60-minute float session can be as restful as an entire night’s sleep, without any of the pressure points of discomfort. People who float find their natural sleep cycles revived, especially in people with tendencies towards irregular sleeping patterns or insomnia.
Reduction in anxiety and depression
Anxiety affects about 40 million adults in the US and depression affects nearly 15 million adults each year. In a 2001 study conducted by the Journal of Canadian Pain Society, it was found that flotation sessions decreased anxiety and depression and increased optimism. In a 2014 study, 65 participants were randomized into a wait-list control group or a flotation tank treatment group who received twelve flotation sessions over seven weeks. The control group had a rise in depression; whereas the flotation group saw a nearly 50% decrease in depression. It was then concluded that flotation is successful in reducing stress and depression symptoms.
Mindfullness and reduced stress
According to the American Medical Association, 60% of all human illnesses can be derived from stress. Justin Feinstein, Ph.D. is the director of the only float lab in the US; The Float Clinic and Research Center at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research. Through his studies, he is finding positive scientific data that floating does decrease stress and increase mindful meditation: “Our preliminary analyses are showing that the stress circuits of the brain are shutting off post-float.” The near-zero gravity state of the float tank allows the body to relax and because it reduces the outside minutia, people can look inward and practice mindful meditation. With the removal of outside stimuli, floaters focus on what is in the pod with them, most notably, their heartbeat and their breathe. Many people who have difficulty meditating find it much easier in a pod.
Lowered cortisol levels
In addition to playing a significant role in weight gain and water retention, cortisol increases blood pressure and blood sugar. Studies monitoring blood pressure before and post-float show significant reductions in cortisol levels and lowered blood pressure.
Improved creativity and productivity
Many people say they use sensory deprivation to recharge their batteries and access their creative mind. In a 1987 study conducted by the University of British Columbia, five psychology professors participated in six, one-hour float sessions and six, 90-minute sessions sitting alone in their office. After each session, professors would dictate research ideas into a tape recorder. Findings showed that the research ideas post-float session were more creative than the office sessions. It indicates that “These findings support the prediction that REST would facilitate high-level creative behavior and positive affect.” In another study of 40 university students, one hour of floating resulted in increased scores on a standardized test specifically used to measure creativity. Because floating limits visual, touch, and auditory stimuli, much of the processing power your mind dedicates is freed to focus on other things.
Good prenatal care
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.
Enhanced positive mood
The weightless environment with little sensory stimuli causes a release in endorphins which produce a positive, euphoric felling of well-being and happiness.
Healthy skin, hair, and nails
Magnesium targets and repairs connective tissues. Absorbed transdermally through the skin, magnesium helps cells retain their elasticity and aids in collagen production. The result is the reduced appearance of cellulite under the skin. Spending 60-minutes in a float tank can leave your skin feeling refreshed, your hair looking rejuvenated, and your nails stronger.