5 Ways Floatation Therapy Will Boost Your Health
We all know how important it is to take time out from our busy lifestyles, and get a break from screens, bosses, deadlines and even family! Recharging our body and our mind doesn’t just allow us to perform at our best, but also helps us avoid an array of health issues. Floatation therapy is one such technique that helps us recharge and is gaining immense popularity in Australia as more people discover its benefits.
Floating involves laying in a tank filled with water and Epsom salt, allowing you to float on top at a temperature the same as your skin. You are fully enclosed and in total darkness and silence for a designated period of time, commonly known as sensory deprivation.
A number of athletes and other celebrities are regular floaters, swearing by the technique. They include:
- Stef Curry and the Golden State Warriors
- Carl Lewis
- Elle McPherson
- Tom Brady
- Susan Sarandon
- Tim Ferris
- Wayne Rooney
- and many, many more.
“It’s an opportunity to just relax,” Curry told ESPN. “Get away from all the stresses on the court and in life, but it also has some physical benefits as well, with the salt.”
By switching off your senses from the external environment, you are 100% free from distraction. This allows your body and mind to get a much-needed break, in a clean, non-invasive, comfortable and relaxing environment.
Spending regular time in a floatation tank has been shown to provide a range of health benefits. Here are 6 ways floating can boost your health.
Floating reduces stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are two of the most common issues in our society today. Chronic stress can lead to an array of health problems such as increased blood pressure, chronic muscle tension and even kidney disease, heart attack and cancer.
Studies have shown that floating lowers your cortisol levels and blood pressure, both contributors to stress. Removing stimulation from the outside word allows your body and mind to relax, and your stress to decrease. At Water Temple in Melbourne, their floatation therapy tanks have 600kg of Espom salts in 100 litres of water, giving you a zero-gravity effect as well.
Floating improves sleeping habits
If you’re struggling to get good sleep on a regular basis, floatation could be the answser. Regular floating stops the production of ACTH (a hormone that causes secretion of cortisol when stressed) and with less worries and a replenished mind, sleeping can improve dramatically. Research also shows that spending time in a floatation tank can reduce symptoms of insomnia.
As well as reducing ACTH, floating also increases magnesium. Despite it being the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, most people are lacking in magnesium. Magnesium is involved in hundreds of reactions in your body including those that turn food into energy, amino acids into proteins and DNA repair. Having adequate levels of magnesium will ensure your body and mind is prepared for sleep.
Floatation boosts physical recovery and performance
If you are an active person (which we all should be) you can benefit immensely from floatation. Muscle soreness is a common issue associated with high levels of sport due to the build-up of lactic acid in your body. Floating helps to eliminate lactic acid faster, meaning your physical recovery will be better. It also helps to increase your energy levels due to an increase in adenosine triphosphate which drives crucial processes in many living cells.
Because floatation increases concentration and focus, as well as calming the nerves, it can also improve performance in sports that require these traits.
It boosts memory and creative thinking
Because you are deeply relaxed yet highly focused, floating can boost your creativity. With a mind free from distraction and stress, people are able to achieve high levels of thinking and creative visualisation. Musicians, writers and other creative individuals can reap huge rewards by trying a floatation pod, but it certainly isn’t limited to them.
Researcher Peter Suedfeld displayed that students who floated each week for a month performed better in both technical tests and improvisational tests. Every one of them gained higher grades than students who did not float.
Floating helps with injury
Because it is zero-gravity, floating reduces the pressure on muscles and joints. This is particularly helpful if you are recovering from injury or surgery. It also increases the blood flow throughout your body, speeding up the healing process. Studies have shown that floatation therapy ca reduce pain from arthritis, neck pain, back pain, abdominal muscle pains, tendinitis, and inflammation.
In 1994 an Australian cyclist named Brett Dennis rode off a cliff during a race in America, breaking his pelvis. Doctors gave him little hope of ever walking again but with a rehabilitation program that included floating 3 times a week, he was back in training within 2 months. Brett went on to win gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Many people have spoken of their ability to to having better stress handling skills, better sleeping habits, and increased energy levels after a session in a floatation pod. It is something I have incorporated into my regular health and fitness routine, and for anyone serious about maintaining their well-being, I highly recommend you looking into it too.