Floating has been proven to activate the parasympathetic nervous system while decreasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. When the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated our bodies tend to go into a state of stress it compromises our normal bodily functions and has a negative impact on our health. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated it allows our body to function efficiently while creating space for repair and regeneration.
Insomnia, fatigue & Jetlag
The results of flotation therapy to treat insomnia and fatigue are actually quite remarkable. The research actually suggests that 1hr of floating can be equivalent to 3-5 hours of deep sleep. When floating the Brian enters into a ‘theta state’ which leads to a state of delta waves, deep sleep, and eventually REM. Floating prepares the body and sets the floater up for a good nights sleep after a float. Not only has it been suggested that 1-3 float sessions are enough to break the cycle of insomnia, but floating also increases blood circulation, muscular relaxation, and can prevent adrenal fatigue.
Alleviates Stress & Increases Stress resistance
By reducing as much external input as possible, the flotation therapy (also called sensory reduction) allows the nervous system to rest as if you were pressing ‘reset.’ What we often do not acknowledge is that stress if often one of the main underlying contributors to just about any illness or health condition you can think of. While we may be aware of the stress of work and relationship situations there are often lots of external stressors that contribute to prolonged ‘chronic stress’ that we often do not acknowledge. According to medical research if the stress response of the body is thrown off it can put the body into fight or flight mode and cause the deregulation of other bodily systems eventually causing a domino effect of health problems. Regular floating is proven to give the nervous system the rest it needs to reset and maintain efficiency while also increasing our resistance to the effect of chronic stressors and increasing our physiological threshold.
Increases Dopamine & endorphins / Lowers Cortisol & Epinephrine
The relaxation response induced by floating increases the production of endorphins which relieve us from pain, enhance our moods, diminish feelings of depression and even decrease anxiety. The increased activity of the parasympathetic nervous symptoms causes the decrease in potentially harmful hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine while increasing the production of beneficial hormones such as dopamine & endorphins.
Increased Creativity, Mental Clarity, & Brain synchronization
Float research has shown the regular float sessions promotes greater communication between the right (creative-side) and left (analytical-side) hemispheres of the brain. Combined with the increase in Alpha, Theta, and even Delta brainwaves floating encourages increased states of creativity, mental clarity, problem-solving abilities, and expanded awareness.
Pain relief & management
The relaxation response induced by floating causes a decrease in blood pressure, heart rates, and muscle tension. Arthritis, back pain, neck pain, tendinitis, bursitis, inflammation, and psychosomatic pain relief have all been documented via tank use.
Heightens Visualization & Deepens meditation
For hundreds of years, some of our worlds most influential teachers, writers, and visionaries have withdrawn into solitude for the purpose of reflection, meditation, clarity, and reconnecting to new inspirations. The environment of the float tank reduces all external distractions and places the body in a place of complete relaxation while at the same time allowing for complete alertness, reflection, and introspection. The float tank is being used for visualization techniques by a wide range of individuals from professional athletes to lawyers, medical surgeons, public speakers, and wellness practitioners. The calm environment creates a stillness and clarity of mind that invites the floater to step into their greatest performances yet.
The benefits of meditation have been proven time and time again but unfortunately not everyone if going to get on a yoga mat or a meditation cushion. Floating is a powerful and unique tool for both new and experienced meditation practitioners to step into the stillness necessary to observe their thoughts and deepen their relationship with themselves. The float experience can induce Alpha & Theta brainwaves that are common through meditation and encourage shifts in perception, habits, and consciousness.
Enhanced physical rehabilitation & recovery
Epsom Salts alone is known for its profound benefits to muscle pain & recovery, detoxification of the body, and regulation of electrolytes just to mention a few. Additionally, in the float tank, there is no gravity being exerted on the body and no significant stimulation to be processed which means the physical and mental body along with all its functions are allowed to rest, re-align, and recover.
The research has shown that by relieving the stresses of gravity, floating takes the weight off strained bones, joints and muscles increase the efficiency of the blood circulation and not only increase the rate of recovery after physical exercise beyond recognition but also aids in injury prevention.
Increases Immune function & blood circulation
Floating increase circulation along with the distribution of oxygen and nutrients, while reducing blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen consumption to assist with immune function. Stress once again has more negative effects on our health and well-being than we think. Floating suppresses stress hormones that weaken the immune system, digestive systems and the reproductive system. Additionally, Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) has also suggested that functioning of our immune system is directly related to our state of mind and that having a clear, positive state of mind strengthens our immune system, recovery, and all round well being. Floating of course for a plethora of reasons aids in inducing a healthy, positive, clear, and inspired a state of mind.
Floatation therapy not only assists in the recovery, recuperation, and rehabilitation of athletes but is also used as a regular part of training and preparation. A practice of floating can help athletes reach peak mental and physical performance through neuro-muscular programming, self-exploration, increased mental awareness, and also increases focus, calm, and clarity when in the game through visualization techniques.
Behaviour modification & addiction
Floating creates a space where we can be still in reflection and can bring awareness to various patterns of behaviour in our lives that we may not have genuinely taken time to explore. When we get into the tank and are eventually able to surrender we find that the “doing” stops for a little bit and we being to recognize what it is like to simply “Be. “In this being, we sometimes find that we become aware of how our behaviour affects our own experiences and those around us. Combined with a decrease in anxiety, increased calmness, well-being, and self-confidence we find that we may begin to move away from self-destructive, habitual behaviours and addictions. It has been suggested that floating contributes greatly towards anti-smoking and weight loss programs.
It has also been documented that John Lennon used Floatation Therapy in overcoming a heroin addiction.
Enhanced learning & concentration
Research has shown that floating enhances cognitive learning, memory, and creativity. With the brain being in a theta state with limited distractions it becomes highly suggestible and has shown increased ability to absorb new material.
Reduced Anxiety & Depression
The brain responds to the relaxation response caused when floating by inhibiting the release of stress/anxiety/depressive causing neurotransmitters such as ATCH and cortisol, while at the same time increasing production of endorphins and dopamine. These chemicals occur naturally in the brain but this effect causes feelings of euphoria, motivation, inspiration, and generally create a more positive outlook. The release of these chemicals along with Alpha & Theta brainwaves helps create general shit in thought patterns and emotions over time.
Yes, you can float while pregnant!! Actually expecting mothers’ love it! As you know pregnancy can put the body through some changes that can cause both emotional and physical stress. Floating has been reported to relieve the pressure and pain caused by changes in the body and the increase in endorphins caused by floating also helps with pain management. Gravity also can cause a bit of stress for an expecting mother and to float in a tank with little gravity puts immense ease on the structure of the body.
Additionally, it is said that mothers-to-be may experience far less pain by connecting to and becoming more familiar with their body during pregnancy. Floating creates a space where deeper understanding and relationship to the body can be cultivated and this, in turn, assists with muscular control. More importantly is that this quiet time can actually encourage and create a deeper connection with the baby. Mothers have often said the baby can become more active when in the tank and sometimes you can even feel their heartbeat.