7 Reasons Flotation Therapy Might Be Your Next Thing
Photo Credit: www.floatclinic.com
If you haven’t yet heard of flotation therapy, it’s probably going to sound pretty darn strange at first. For most people a form of sensory deprivation, where you essentially float at zero gravity in a dark enclosed tank of body temperature salty water, sounds like walking into a nightmare. At least it did for me. But I came around, and I’m not alone. Float tanks have recently boomed in popularity across the world. In just the U.S, the number of float therapy studios has gone from about 50 to more than 250 in just 5 years.
So why would you do this?
Float tanks have actually been around since the 1950s because of neuroscientist John Lilly, who wanted to research the effects of reducing outside stimulation on the brain. He found that when the brain has no sensory input it becomes highly creative, and additionally, that the body falls into a state of homeostasis.
There are many other reasons why you should try it:
1) Studies have found links between floating and relief from anxiety and depression. One study in particular found that people with generalized anxiety disorder who floated for 12-45 minute session had significant reduction in symptoms after seven weeks. These benefits were found to last for months afterwards. A research team at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, led by clinical neuropsychologist Justin Feinstein, revealed that floating has a similar effect to anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam, without the side effects.
2) Other studies found a positive effect of flotation therapy on circulation, endorphin release, pain relief, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Also at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, floating was found to lead to a 22% drop in levels of the stress-hormone cortisol. Other claims have stated that magnesium absorption from the Epsom salt helps multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, migraines and restless leg syndrome.
3) Floating is also said to support mindfulness practices and meditation by making meditative states much easier. It allows you to unplug, reset, and tune into yourself without interruptions and sensory distractions.
4) As mentioned, flotation therapy, by reducing your sensory input, lets your brain tap into more creative areas, enhancing your imagination and unlocking your potential for creative thinking and motivation.
5) A recent study from UC Irvine found floating to be a long-lasting treatment option for tension headaches resulting from neck and shoulder soreness and tightness.
6) Doing float tank sessions two hours a week was found to improve insomnia symptoms for up to 12 weeks. And even if you don’t have insomnia, it helps facilitate a peaceful deep sleep by calming your nervous system.
7) Floating helps you recover from a tough workout by improving the level of lactic acid in your muscles and speeding up your recovery time.
Floating is also simply all about ‘you-time’. It’s self-care that allows you to completely separate from the world for a period of time, where you can shut down, reflect, heal, calm yourself, and come out revitalized. You can feel completely weightless, both literally and metaphorically. And a salt bath always makes your skin and hair feel great, so that’s a bonus!
Things to watch out for:
1- Don’t go into a float tank freshly shaved, with cuts or scratches, or with fresh tattoos. It will hurt.
2- Don’t drink or eat too much beforehand.
3- Don’t rub your eyes during….because…salt.
Need to feel more familiar with what getting into a float tank might be like? Check out this video: :
Are you ready to give it a try? Look up float tanks or flotation therapy near you. If you’re in Beirut, check out Float Lebanon: https://www.facebook.com/KayFloat/
Their tank is currently under renovation, so we haven’t had a chance to check them out yet! If you have, please let us know your feedback and review in the comments.
That’s all for now folks!