Floatation therapy, also known as floating, floatation, sensory deprivation involves lying in a salt-water solution in a spacious tank. It is one of the most effective means of stress relief and relaxation available. Floatation is also used to treat a wide range of ailments and conditions and has been proven to lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone).
A study done in Australia has shown that stress, depression, anxiety, and worst pain were significantly decreased after floating, whereas optimism and sleep quality significantly increased for the flotation-REST group. No significant results for the control group were seen (half of the group received floats, the other half did not). There was also a significant correlation between mindfulness in daily life and degree of altered states of consciousness during the relaxation in the flotation tank. You can read more of the study here.
A recent article in the Huffington Post details an experience had by one of their writers, read more here.
Other benefits of floating:
- Increased Blood Circulation – The weightless environment of the floatation tank allows for the muscles and joints of the body to relax, increasing blood flow and helping to accelerate repair of muscle tissues. This is especially beneficial for those with injuries or chronic pain.
- Relaxation – Floating weightless in the tank suppresses the functioning of the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response. Simultaneously, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated which is responsible for relaxation, stimulation of digestive secretions, replenishment and general recuperation.
- Water in the tank has the added benefit of being saturated with Epsom salts, which have well-established healing effects, helping to draw out toxins and lactic acid build-up, and speeding up recovery time.
- The high concentration of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) are absorbed through skin. Magnesium assists in regulating high blood pressure, preventing cardiovascular disease, preventing osteoporosis, relieving menopause symptoms, providing PMS relief, creating healthier bones and teeth, and is involved with detoxification.
Floating is a great addition to any meditation practice.
Have you tried floating? Tell us about your experience!