We live in a fast paced world, your brain inputs and outputs are like having 5 radio stations on at one time. Floating is like turning off the inputs and outputs and letting your body relax deep and fully, for the first time. Getting rid of all sensory input allows the left part of your brain to chill out for a second, allowing the creative, relaxed part of your brain to come out and play. Without the constant pressure of analyzing the world around you, your body lowers its levels of cortisol, the main chemical component of stress. Your brain also releases elevated levels of dopamine and endorphins, the neurotransmitters of happiness.
Not having to fight gravity lets your muscles, joints, and bones take a well-deserved break. Your body suddenly has loads of extra resources (usually spent supporting your weight, regulating temperature, and trying not to get speeding tickets), which it gets to focus on things like healing and resting. Without old-man gravity pushing you down all the time, your spine lengthens an inch, chronic pain is relieved, and your muscles get to fully rest. Unlike lying on a mattress, lying in water allows blood to flow freely all throughout your body.
About 25-40 minutes into your float your brain stops producing its normal Alpha waves and starts churning out Theta waves. These are responsible for that 'between-waking-and-sleeping' state, and you make them naturally every night before you conk out. While it only lasts for a few sparse moments in your bed, you can achieve a prolonged Theta state in the tank, a state of consciousness that is usually only seen in children and people who have spent years practicing meditation. Even the magnesium-based Epsom salts we use in the tank are good for you. They replenish your skin while drawing out toxins from your body.
Researchers and float tank users report many different beneficial effects from floating, from general well-being through to mental and physical benefits. Here are just a few:
- Pain Relief
- Health Issues & Vitality
- Weight Loss & Addictions
- Creativity, Learning & Performance
- Mental & Spiritual Well-being
Pain Melts Away
Floating has been proven to be a highly effective tool for reducing chronic pain. In addition to relieving pain during the session, it has also been shown to have significant lasting effects. Because of the extremely buoyant environment, floating reverses the effects of gravity, relieving pressure, relaxing muscles and providing relief from painful conditions.
Another contributor to pain relief is that floating has been shown to stimulate the brain to naturally release large amounts of endorphins: painkilling, substances known to create euphoria and pain relief similar to opiates. Among the issues that floating has been effectively used include:
- Back Pain
- Sports Injuries
- Pregnancy Discomfort
Excerpt from "The Book of Floating": "If you are suffering chronic back pain, headaches, or some other painful condition, floating can be apart of your pain management program. According to Gib Koula, program coordinator at Stress LabServices at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Appleton, Wisconsin. Researchers have found that when flotation is used as a primary method of relaxation, chronic pain conditions improved."
Health Issues Improved And Vitality Returns
The deep relaxation created by floating allows the body to return to its natural state of health and to combat the harmful effects of stress. Floating has been proven to reduce the levels of a number of stress-related neurochemicals in the body, such as adrenaline, norepinephrine, ACTH, and cortisol. These substances can cause tension, anxiety, irritability, as well as contributing to a number of physical ailments.
Also, the lack of stimulation to the nervous system triggers a spontaneous chain-reaction throughout the body known as the parasympathetic response. The chemistry of the body changes and there is a decrease in muscle tension, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen consumption. Blood vessels dilate, increasing cardio-vascular efficiency and supply of oxygen and nutrients to every single cell in your body.
Among the conditions that floating benefits are:
- Lower Blood Pressure, pulse, and heart rate
- Accelerate the Healing Process
- Reverse Jet Lag
- Increases production of endorphins
- Speeds up recovery
- Relieves pain (arthritis, migraines, injuries and chronic pain)
- Improves circulation and distribution of oxygen and nutrients
Weight And Addictions Normalize
It has been documented that floating is an effective tool in a weight reduction program, as well as for the treatment of addictive behaviors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Especially when used in combination with other supportive actions, floating has been shown to improve results and help sustain the positive benefits.
One specific factor related to weight loss, is the recently studied link between the stress hormone cortisol and weight gain. There is conclusive evidence that cortisol is reduced with the use of floating therapy.
Another way that flotation is an effective treatment for unwanted behaviors is because of its positive influence on the production of endorphins. These natural opiates decrease withdrawal symptoms of addiction and replace the need for addictive substances with the pleasurable feelings produced while floating.
In addition, relaxation with focused attention can be very powerful tools for motivating oneself to accomplish specific goals and be free unwanted or stressful behavior. Floating produces a deep relaxation that allows you to be open to suggestion and positive thoughts. It also eliminates distractions so you can explore issues with more clarity, and focus.
- Lose Weight
- Stop Smoking, Alcohol & other Addictions
- Facilitates freedom from habits, phobias and addictions
Creativity, Learning And Performance
Floating allows the right and left brain to be balanced, releasing the hold of the logic oriented left brain that our daily life tends to over develop. This gives access to unusual powers of creativity, imagination, visualization and problem solving.
In addition, similar to hypnosis, floating activates deeper levels of brain waves such as alpha and theta. Theta brainwaves are experienced during those fleeting moments when we drift from consciousness into sleep. This state is often accompanied by vivid metal images and has been found to be a rich source of access to the subconscious and creative inspiration. Research shows that during this state of deep relaxation the body and mind are very receptive to positive thoughts and imagery.
The introduction of suggestion through audio tapes or visualization can enhance the effects of floating, particularly when you desire improvements in activities such as sports, public speaking or learning.
Research has also shown that recovery from intense physical activity is easier and faster and that movement and overall body function is improved through floating.
Use floating to improve:
- Athletic & Business Performance
- Concentration and Confidence
- Creativity and Imagination
- Stimulates left/right brain synchronization
- Shifts brain waves from beta to lower frequency alpha, theta and even delta
- Increases creativity, mental clarity, alertness, and problem solving
- Heightens visualization
Mental And Spiritual Well-being
It has become common knowledge that the effects of the mind cannot be separated from the health of the body. They are linked beyond our current scientific understanding and their relationship is the topic of much research and discussion.
Floating has the unique quality of effecting both body and mind in a positive way - amplifying benefits and providing multiple layers of improved health, mood enhancement, mental clarity and consciousness expansion. The mood and mental benefits of floating have been compared to the effects of meditation without the years of practice. Since there are no external stimuli, your system can devote all its energies to restoring itself to its normal state. The normal state, of course, is health, vitality, and joy.
Floating Therapy has been shown to result in:
- Alleviation of Depression and Stress
- Heightened Awareness & Clarity
- Effortless deepens Meditation
- Expansion of Consciousness
- Deep relaxation and improves sleep
- Promotes total calm and peaceful relaxation
- Increases motivation, diminishes anxiety and fear
- Intensifies acuteness of all the senses
Benefits of Epsom Salt
Epsom salt has been used for centuries for its medicinal qualities and health benefits. It was once the most popular medical drug in England. Its beneficial antiseptic and restorative qualities were not understood, but users knew that it was good for health and promoted a long life.
Chemically, Epsom salt is known as 'magnesium sulphate'. This is not found naturally, so it has to be made from a suitable substance containing magnesium. Epsom salt is also a 'salt', but its constituents are magnesium, oxygen and sulphur (another non-metallic element).
In the manufacturing process, the carbon ingredient in the magnesium carbonate (dolomite) is replaced by sulphur. This then forms magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt). However, the magnesium prefers carbon to sulphur. So, Epsom salt readily exchanges its sulphur for carbon whenever possible. The magnesium draws out carbon, making the now inert residue soluble and facilitating excretion.
Epsom salt's strong affinity for carbon and carbon compounds is the secret of its value for medical purposes. It is always trying to revert to its original carbon state, which is why it's useful in helping to treat bodily conditions.
So, how does it work? Carbon, in one form or another, is one of the main building blocks of vegetation. This in turn provides the food on which we survive. The human body then excretes its waste products in the form of carbon.
Most of this carbon waste passes out via the lungs or bronchial tubes as carbon dioxide, which is formed as the result of a combustion process called oxidation. The blood and tissues need enough oxygen to carry out this process, in order to get rid of the carbon waste.
If there's not enough oxygen, 'retarded combustion' happens. This is when partially oxidised forms of carbon waste (such as uric acid) and other acids and toxins form.
These partially oxidized carbon compounds tend to build up in the blood and tissues, which can cause ill health and disease. However, Epsom salt can absorb and negate this harmful waste, acting as a useful remedial agent when correctly used.
Magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) paste is still widely recommended by doctors to help draw out impurities and poisons from the body. It is most beneficial when applied externally, because of its ability to draw waste (stored in the tissues) from the body through the skin.
Eight Ways Salt Heals
- Bathing in salt gradually increases the temperature of the body, thus killing harmful germs and viruses
- Salt bathing increases hydrostatic pressure on the body, thus increasing blood circulation and cell oxygenation. The increase in blood flow also helps dissolve and eliminate toxins from the body.
- Salt bathing increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, bring improved nourishment to vital organs and tissues.
- Bathing in salt water increases body metabolism, including stimulating the secretions of the intestinal tract and the liver, aiding digestion.
- Repeated salt bathing (especially over a three to four week period) can help normalize the functions of the endocrine glands as well as the functioning of the body's autonomic nervous system.
- Trace amounts of the minerals found in salts are absorbed by the body and provide healing effects to various body organs and systems. These healing effects can include stimulation of the immune system, leading to enhance immunity physical and mental relaxation the production of endorphins and normalized gland functions.
- The direct application of mineralized thermal water can have a therapeutic effect on diseases of the skin, including psoriasis, dermatitis and fungal infections. Some mineral waters are also used to help the healing of wounds and other skin injuries.
- Salts contain high amounts of negative ions, which can help promote feelings of physical and psychological well-being. Have the same effect in your home, take one of our salt lamps home as well.