Flotation or floating therapy was once known as isolation or sensory deprivation treatments. Unappealing as it sounds, it was not well received until these recent years when it was appropriately renamed as flotation or floating therapy. It has since become so popular and is currently widely acclaimed as the most effective de-stressing relaxation technique to benefit both mind and body.
The single person session is experienced in a spa setting, with an oversized tub-like tank or chamber resembling a mini spaceship or in a more spacious suite suitable for the claustrophobic. The chambers and suites have private showers and each one locks from the inside. The session starts with a shower to cleanse the body from scents, oils and lotions, and ends with a shower to remove the Epsom salt bath residue. Most float centers provide basic toiletries for your shower and moisturizing needs, towels and robes as well as light snacks and teas.
The chamber or tank is filled with a foot deep of body temperature water and 1000 to 1300 pounds of medical grade Epsom salt. This combination results in effortless floating, a feeling of being suspended in air. No one sinks in a float tank. As you float, your mind and body starts to relax. The background piped-in music eventually fades and stops, the chamber is completely quiet. The light can be completely off or can be dimmed to your preference. You are in full control of the whole experience, which makes this unthreatening for the novice and claustrophobic.
With the removal of sight and sound (sensory deprivation), your breathing slows down and your body reaches a deeper state of relaxation, deeper than sleep. The floating itself allows the body to rebalance and regenerate itself, reducing elevated levels of Cortisol, the stress hormone. It recharges the brain fast, with an hour of floating compared to 4 hours of sleep. The Epsom salt in the water detoxifies your body as it helps in the recovery and healing process. Some of the more common benefits from the therapy include:
- increased mental clarity and creativity
- increased blood flow which lowers blood pressure
- promotes healing and provides relief of chronic pain and inflammation greatly benefiting arthritis, rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions
- speeds recovery from athletic activity and injury
- reduces anxiety, stress and depression resulting in better sleep
- improves the overall health of the immune system
- helps with behavior modification, addictive and self-destructive behavior.
It is important to contact your float center or spa prior to your float session for specific preparation requirements. Pregnant women must consult with their medical practitioner before starting floating therapy.
The practice of floating therapy has made a positive impact on our everyday health and wellness, promoting mindfulness and a positive outlook in life. The effortless way to relax and recharge will leave you rejuvenated for days, or even weeks. Continued floating therapy sessions will only greatly enhance your quality of life providing you with the ultimate deep relaxation that is much needed in this stressful reality of life that we’re in.