benefits of floating
As research into R.E.S.T (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) continues across the globe, the list of scientifically proven benefits of float therapy grows.
Although the applications of floating are many and expanding, the following seem to be reported as the most useful to modern living.
…it is also extremely relaxing and fun.
The parasympathetic (relaxation) response is the mechanism by which the body naturally regenerates itself and maintains chemical and metabolic balance. Taking a day off from training is the typical way to initiate this mechanism so that your body can heal. However, floating has been proven to stimulate the parasympathetic response thus allowing for recovery on-demand.
Floating can have an important role at several stages of the pain management process. The elimination of gravity on the body allows muscles and joints to release tension and heal more rapidly. Floating also reduces blood pressure and inflammation in a relatively short period of time and without effort on the part of the participant.
Aside from the plethora of anecdotal testimonies, a study on the effects of floating showed that participants who floated fell asleep more easily in the days following their float. Floating triggers a deep relaxation response, much deeper than normal sleep. It is often reported that, after an hour in the tank, people feel as if they have had closer to 4 hours of rest.
With the elimination of external stimuli, the central nervous system’s workload is reduced by as much as 90%. This allows the body to regenerate and readjust chemical imbalances. Research has shown that the blood levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are reduced after floating.
As the relaxation response is activated during a float session, hormones such as dopamine and endorphins are released into the bloodstream. Both of which are also released during exercise. The “runner’s high effect” of exercise has been proven to improve symptoms of depression and many report the same effect after floating. In fact, in Sweden, patients can be referred to a float tank center by their general practitioner or even employer for depression or substance abuse. Veterans suffering from PTSD have also found solace in floating as a supplemental therapy to reduce anxiety, hyper-vigilance and insomnia.
Visualization is one of the primary technologies used in performance/sports psychology. Shifting perspective, through use of breath work or meditation, is one technique used to initiate its benefits. Floating takes perspective shift to another level and allows for an unprecedented measure of concentration. This is likely why floating is now used by everyone from public speakers and professional athletes to executives and Olympians. Floating has helped many optimize their focus on, and success in, upcoming performances.
Downtime is essential for any creative process. Floating offers an extremely effective form of it. Numerous studies show an increased level of creativity after just sixty minutes of float therapy. Some famous creatives that float include Joe Rogan, Paul Giamatti, Michael Crichton, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Bridges, Kristen Wiig, William Hurt and Peter Gabriel.
Floating enables our brainwave frequency to switch from a Beta to a Theta state. Theta waves, measured at 4-7 Hz, are the twilight state we experience just before sleeping and just after waking, the border between the conscious and the subconscious. Theta is also the frequency that experienced meditators attain after years of practice. The research on the benefits of meditation is extensive. By allowing even non-practitioners to reach similar levels, floating has become a powerful mechanism to access and influence the subconscious part of ourselves. It is believed that in a meditative Theta state, the mind is capable of deep learning, healing, and personal growth.
We live in a fast paced culture humming with electronic devices and a seemingly endless set of expectations heaped upon us. The reality is that, many of us find it difficult to slow down. Yet, some of the most intelligent and successful people throughout history have spoken of the virtues of periodic solitude…a much-needed step back to reflect and then progress. Floating offers this respite in one of the most comfortable, effortless and unique forms available to us.
including a few you may know such as Tom Brady, The New England Patriots, Steph Curry, The Ohio State Buckeyes, Wayne Rooney, The Seattle Seahawks as well as many Olympians, martial artists and runners.
busy professionals and new parents
have discovered that floating is truly the ultimate “me-time” allowing a mental and physical reset the likes of which few knew was possible.
suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic pain associated with hip/knee replacements have found that floating reduces muscle tension, inflammation and pain.
such as writers, artists, comedians, musicians and chefs float to reach deep into their subconscious for inspiration. Some famous creative floaters include Joe Rogan, Paul Giamatti, Michael Crichton, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Bridges, Kristen Wiig, William Hurt and Peter Gabriel.
suffering from PTSD have found solace in floating as a supplemental therapy to reduce anxiety, hyper-vigilance and insomnia.
can go to explore, reflect and rejuvenate in an environment that their minds and bodies have never had the pleasure of experiencing.
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