When I first walked into a float spa, I was skeptical. How could something so ridiculously simple actually do any good? I was totally blown away. One hour in the float chamber and I felt like my brain and body had been completely defragmented and rebooted.
What is Floating?
Even though floating has been around since the 1950’s, this might be the first time you’re hearing about it, so let me remove some of the mystery.
Float tanks themselves vary in size, but it’s not a claustrophobic experience by any means. There’s a shallow tub filled with about twelve inches of hyper-salinized water, which water is so dense that you float right on top. The temperature is a perfect 93.5°F—skin-receptor neutral—so it feels neither hot nor cold.
After you lie down on your back in the water, the timer automatically lowers the lights until you are in complete darkness and silence. Then what?
You reboot. Every second of every day we are subjected to a constant barrage of input, kicking the brain into overdrive while the body works hard to survive. In the float chamber, the sensory overload stops and your body floats in zero gravity. You can’t see, hear or feel anything. You have nothing to do but heal.
Results for the Body: Athletic Training, Easing Pain & Treating Chronic Disease
As an athlete, you put a lot of stress on your body. You tear tissue and throw your alignment out of whack. Your muscles and joints become inflamed. Your body needs to heal—and quickly—if you’re training for a race or working hard to get into optimal shape.
Here’s how floating helps athletes, chronic pain sufferers, and those dealing with diseases like cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
Epsom salt is a muscle relaxer. The water in a float tank is salinized with epsom salt, which has been used for hundreds of years for its therapeutic properties. And when there’s no recognizable gravity to weigh you down, your muscular system completely lets go. This allows your skeletal system to readjust with ease, getting your alignment back into check and possibly preventing an imbalance-related injury.
Removing gravity causes a vasodilatory effect. Your veins, muscles, and blood vessels expand, leading to a drop in blood pressure and heart rate and increased circulation. Everything is suddenly working better. Fresh blood cells move through tissues, and the system shoots oxygen around the body to feed the muscles. Your body experiences a rejuvenation. The healing process is kickstarted and will continue to heal post-session.
Floating helps blood flow to the core. Most of us are in fight-or-flight stress mode all the time. If you’re an athlete, you’re pushing yourself harder and harder to reach your fullest potential, and that fight mode comes into play. If you’re battling a chronic illness, your body is literally fighting for its life. When you’re in this kind of stress mode, blood rushes to the extremities—your arms, legs, hands and feet. During sensory deprivation, your blood concentrates in your vital organs—your heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Blood flow to the core stimulates the healing process.
Defragmenting the Brain: Boosting Creativity and Healing the Mind
Have you ever been so distracted that you couldn’t focus enough to complete a simple task or remember where you put your keys or your phone? Unfortunately, the technology we love demands a lot of our attention, whether we realize it or not. Honking horns, push notifications, glaring screens and lots of traffic—all of these things are taxing on our brains.
During sensory deprivation, your body produces extra digestive enzymes, endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Your mind regains balance…it’s like fasting for the brain! More and more people are using float sessions to successfully treat disorders like ADHD, anxiety, depression, and Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Practicing meditation is a good way to reboot, but some of us just can’t get to that peaceful place. Floating is like instant meditation. It clears the mind and opens channels for creativity, communication, and healing.
Weekly visits to the float spa have become an essential part of my quest to live my best, healthiest life. I just feel so much more relaxed, clearer, and more focused when I’m floating on a regular basis. In this buzzing, moving, beeping, honking, crazy, amazing world, floating provides just the opportunity we all need to relax, rejuvenate, and reboot.