It’s true that the term “sensory deprivation” can be a little intimidating, but floating therapy sounds a little better. With marketing in mind the experience of floating in a warm water and Epsom salt solution is commonly referred to as Restricted Environmental Stimulus Technique (REST.) The sensation of floating combined with darkness and quiet causes deep relaxation and produces theta waves in the brain – the same waves produced during REM sleep and meditation (source). Floating used to be associated with hippies trying to achieve elevated states of consciousness, but is increasingly embraced by fitness advocates and competitive athletes.
Health Benefits of Float Therapy
While floating therapy is by no means a panacea, it can be an effective tool for improving your overall health and well-being. Health benefits of floating range from reducing chronic pain, increasing circulation, improved mood and generally contributes to relaxation and recovery. One benefit is the relief and rest this therapy provides to your joints and particularly your spinal column, which endures a lot of mistreatment. Some users have reported deep relaxation and very restful sleep during their sessions (source). As an added benefit, the Epsom salt is good for the skin and is a natural anti-inflammatory.
” Usually it takes perhaps fifteen minutes to enter the first deep stage of relaxation, and the remaining 45 minutes of a typical hour-long session seem to pass quickly and effortlessly. The benefits begin during this stage but continue after yo u leave the tank and for the rest of the day, and the next day, your body and mind feel refreshed.
Conditions known to be Improved by Floating
- Stress relief
- Muscular pain
- Chronic pain
- Fatigue Fertility
- High blood pressure
- Migraine headache
- Jet lag
- Back pain
- Pre-menstrual tension
- Post-natal depression (source)
Yesterday we wrote about a neutropic called CILTEP.
I stumbled across this video where an army officer
uses CILTEP with before he gets in the float tank as a way to organize his thoughts. He begins to talk about that at about 2 minutes in.
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Float Therapy for Athletes
Both amateur and professional athletes of all kinds from tennis players to marksmen have begun to embrace the efficacy of floating therapy. The Dallas Cowboys football team experimented with this therapy for its players back in the 1980’s (source). Beyond the clear benefits of relaxation and rest that aid with recovery, athletes are interested in floating therapy because of the opportunity to practice visualization techniques. You don’t have to be a competitive athlete to take advantage of the long understood benefits of visualization. Mentally rehearsing the skills and necessary for successful performance can help you in your workouts such as helping you achieve a new personal record. Give floating therapy a try and see if it can help you feel more relaxed and prepare you to tackle your workouts with renewed vigor.