The hustle and bustle of daily life can put a lot of stress on our minds and bodies. Sometimes its hard to find a way to wind down and completely relax. Flotation therapy is a great way to take some time out and give yourself the rest you deserve.
Flotation therapy involves floating on a very dense salt water mixture in a flotation tank. The water in the tank is about 25 cm deep and contains a very high concentration of Epsom salts. The density of the mixture makes it impossible to sink and you can float without any effort.
Floating is a very private experience. The flotation tank is housed in a room with its own bathroom facilities. You shower before entering the tank and then again after your float to remove the salt solution. Most people dont wear anything when they float just think of the tank as a big bathtub though you can wear a swimsuit if you prefer.
The flotation tank is entered via a hatch in its side. You have total control over the environment in which you float. You can either close the hatch and float in darkness, or leave it open, either fully or partially, to let some light enter.
You also have the option of floating either in silence, or with gentle, relaxing music or a self-hypnosis audio playing. Self-hypnosis audio options include ones to help you lose weight, stop smoking, relieve stress or improve study habits.
Once inside the tank, its just a case of finding your most comfortable floating position.
As you float, your body becomes very relaxed, as the external stimuli to your senses are greatly reduced. The total or semi-darkness means your eyes receive little input. Your ears will be underwater as you float so your hearing will be diminished. And as the water in the flotation tank is maintained at skin temperature, the boundary between your body and the air and water surrounding you will become harder to distinguish.
Research has shown that this state of deep relaxation has a number of physical effects on the body. The heart rate and breathing slow. The reduction in gravity on the body causes the muscles to become very relaxed and electrical activity in the muscles decreases, allowing them to release tension. Blood flow to the muscles is also improved. All of this can lead to faster healing of injuries.
A number of changes also occur in the brain. Its electrical activity alters, with the brainwaves changing from beta to the alpha and theta waves that occur when we are very relaxed or drowsy. Endorphins, the bodys natural painkillers, are released. Also, the activity in the two hemispheres of the brain becomes more balanced as the left, or logical, side relaxes and reduces its activity, and the right, creative, side increases in activity.
Flotation therapy can benefit a number of conditions, including musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular problems, pain, stress and depression, sleep problems, and fatigue, as well as assisting with self-development.
The effects of flotation therapy seem to last longer the more times you float. Thats no reason not to try just a single float though. Chances are, after trying it once, youll be eager to go back for more.