Using float tanks as therapy has become very popular in recent years, and it has been proven especially helpful for those that suffer from addictions like a smokers need for nicotine. Floating has been proven successful for helping people quit smoking by using the tank to help curb cravings which leads to kicking the habit for good.
Floating or float therapy takes place in a sensory deprivation tank that blocks all the light and sound from entering the body in order to block the senses. 12” of a saltwater solution heated is added to the tank, and it is heated to about 95 degrees or the external temperature of the body. While in the tank, the participant floats effortlessly within the solution. The float therapy rids the participant of stress and anxiety which can spark a cigarette craving. The lack of stimuli combined with the weightless feeling allows the brain to enter a meditative state free of cravings because the body is totally secure. Float therapy sessions give relief to much of the stress brought on by work or family life. The sessions act as a reset button for the brain which is what helps the participant quit smoking.
The Epsom salt solution will keep the body floating with absolutely no effort, thus allowing the physical and mental effects of the Float therapy.
Theta Waves and Float Therapy
All of a person’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors stem from the communication between the neurons within the brain. Brainwaves are created by a synchronization of the electrical pulses coming from groups of neurons as they communicate with one another. Scientists can detect brainwaves by using sensors that are placed on the head scalp.
There are four main types of brainwaves.
- Beta: this wave has a frequency of 14-28 cycles, and it occurs when a person is active and alert.
- Alpha: this wave has a frequency of 7-14 cycles and occurs when a person is in a state of deep relaxation. Daydreams are created in at this frequency.
- Theta: this wave has a frequency of 4-8 cycles, and it is found during states of deep relaxation like REM sleep and hypnosis.
- Delta: this wave has a frequency of 1-3 cycles, and it is found during episodes of very deep sleep when the person is dreamless.
The most important brainwave when discussing float therapy is theta. When an individual floats in the sensory deprivation tank, the brain begins to slow down and produce theta waves. The deep relaxation allows the subconscious mind to be reached, the place where addictions begin. Research suggests the only way to truly erase a condition like nicotine addiction, and truly quit smoking, is to find the root of the issue which resides in the subconscious.
Theta is a powerful state to reach within your brain, and it can almost be compared to a kind of trance, similar to that achieved by children absorbed in a cartoon or video game. People that are able to walk upon hot coals without getting burned are thought to have entered the theta state as well.
Floating and the Brain
When you attend a float therapy session, you will be half-way submerged in the sensory deprivation chamber, up to your temples. It will be dark, warm, and quiet. The mechanism of floating will be achieved without an effort because of the buoyancy of the magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) solution, your body will feel like it is weightless.
The brain will not have to process any external stimuli, and it will not even have to work to keep your body oriented in place or time. Because of this, the participant’s brain will get a much-needed vacation from processing data. It will be able to enter the state of deep relaxation where theta waves will be found.
People experience a meditative state while in the chamber. Essentially allowing the brain to become calm. Removing all the stimuli, the body will quit producing stress hormones and emptying them into the bloodstream. Thus your mind and body will be unable to produce the cravings that come along with cigarette addiction.
Float therapy will help your body enter a state of homeostasis and purity. The varied systems within the body will have an opportunity to reboot for optimized function. The reboot will help you quit smoking!
Floating and Curbing Addiction
The condition in which a person uses substances because of the rewarding effects despite any detrimental consequences is called addiction. People can be addicted to many different substances or even behaviors like gambling. Nicotine addiction is a very common addiction due to the legality of smoking cigarettes, and people continue to smoke despite the health risks involved.
Addiction is complicated, and it is a much-explored part of the human psyche. The effects of sensory deprivation and float therapy will vary by individual, but it has been shown to allow individuals access to deeper levels of the subconscious. This access allows them to tackle the underlying root of the addiction which in turn puts them in a better position to stop the offending habit, or quit smoking.
Another benefit of float therapy is that it releases endorphins which can help a person master the difficult cravings and get through the low points, especially at the beginning of the journey to quit smoking. Floating doesn’t add any unnatural chemicals to your body and compared to gums, patches, and prescription medications are completely natural. From a health perspective, it is an ideal choice for a person attempting to quit smoking especially if your main goal in quitting is to rid yourself of toxic chemicals.
Endorphins help combat cravings by interacting with your brain’s pain receptors, this easing of pain within the body keeps the person from being triggered to light up. They also cause a very content feeling within the body which some people have even likened to the high felt by morphine users. The float therapy can replace the endorphins released by smoking to give the body the same fix without the need for cigarettes.
A person using float therapy will be empowered by their process of self-discovery, and they will be confident in their ability to relieve mental stress or physical stress without the need for a cigarette.
Sensory deprivation and float therapy are also successful because of how easy the treatment is to begin and continue. It is not like therapy sessions or invasive procedures, it is not even like hypnosis because the sessions are enjoyable experiences. A person trying float therapy to help them quit smoking will look forward to their sessions, and because of this, they will be more likely to continue the session.
Float Therapy and the Results
Of course, results for each individual will vary, just like with any other form of treatment. However, in controlled studies, one-quarter of the participants that used float therapy alone to quit smoking remained nicotine free for up to five years. For those participants that combined float therapy with a weekly support group, 80% remained cigarette free for a year and a half.
To achieve optimal benefits, float therapy should be done on a routine schedule, and several sessions should be allowed to help you achieve your goal. This schedule of sessions will help you reach the root of the addiction found when your brain enters the theta cycle. The physical cravings and need for nicotine will be replaced with the feelings of well-being and relaxation found within the sensory deprivation chamber.
Don’t Let Worry About Float Therapy be a Smoking Trigger
For someone that is trying float therapy for the first time, it is common to have some misgivings about the how it works or what it entails. A new participant may worry about being shut in the sensory deprivation tank. This is a particular worry for a person that suffers from claustrophobia. The newbie might find themselves concerned about the unfamiliar process causing anxiety instead of allowing them to relax and reach the theta brainwave state. The new participant may also worry about the stress of float therapy causing increased cravings or triggering them to smoke a cigarette.
There is no need to worry, however, because research shows that the potential for results and quitting smoking far outweigh the first-timer’s anxiety. Most people find that they have no issues once they get in the tank, even if they have a diagnosed anxiety disorder.
In fact, the International Journal of Stress Management recently published a study describing the benefits of sensory deprivation. They found that a group of 70 people with chronic anxiety disorders were able to use float therapy to lessen their symptoms exponentially. As you can see, quitting smoking won’t be the only benefit you receive from starting a float therapy regimen!
Flot: San Diego’s Float Spa is Here When You Are Ready to Quit Smoking!
Experts are continuing to research the field of sensory deprivation, but that shouldn’t stop you from starting your float therapy sessions. Start your float therapy journey, and you will find yourself well on your way to giving up cigarettes for good!
Flot is the best-priced and highest-rated float spa in San Diego metro area, and we have two locations to serve you, one in the Downtown area, one in the North Park area. Ask about our discounts if you are a military service member, a student, or a senior citizen. Membership packages can be purchased which we recommend for those that are trying to quit smoking.
We have removed all the stresses from the process by providing isolation chambers constructed by Float Lab Technologies, the most innovative company in the world of sensory deprivation tanks. Our state-of-the-art tanks meet or exceed all of the safety and sanitation standards required for commercial use. Plus, we only use Epsom salts that are above the USP rating. Prior to your session, the magnesium sulfate solution in your tank will be purified by both Ozone oxidation and UV radiation. In our tanks, you can float freely without worrying about bacteria, viruses, molds, or fungi because you will be completely protected. Also, our patented filtration system is free of harsh chemical, so our tanks and salt-solutions will never damage or distress your skin, even if it is a bit more sensitive.
Some of our participants worry about not being able to float or falling asleep while floating in the tank for the first time. It is a common worry, but you can rest assured, you have nothing to fear in that regard. Even for those that do not float while in a swimming pool, a lake, or in the ocean, you will most certainly float in the sensory deprivation tank. The salt solution is very buoyant and no matter your height or weight (even if they are above average) you are 100% guaranteed to float in the tank. For those that are worried they may fall asleep while floating, it is okay if you happen to do so. In fact, a lot of our floaters drift off into a deep and lovely sleep, as comfortable as a babe. If you were to flip over somehow while sleeping in the tank, the Epsom salt in the water wouldn’t react pleasantly with the mucous membranes in your nose or the sensitive corneas of the eyes, and it would cause you to wake you up long before you found yourself in any real danger of drowning.
Float therapy is not a guaranteed cure for addiction, nor is it considered a cure for any of the other myriad health conditions you could be dealing with. However, there are many proven benefits to undergoing sessions in the sensory deprivation tank. Be aware that you should not quit taking any of your prescribed medications without your doctor’s explicit consent, and that includes any smoking cessation medications he or she has prescribed.
Flot is here and ready to help you take the first steps to quit smoking and kicking the cigarette habit for good. Sessions are safe, and studies have shown them to be quite effective, and besides, admitting that you have an addiction to cigarettes is the first step on the road to recovery. Once you have decided to challenge your brain and fight your addiction, using float therapy to transition into a cigarette-free life is merely a stepping stone.