Sensory deprivation therapy, which is often referred to as floating, brings many users profound relaxation. However, there are actually health benefits that extend beyond the obvious stress relief. Consider the following benefits that sensory deprivation has on your health and get ready to start experiencing them yourself.

Pain Reduction

Sensory deprivation therapy is an effective tool for those who suffer from constant pain, whether related to an illness like fibromyalgia or otherwise. One reason for this is that when you achieve relaxation and start allowing the water’s natural buoyancy to support your body, you actually start releasing the tension in all of your muscles and joints. Many who experience the pain relief discover just how tense their muscles and joints are only through the floating process. Afterwards, many users discover that their pain levels are decreased, with some turning solely to flotation in an effort to reduce reliance on pain medications. Still others have reported that using sensory deprivation therapy assists with healing joint and muscle injuries by helping to reduce the stress on those areas.

Increased Magnesium

Float tanks have around 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts, which is magnesium sulfate. While the salts help you remain buoyant in the water so you float with no effort, they also provide much more than that. While magnesium is found in many foods, many people still do not consume optimal levels for health. When you float in a sensory deprivation tank, your body absorbs magnesium through the skin.

Magnesium is responsible for enzyme regulation throughout the body. And it also helps with functioning in the nerves and muscles. And, since your body can naturally regulate magnesium levels, you won’t have to worry about absorbing too much during your sensory deprivation floats.

Recovery

If you’re one of those who tends to hit the gym hard, you already know that it can leave you sore and lethargic for at least the next day or two. Float therapy has become a staple for many athletes thanks to its ability to help reduce the effects of lactic acid in the muscles. As the body is able to completely relax, it protects against the lactic acid building up and causing those all-to-familiar muscle aches.

Sensory deprivation after an intense training session or workout allows you to rest every muscle in your body and give it time to use all of the available resources for recovery. As a result, you will be ready for that next training session sooner than ever.

Detoxification

Another important benefit of the Epsom salts is that soaking in the water helps to draw toxins from your body to the surface of the skin so they can be washed away. This provides a powerful detoxification for the body that some believe can help with everything from changing eating habits to stopping bad habits like smoking.

As your body gets rid of the toxins, it also helps to strengthen the immune system by removing harmful substances. While this type of benefit won’t occur after just one float, you can be sure that repeated sessions will help you get rid of the harmful substances in your body so that it can perform at optimal levels.

Whether you are only just becoming interested in the idea of sensory deprivation or you’ve long been a fan, it is easy to see why floating is becoming so popular. From all the health benefits to the stress relief and relaxation, float therapy offers a way to reconnect and rejuvenate your mind and your body. If you are ready to experience the numerous benefits of sensory deprivation therapy, contact us or schedule your appointment today.

Four Effects of Float Therapy on the Brain

Float therapy, which is also referred to as sensory deprivation, has become a popular option for many. However, just as many others are put off by the idea of sensory deprivation and its use in the past for less than relaxing motivations. The float experience, which takes place in a large, quiet room, is essentially you floating in shallow water with a high Epsom salt content. The salt provides buoyancy for the body and results in a sense of weightlessness since you will not struggle to stay afloat – it just happens naturally.

The health benefits and effects of float therapy are numerous, but the experience also provides other benefits that make it important for those who are interested in more than just relaxation and de-stressing. Below are four effects of floating on the brain that can have a serious impact on your daily life.

Brain Function

Contrary to some beliefs, idleness does not result in the brain quieting or shutting down during relaxation. Instead, brain function actually increases, albeit it in different ways than what occurs throughout a busy day. During a float session, the removal of external stimuli allows the brain assimilate the information that has flowed into it. This assimilation can actually help with problem solving and decision making. An example of this is those who have had an epiphany mid-shower. The brain isn’t trying to deal with a barrage of incoming information so it can actually utilize what you know in more effective ways.

Improved Memory

Another important effect of float therapy is improved memory. Similar to the way in which the brain sorts through all of the information stored inside, without external stimuli, the brain is able to build memory. During the float process, your brain has the downtime it needs to begin consolidating available data and converting it to memory. During float therapy, the brain works to focus on the recently learned skills and information, helping to relegate the most important aspects to memory.

The process of creating and improving memory occurs in the rhinal cortex, with several studies showing that the brain waves in this area in rats shows increased activity during relaxation after learning a new skill. In rats whose brainwaves in the rhinal cortex were interrupted during relaxation, the learning process did not occur as quickly or as well.

Better Performance

Many who tout the benefits of float therapy mention improved performance after time spent in the tank. While there are those who may not believe this, science has proven them correct. When the brain and body are given periods of relaxation, it acts as a restorative. The time spent without focusing on an activity or task allows the neurons in the brain that fire constantly throughout the day to rest. This period of rest revitalizes the areas of the body and brain that have been working hard, resulting in improved performance when going back to the same tasks or newly learned skill.

Increased Creativity

Anyone who has ever hit a mental block when considering a problem, issue or just trying to make a decision knows just how frustrating it can be. Float therapy can also help with this, providing increased creativity afterwards. Studies have shown that during periods of decreased stimulus, the brain sifts through the available information and begins storing it in memory. This process also involves rehearsing new skills, even if the body is not actually doing them. As a result, the brain’s ability to essentially collate the available information helps to stimulate creativity by not focusing on each piece of data singly, but as a whole.

Whether you call it float therapy or sensory deprivation, the experience provides many benefits for both your health and your brain. If you are ready to experience these effects, schedule your appointment or contact us today.

The Post-Float Experience

First-time floaters often spend a lot of time before their first floatation experience considering what the hour or two in the tank will feel like. They have questions about what they should do to prepare, and what they’ll do or feel while floating. But many, or even most, first-time floaters don’t ask about the post-float experience. After spending time in blissful isolation, letting go of stress and pain, or possibly unlocking new creative ideas, what happens next?

What to Expect: Mentally and Physically

When you leave the float spa, there are many different things you could be feeling. For most clients, the physical sensations are very similar to receiving a massage, or taking a long, restful nap. Your body will feel comfortable, relaxed, and pampered. Many clients feel a release of old aches and pains that they felt before entering the float spa, which can lead to either a feeling of intense relaxation, or a feeling of renewed energy and vigor.

Likewise, your mental state can run the gamut between relaxed and energized. For some clients, the float spa is a deeply relaxing experience that results in a dream-like state of mind, where they can simply meditate or even sleep. For others, the sensory deprivation unlocks a flood of creativity. Suddenly, new ideas and new solutions to old problems seem effortless, and clients will leave the tank in a mental state that is prime for taking action on their goals.

The Experience Doesn’t Stop When You Leave the Tank

Luckily, no matter which mindset or physical sensations you experience after leaving the float spa, you aren’t simply thrust back into the real world and expected to leave it all behind. Taking the relaxation and revitalization that you felt in the tank with you into your life is a crucial benefit of floating. It’s why so many floaters love to come back over and over, just like those who feel the same release from meditation or yoga develop their own habitual practices.

Depending on the float spa location, there may be a post-float area on the premises where you can go to complete the experience. After leaving the tank, showering, and feeling ready to enter public areas, you can utilize these spaces for a variety of purposes – or take the ideas below and develop them for your own needs in your home or other private area.

Basking in the Glow

Many clients leave the float tank in a near-trance state, feeling at one with themselves, at peace with their decisions and life, and having settled into a totally non-verbal mindset. It’s not uncommon for words to be jarring, or even meaningless, for a few minutes after leaving the tank. It’s also not uncommon for noises to be a little over stimulating at first. Many float spas offer quiet spaces for clients to get a cup of tea, and gradually reintroduce their bodies to the stimulation of the world.

However, if this area isn’t available, or you simply prefer to be in your own space after floating, there are several things you can do once at home to help you get the most benefit from floating. Consider a session of meditation to help guide yourself back out of the very deep sense of relaxation that the float spa guided you into. This practice helps you regain the awareness of your body and of the world that the tank allowed you to step away from for a time.

Another great thing to do is to stretch, or take a walk outside. Getting your body moving in a gentle way is another good way to bring awareness back to the mind, and when your senses are refreshed and ready to truly realize the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of the outdoor world, you’ll be amazed at how beautiful your neighborhood or walking trail truly is.

Putting Your New Creativity to Work

Alternatively, some clients come out of the float tank feeling as though they can take on the world. Their minds were totally opened to new ideas, new solutions, or a fresh wave of creativity, while floating. When they leave the tank, their bodies are filled with energy, and their minds are in that perfect state to be focused and creative simultaneously.

If you are this type of floater, or you’re heading into your first floating experience and want to be prepared for after, it could be a fantastic idea to bring along a sketchbook, a notepad, your camera, or your other art medium of choice, to immediately take advantage of the creative energy that you feel after leaving the tank. If your art medium is too large to bring with you (maybe you’re a painter, or a pianist) then schedule a block of time to be in your studio or home for some amazing results.

Art of any kind is known to be therapeutic, which means it goes hand-in-hand with floating. But your creative energy may be focused on something other than art, and that’s okay too. Set aside some time after floating to brainstorm new business ideas if that’s where your passion lies. Anything that allows you to stay in the flow you achieved while floating, and that keeps you busy in the act of creating (rather than consuming new stimuli) is an excellent idea for prolonging the benefits of the float spa.

It Comes Down to Your Preferences

At the end of the day, it always boils down to what makes you the most comfortable. Your post-float experience can be anything you want it to be. If you are a religious person, and the float spa made you feel connected to your deity or spiritual path, a session of prayer and worship could be a lovely way to extend the experience. Whether you choose to meditate, take a walk, join friends for a quite cup of tea and relaxed conversation, paint a new picture, or just get a great night of sleep – the question of what comes after the floating experience is ultimately answered by you.