Getting rid of all sensory input allows your brain to chill out, allowing the creative, relaxed part of your brain to come out and play. Without the constant pressure of analyzing the world around you, your body lowers its levels of cortisol, the main chemical component of stress. Your brain also releases elevated levels of dopamine and endorphins, the neurotransmitters of happiness.
Not having to fight gravity lets your muscles, joints, and bones take a well-deserved break. Your body suddenly has loads of extra resources (usually spent supporting your weight, regulating temperature, and trying not to get speeding tickets), which it gets to focus on things like healing and resting. Without gravity pushing you down all the time, your spine lengthens an inch, chronic pain is relieved, and your muscles get to fully rest. Unlike lying on a mattress, lying in water allows blood to flow freely all throughout your body. There’s no need to readjust your position to get comfortable.
About 40 minutes into your float your brain shifts its normal Beta (normal waking consciousness) or Gamma (hyperactive consciousness) wave state into the calm, serene Alpha and Theta wave states. These brain waves are responsible for that ‘between-waking-and-sleeping’ state, and you make them naturally every night before you conk out. While it only lasts for a few sparse moments in your bed, you can achieve a prolonged Theta state in the tank, a state of consciousness that is usually only seen in children and people who have spent years practicing meditation.
Even the magnesium-based Epsom salts we use in the tank are good for you. It softens and replenishes your skin, and help counteract the magnesium deficiency that most of us have due to depleted magnesium levels in our soil.
A single floatation session yields immediate benefits. The detrimental effects of stress on the body are dissipated: tense muscles relax, and the mind is able to let go and relax into a state of deep calm. These effects can last for days or weeks, and successive floatation sessions have cumulative effects.
Three aspect of floatation therapy make it such a powerful tool for healing and/or helping so many different, yet related factors in the body.
• Stress relief
• Reduce Anxiety - see this link on YouTube
• Pain relief
• Treatment of swelling
• Focus for competition improve confidence
• Creative Visualizations - see this link on YouTube
• Enhanced Meditation - see this link on YouTube brain wave activity
• Decision-making - see this link on YouTube
All these have been demonstrated in studies in America, Sweden, Canada, and the UK. Apart from general relaxation, floatation therapy has been shown both anecdotally and in controlled studies to reduce or eliminate acute pain. The pain relief can be permanent after one session. The reduction of chronic pain lasts for several hours or days and a reduced need for analgesia (pain killers).
• Increased range of movement in skeletal joints
• Lower perceived levels of stress - PTSD
• It also appears to help in anger management
• Reduce feelings of fatigue and insomnia
• Lower blood pressure
• Be of great relief to pregnant women in their second and third trimester
• Floating has also been used for long-term meditation and self awareness development