No light. No sound. No noise. The idea of sensory deprivation may sound unnerving on one hand, blissful on the other. According to multiple bodies of research, float therapy offers us a state of sensory relaxation that acts as a powerful tool for the mind and body. Here, we discuss how the process works and how you can make the most of this beneficial relaxation strategy.
How Does Flotation Therapy Work?
According to scientific data, 90 percent of the brain’s work is to respond to light, sound, temperature, and gravity. The idea behind float therapy is to ease its load for a brief moment in time. A float tank is designed to temporarily block out the constant input the brain must sort through. In the absence of this perpetual environmental stimulation, the musculoskeletal system and nervous systems can truly relax. In this limited environment, the mind can enter a theta-state, a dream-like state that is usually associated with sleep or deep meditation. If you’ve ever tried to meditate and found it difficult, the float tank can allow you to slip effortlessly into the desired state of being. It is in the theta state in which the brain’s imaginative processes and deep learning exist. Floating is facilitated by the use of abundant amounts of magnesium sulfate. In the body-temperature water, floaters absorb this vital mineral through the skin. Magnesium is known for exfoliating the skin, easing muscle tightness, and promoting better sleep. According to studies, flotation therapy can:
- Regulate the heart rate
- Ease muscle tension
- Decrease blood pressure
- Increase oxygen supply and nutrient distribution
- Strengthen the synchronicity between the brain’s two hemispheres
- Decrease stress
- Improve the body’s resistance to illness
- Provide a boost of energy, joy, and relaxation
- Elevate dopamine and endorphin release, which can help reduce pain naturally
How to Make the Most of Your Float
One of the biggest tips we can suggest for first-time floaters is to learn to let go. This practice is helped by the physical and mental relaxation promoted by the float tank environment, and it is one that is associated with deep meditation. Letting go is something that most people struggle with to some degree. This can ring true in the float tank but usually lasts only a few minutes. It is a natural physiological response to resist letting go of all the tension and mental chatter that the body and mind hold at all times. In the float tank, it is possible to notice some tightening or itching in various parts of the body. These are areas in which the most tension is held. It is also possible to experience a momentary sense of panic. The float tank is completely safe and can be opened at any time. Knowing this, clients may view their experience as no different than falling asleep at night. With a focus on the breath, the resistance in the body and mind releases more quickly.
Get the Best Nap of Your Life
In the absence of sensory stimuli, time flies. There is no concept of space and time. The body and the water feel like one. The theta state may feel like sleep or deep meditation and, before you know it, the session has come to an end. Upon “awakening,” clients feel fully restored and recharged to re-engage in life. Thanks to a marked decrease in cortisol levels, clients’ stress, anxiety, and tension are gone as if they never existed. These sensations and their benefits are said to be enhanced with subsequent float sessions, which may be scheduled as often as every week.
Float away from stress and pain for a while. Schedule your float session at ARIA in Sterling, VA MediSpa at 703.444.2800.