muscle tension

7 Insane (But True) Things About Float Therapy

Our brains are super-busy.  More than we'll ever know.

I'm not just talking about our thinking and our normal 5 senses--seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting.  There's another 6th sense, called proprioception.

You don't hear about it much.  For many of us, proprioception is just a blank. 

So, what is proprioception? Proprioception is how we sense our body's position, its movement, and its acceleration.

Now, just think about that for a minute.  How much of that sensing does our brain do for us without any conscious participation?  From moment to moment, our brain is mapping where all of our body parts are in relation to each other and then coordinating all those body parts together in order to move and negotiate gravity.

There's this crazy busyness always going on.  Your brain has to do all this body-mapping all the time.

And this is where 7 insane--but wonderful--things happen to you in float therapy.

1. Zero Gravity

Float tanks do a big number in shutting down this 6th sense.

Just imagine, you slip into your float chamber, and this hyper-buoyant water keeps you afloat.  Stretched out in the warm silky water, the Epsom Salt keeps your body floating of its own accord.

You've just relieved your body from gravitational pressure on your joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles.  That's a lot of work your brain no longer has to negotiate.

Now, your brain is being denied so much of the work that it normally has to do.  No gravity to worry about, no proprioceptive work.

2. Pay Attention to the details!

Relieved of its normal duties, your brain latches onto smaller, more minute sensations. 

You're on your back, and there's this wonderful counter-gravity pressure completely supporting your feet, legs, hands, arms, and spine.  Your brain no longer has to help your bones and muscles strain against gravity.

What a relief for both your brain and your body!

So, your brain zeroes in on much smaller sensations throughout your body, intensifying what you can sense:  your fluttering eyelids, residual knots of tension at distinct spots in your body. There's lots going on in your body that you never felt before.

You're noticing muscle tensions you didn't know existed.

3. You Just Relax

Soon enough, those knots and muscle tensions can start to melt.

As the water underneath you buoys you up, you can feel your spine stretch in ways it can't when you are standing up and walking around, constantly defying gravity.

Your brain and your floating body can work in tandem now.  Together, they are conspiring to make you relax in ways that cause many to feel rubbery when they step out of their float chamber.

If fact, some of you will relax so much that after your float, you will need some time in the lounge to adjust to normal sitting and standing.

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Dominoes

From there on, the rest of the fallout from floating's zero-gravity is like dominoes.  Believe it or not, here are the remaining four of those seven things that float therapy does for you:

4.  With the relaxation, your heart can operate more efficiently and more effortlessly;

5. With the counter-pressure of the water upholding you and stretching you out on its surface, your blood circulates more freely;

6. Your blood pressure drops; and

7. Your pulse rate slows.

 

Show me the Guarantee!

When you slide into your float chamber, you are guaranteed to float.  850 llbs of Epsom Salt dissolved in 200 gallons of water is bound to do that.

And your proprioceptive sense is guaranteed to shut down more than anywhere else on this earth.

Also, it's a guarantee that some people just don't seem to experience as many benefits from floating therapy's zero-gravity as others do.

But there are just far too many testimonials and research accounts from those who have found relief from chronic pain by floating. Whether it's people with bursitis, arthritis, tendonitis, or muscle strain, float therapy's zero gravity has truly benefited them.

So, go find a float centre, and give your brain and body a rest.  Surrender to the zero-gravity of your float chamber and experience first-hand what happens when your brain and body finally take a rest from proprioception.

 

It Did What? 8 Secrets About Why I Love Floating

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Step into a float chamber, and you step into a different world you never knew existed.  It's a world that has its own secrets.

But those secrets need to be shared.  No, they need to be shouted, because they're too good to keep to yourself.

Let me share a few of mine.

Hello Body

For starters, I love the way floating introduces you to your body in a whole new way.

You find yourself floating with no effort.  No kicking your feet, no frantic fluttering of your hands, no fighting gravity to keep your head up.  Just effortless floating as the water buoys you up in near zero gravity. That's the 900 lbs of epsom salt working.  That's a special feeling you can't get anywhere else.

You can feel your back stretch and decompress. The water feels like it's pushing at your back and stretching it out.  Ahhhhh.  I understand why pregnant women love to float for relief from the extra weight of their baby.

Wait just a few minutes, get into a comfortable position, and keep still, and a new secret opens up.  The tension in your muscles just melts away.  It's that epsom salt again. Composed of magnesium sulfate, your skin readily absorbs both of these chemicals, triggering muscle relaxation. See Epsom Salt Uses & Benefits

If you keep very still, there's one more surprise for you, as you float in your chamber.  You don't really know if you're floating in water anymore, because you can't tell where your skin ends and the water or air begins. For all you know, you might be floating in outer space.

Hello Brain

Once you've settled into your float, your brain shares a few secrets of its own with you too.

You've tried to see your hand in front of your face, but even at an inch away, it's too dark.  You can only hear your own breathing, nothing else.  Then you suddenly realize your brain craves sensory stimuli, but it can't get any while you are silently floating, without sight or sound or touch.

So, your brain goes on alert, and your senses sharpen.

You really notice that once you finish your float. After your float, colours are more vibrant. Your hearing is sharper. Your entire sensory apparatus becomes far more alive.

But your brain supplies its own colourful scenery inside your float chamber, too.  About halfway through your float, you can see things in your mind's eye with brilliant clarity. You can mentally visualize with more intensity in a float tank than anywhere else that I know.

FTA states, “Carl Lewis, said to be the world’s greatest athlete, used in-tank visualization techniques to prepare himself for his gold medal long jump at the 1988 Seoul Olympics: the Dallas Cowboys, winners of the 1993 Superbowl, have been using float tanks since 1981 to develop the physical and psychological skills of their players; the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) has been using tanks to train their successful Olympic squads since 1983. In the words of Jeff Bond of the AIS: “The floatation tank represents a new dimension in sports training for the elite athlete”.
— ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-804100

 

Goodbye Time

In the silence of your float chamber, you learn that your brain loves to chatter.  It yaps at you for about 20 minutes.  But then something weird and wonderful happens.  Your brain quiets and time disappears.

Once you hear the music at the end of your float session, it's hard to figure out where time went. It can even be hard to figure out where you went.

Maybe that's the biggest secret of all.

So, those are just a few of the wonderful secrets about why I love floating. They're secrets for you to find out and experience for yourself.

Have you experienced anything like what I've described? If you have, then you know there are more great things that floating does to and for you. If you haven't experienced floating, why not check out our Benefits page for even more of floating's wonderful secrets.