Float Therapy Releases Endorphins
Taking a break from gravity in a floatation tanks also causes fascinating and significant changes in the brain. Endorphins are released. These are powerful natural pain relievers and mood enhancers that promote a sense of well-being while further enhancing the healing benefits of the zero gravity environment.
As opposed to a swimming pool where gravity is lowered, gravity in a float tank is essentially nullified by the extreme buoyancy caused by the dissolved Epsom salt. This provides a rare opportunity for people who are suffering from various types of joint and/or muscle pain. Without the constant pressure of gravity, a person resting in a floatation tank is able to relax and unwind more thoroughly than even the most comfortable bed allows.
How does Floatation Therapy help with weight loss?
Floatation therapy can help by clearing cortisol and other stress hormones from the body, and at the same time releasing endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals. It is this release of endorphins that has scientists finding links to support the effectiveness of floatation therapy in weight loss programs and the treatment of other addictive behaviours. Simply put, these natural opiates help us to create pleasurable feelings, thereby decreasing the need to eat for comfort.
Another way in which floatation therapy aids in weight loss is through the increased self-awareness that comes from being in a deeply relaxed state. You are able to increase your body awareness, your emotional awareness and the float tank also provides a space for self-analysis. It may provide you with the opportunity to discover what your trigger mechanisms are, as well as gaining clarity on your motivations and expectations around weight loss and your relationship to yourself and food.
The float tank is an effective tool for positive self-motivation for weight loss, or making other changes within yourself, as it eliminates all external stimuli so you can concentrate on yourself. Because you are in such a deeply relaxed state, you are open to suggestion as well as positive thoughts and attitudes. As discussed earlier, it also produces chemical changes in your body which promote clarity of thought, improved memory and problem-solving. We are going to be personally exploring this further and doing our own research so stay tuned for more information on this topic.
The unique environment provided by floatation therapy removes the force generated by gravity thus relieving various areas of the body of pressure and stress. Research shows that tank use has been linked to relief of arthritis, back pain, neck pain, tendinitis, bursitis, inflammation, blood pressure and fibromyalgia symptoms.
Floating increases circulation throughout the whole body as well as the distribution of oxygen and nutrients. Enhanced muscle relaxation and an overall reduction in physical stress are also achieved through floatation. Visual acuity, perception and other senses have notable increases after floating as well as a boost in immune function.
Floating is an amazing tool to achieve mental stillness, a state frequently sought through meditation. The practice often leaves people feeling very relaxed and rejuvenated. Your brain will cycle between Alpha and Theta brainwave patterns during a float session, very hard to achieve without the float tank.
Due to our high functioning sympathetic nervous systems (SNS), our bodies produce a significant amount of cortisol, the primary precursor to stress production in our brains. Having the SNS suppressed by the environment provided by our float pods allows for unprecedented stress relief and relaxation like you have never experienced before.
Dopamine & Endorphins
Due to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system through floatation therapy, the body is flooded with endorphins and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for pain relief, mood enhancement and a decrease in anxiety response. Perfect for stress management, depression and anxiety.
The high concentration of epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) in the water leads to an abundance of this mineral being absorbed through our skin. Magnesium can regulate blood pressure, assist in detox and assist in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. It also serves as a powerful recovery tool for athletes with muscle soreness or sport injuries.
Floating For Athletic Performance
Since John Lilly first began studying the effects of floatation/isolation/sensory deprivation tanks in 1954, a vast amount of research has been done showing positive results. Among all this research is the subject of athletic performance. Athletes have been enjoying the benefits of Epsom Salt baths for a long time. Performance Recovery is an integral part of any athlete’s training.
Floating as part of your Sports Recovery:
- Speeds recovery from injuries, sore joints and muscles
- Reduces Lactic Acid build up
- Rapidly eliminates fatigue
- Helps reduce pain and inflammation
- Reduces cortisol levels
- Relaxes the mind
- Improves concentration/focus
- Improves oxygen circulation
- Furthermore epsom salts are a magnesium and sulphate – a muscle relaxant and a protein builder for your joints. Not only can you truly decompress in the float tank, you absorb the minerals whilst you float directly into your muscles, allowing you to be noticeably less tense as soon as you get up! Athletes that use this float therapy in combination with visualisation techniques experience a very significant improvement in their performances. As the person’s brain transitions into a theta state, it becomes much more open to suggestion. The CNS (central nervous system) can essentially be effectively trained to produce ‘perfect performance’. Today a number of top athletes across Australia and the U.S use this technique to relax and up their performance in their chosen sport.