June 27, 2022
Float Therapy in a Health Care Setting
A growing body of research is proving float therapy useful in assisting with aches, pains, sleep problems, stress, anxiety and mental health improvements, and more.
Here are some of the findings from the Natural Medicine Journal, published in April 2021 on the medicinal qualities and conditions known to improve with the use of floatation therapy.
Known by the World Health Organisation as an essential medication, the quantity of Magnesium Sulfate, or Epsom Salts, used in the floatation pod not only helps with buoyancy, it has huge health benefit.
In the medical world, it has a large range of uses, including for treating abnormal or irregular heartbeat, hypomagnesemia, eclampsia and preeclampsia in pregnancy as well as to relieve constipation and treat asthma.
Bathing in Epsom Salts can boost your magnesium levels as it is absorbed through the skin during a float session.
Studies have shown Epsom Salts to have a soothing effect on intense muscle pain, with one such investigation easing chronic pain in the neck and back of its participants who floated nine times over a three-week period.
Another study helped people with physician-diagnosed muscle tension pain related to stress. They took 12 floats over seven weeks, which helped 22% become pain-free and 56% reported improvement.
Much research has successfully found floatation therapy as a useful tool in helping to improve mental health, in particular looking at anxiety and stress-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and social anxiety.
Patients find their anxiety is reduced, as well as many reporting mood improvements with feelings of happiness, peacefulness and increased energy.
REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) achieved with a floatation pod can significantly reduce sensitivity to anxiety, associated muscle tension and lift feelings of serenity and relaxation.
Stress is a real, rising problem in our busy world, which has greater implications than a momentary feeling of overwhelm, it contributes to depression, anxiety, obesity, cardiovascular disease and immune compromise.
The antidote? Relaxing the body by switching on the parasympathetic nervous system, which floatation therapy has been proven to do. It lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and has even been found to be a more effective stress-reducing technique than other exercise such as progressive muscle relaxation (consciously tensing and releasing muscles in a state of relaxation) and biofeedback (mind-body awareness to recognise and reduce symptoms of stress).
Deeper sleep, fewer awakenings during the night and renewed energy upon awakening – sounds like a “dream”! This is what one study concluded was the effect of float pods with high magnesium levels. It has also been linked to shortening the time taken to fall asleep and easing sleep problems related to anxiety.
When we consider poor sleep has been linked to many, more serious health concerns, floatation therapy is offering a natural solution to overcome sleep hurdles.
Floating as Treatment
Floatation therapy is a safe, natural alternative, which could be used in many cases as the first step towards treating many of today’s common health problems, in turn helping people avoid side effects and dependence caused by some drugs.
While good medical advice is always the first step, the option to utilise floatation therapy as a tool for treatment is one worth investigating.