We wrote about some unconventional therapies and the benefits that follow (you can read them here). Another unconventional therapy that is gaining popularity (besides cold exposure therapy) is Floating or the use of Sensory Deprivation Tanks. Not only are there major recovery benefits to this type of therapy, but there are also major health benefits that everyone can gain.
Before we break down the benefits, first we have to understand what exactly this type of therapy entails. Depending on who you talk to, you might hear this therapy referred to as either Sensory Deprivation, REST (restricted environmental stimulation therapy), or Floating, but they are one and the same. The goal of this therapy is to eliminate as much interaction with the five senses as possible to bring peace to both the physical body and the mind.
If you go to a high-end facility such as this one, you can expect a very zen atmosphere with various “tank options”. Each tank is filled with water and enough Epsom salt to allow the body to float instead of sink. There will be minimal light and sound or you might even have the ability to adjust such exposure to your comfort level.
Some may take a few tries to really reap the full benefits of floating, but it is worth the try. Read on for three reasons why giving sensory deprivation is worth the try and is all the rage.
If you read our blog about cold exposure, you learned a lot about the parasympathetic nervous system and how it directly correlates to major health benefits and floating taps into that system as well. According to Talk Space, by activating that system our body and mind go into pure relaxation mode which in turn lowers both blood pressure and cortisol levels. Talk Space went on to explain that “studies have shown that floating is a great complimentary treatment for generalized anxiety disorder….[and] showed significant improvement in anxiety symptoms, mood, and sleep regulation after 12 sessions”.
Floating in a tank where your physical body has to do zero work simply leads to the fast road to recovery. Sometimes the best recovery method is rest and that is exactly what you get in the tank. Additionally, APlacetoFloat.com found the high levels of magnesium sulfate from the Epsom salt, “relaxes sore muscles and builds protein in the joints, which helps accelerate recovery time…research of neurosurgeon Dr. John Turner and psychologist Thomas H. Fine shows that floating…releases endorphins and natural opiates during a float session that activates the pleasure centers of your brain.” So jump in that float tank to get yourself back on the top of the leaderboard.
If you’re someone who has experienced chronic pain, you know that there is very little that can truly give you a sense of relief. Over time, our internal systems become so inflamed from continuous fighting and never really receive much reprieve at all. The experience of floating is when the body is truly in a state of complete rest and relaxation giving our internal bodily systems time to decompress. According to Pain Doctor, Thomas H. Fine and Roderick A Borrie, Ph.D., found that floating reduces “both muscle tension and pain in a relatively short time and without effort on the part of the patient, flotation provides a dramatic demonstration of the benefits of relaxation.”
If you’ve experienced the benefits of floating or a sensory deprivation experience, be sure to share your success with this type of therapy on social media and tag us, @wodify!
Are you interested in learning more about what the leaderboard is all about? Book a demo today to learn about Wodify Perform and bring some community to your gym!