What Is Float Therapy?
Float therapy is a type of therapy that is done in a sensory deprivation tank, which is a dark and soundproof tank or bath-like pool that is filled with saltwater. The tanks are designed to reduce external stimuli in an attempt to improve well-being.
Sensory deprivation tanks were first invented in the 1950s by Dr. Jay Shurley and Dr. John Lilly. Their main goal was to examine human consciousness and the brain’s reaction to a complete lack of external stimuli.
It was thought that being without any sensory input such as sound or light would cause a person to fall into a state of unconsciousness, but that wasn’t the case. The test subjects maintained complete awareness.
Today, flotation therapy tanks are thought to have a positive effect on health conditions that are driven by stress, such as high blood pressure, tension headaches, and muscle pain, as well as mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Float Therapy And Benefits
While floatation therapy began as an experiment to study human consciousness, it is now used as a form of physical and mental health therapy. Current research has shown that there are several benefits of floating on overall health.
Float Therapy And Physical Benefits
Studies have found that physical health can be positively affected by floating. It can lead to an improvement in:
- Chronic pain found in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Tension headaches
- Muscle tension
- Whiplash symptoms such as a stiff neck
- Immune function
- Cardiovascular health, which involves the health of the heart, veins, and blood vessels
- High blood pressure
- Recovery after sports injuries
- Brain function
- Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
Float Therapy And Skin Conditions
Some studies have found that float therapy may improve skin conditions such as psoriasis. However, this may be due to exposure to Epsom salts and not directly related to float therapy.
Float Therapy And Mental Health Benefits
In addition to the many physical health benefits of floatation therapy, there are many mental health benefits as well. Floating has been shown to reduce the symptoms of:
- High stress levels
- Fear-driven phobias
- Substance abuse disorder
How Many Float Sessions Do You Need?
Research is still ongoing surrounding float therapy, its benefits, and how many sessions are best. However, one study found that a single one-hour session in a float therapy tank had the ability to significantly reduce symptoms in participants with anxiety and depression. That same session also fostered a substantial improvement in mood.
Although many of the studies around the effects of float therapy reveal little to no adverse effects, there have been some reports of people experiencing hallucinations while in the tank that could be disturbing in nature.
What To Expect
Experiencing float therapy can be both scary and exciting, depending on the person. While there are benefits, people will respond to it differently. When you arrive, you can expect to remove all clothing and jewelry and shower prior to entering the tank.
Once in the tank, you will close the door or lid, depending on the type. The saltwater should allow your body to float effortlessly so you can lie back comfortably without sinking. You’ll then float in the tank for up to an hour before exiting, showering off the salt, and getting dressed. All or most external stimuli such as music or light will be taken away during the float session.
Ready To Relax
Although first designed to explore the depths of human consciousness, floatation therapy is now a viable management option for many health conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain and tension headaches. Experience the wonders and overall health benefits of float therapy at Serenity Waters located in Holmen, Wisconsin.