June 22nd 2022
Why Float Therapy Is a Trend That Is Here to Stay
Earlier this week, we at Alighten provided some general information about the alternative healing technology called the Energy Enhancement System, invented by Dr. Sandra Rose Michael. Today we will be offering information about the popular alternative healing technology referred to as float therapy.
Some of you have potentially heard of float therapy before reading this post. This healing technology has grown in popularity over the past few decades since it was invented and has become somewhat of an ongoing trend over the last 10 years. Many YouTubers and prominent channels, such as BuzzFeed, have made videos about the float therapy experience. This form of therapy was even featured in the 12th season of the popular American Sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, in 2019. This healing technology can be a great alternative for people who suffer from stress, anxiety, and/or depression, but do not wish to simply suppress their symptoms through pharmaceutical medication.
What is float therapy?
Float therapy takes place in what can be referred to as a float tank, sensory deprivation tank, or an isolation tank. According to Pure Float, a Canadian float tank location, float tanks are “filled with 300 millimeters of Epsom salt and water heated to the outer skin temperature.” These tanks eliminate any light and visual stimuli; therefore, the floater is free of stimulation and distraction. Furthermore, the 1000 lbs. of Epsom salts in the tank creates a buoyant environment, causing the participant to float with ease. The sessions usually last an hour, but some locations also have 30 minute sessions, usually intended for children, and some have sessions longer than an hour.
How was float therapy created?
Just float, a float therapy location in Los Angeles, delves into the history of float therapy, stating that “the first float tank was developed in 1954 by Dr. John C. Lilly, a neuropsychiatrist interested in the effects of sensory deprivation on the brain.” His work evolved and 18 years later in 1972, the first commercially available float tank was made public. Today, there are many researchers exploring the effects of float therapy, and how it can aid the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. Neuropsychologist, Justin Feinstein, is a prominent researcher in the float therapy community, and we will discuss some of his research in the following section.
How does float therapy work?
When someone is in a float tank, essentially all of their senses are cut off. They cannot see or hear anything, the Epsom salts nullify all other scents present, and the water and air are set to the floater’s body temperature. John Diskerson, a CBS Mornings co-host who tried float therapy, explains that at a certain point during his session he no longer knew where his limbs ended and the water began.
The feeling of weightlessness during a session can allow for complete muscle relaxation. As a whole, the experience of sensory deprivation slows your body and mind down. In today’s world we encounter many stressors, especially with the ever-increasing use of social media and the continuously rising political climate. Float therapy creates a space where many people are able to let go of their daily stressors and worries. In a video, neuropsychologist Feinstein discusses how during a float session the brain is essentially being told to quiet down by the body. Typically, a floater’s heart rate and blood pressure levels will lower while their breaths per minute will slow. This state of relaxation can have incredible benefits for many people. Feinstein continues to research float therapy’s effect on the body. His experiments and research could potentially lead to a discovery about whether the regular exposure to the quietude that float therapy participants experience could allow them to access that same quietude outside of the tank as well. If this theory is proven, the known benefits of float therapy could continue to rise.
How is float therapy a useful healing technology resource and who can it be useful for?
There are many benefits that float therapy can provide. Pure Float lists the potential float therapy benefits including:
stress, anxiety and depression relief,
the reduction of chronic fatigue caused by insomnia and jet lag,
the acceleration of mental clarity and learning,
the deepening of meditation practices,
the soothing of chronic pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, back and neck pain, inflammation and tendonitis,
the improvement of athletic performance,
a decrease in muscular tension caused by daily stresses and prolonged sitting, improved circulation and reduction of blood pressure,
and the general strengthening of the immune system.
Pure Float also emphasizes that the magnesium in the Epson salts can “promote bone and heart health, and even improve insulin sensitivity, which can help prevent diabetes.” The salts also help the body by removing free radicals which are “small particles that can damage your cells and increase inflammation, resulting in the development of conditions such as cancer and autoimmune disorders.”
Other sources like Health Essentials further argue that float therapy can increase feelings of optimism and focus and can even aid people who experience sleep difficulties. This is supported by a study performed back in 2014 which found that when compared to a control group, those who utilize float therapy have better sleep quality, are more optimistic, have reduced depression, anxiety, and stress, and are more mindful in their daily life.
While float therapy can have extreme benefits for many, it is not necessarily useful for everyone. It may not relieve anxiety and stress in someone who does not enjoy the experience of being inside a float tank. Moreover, Health Essentials emphasizes that the experience is not recommended for those who are claustrophobic, have open wounds or skin conditions, or those who have seizure disorders. Understanding this, those who feel comfortable giving float therapy a try may find that it greatly benefits their daily wellbeing.
How can people gain access to and utilize this healing technology?
As previously stated, float therapy has become increasingly popular, and Just Float estimates that “today there are more than 500 float centers across more than a dozen countries overseas and more than 150 places to float in North America, with more opening every month.” This indicates that people increasingly have more and more access to float therapy and the benefits it can provide. This is especially true if you live near a major city. According to Flotation Locations, there are 18 locations to partake in float therapy in Washington alone. This site provides information on the closest float locations based on city or zip code.
You can also buy your own float tank/pod if it is within your budget. The prices will widely vary depending on the size of and the features included in the float tank/pod you are looking at. The prices will generally range from $5,000 to $30,000.
How can float therapy healing support other healing technologies?
Float Therapy is just one of many alternative healing technologies that are available to the public. In fact, this type of therapy can also support the healing that other healing technologies promote. For instance, some people who utilize float therapy also use healing technologies like the rife machine, developed by Royal Rife in the 1920’s. For instance, the Natural Paths Healing Arts Center YouTube channel promotes both float therapy and rife machine benefits. We will be discussing the rife machine in a later blog post, so if you are interested keep an eye out for that post.
Float therapy can be a great resource for anyone who feels comfortable with the experience, but it can be particularly useful for people suffering from daily or severe stress, anxiety, and/or depression. For many people it is a place to escape from the chaos of daily life and can be a useful tool for finding relaxation and clarity. Many people have already and continue to take advantage of this resource as float therapy continuously gains popularity. Many people have documented their experiences, and these videos can be found online. We are providing a few examples down below if you want to do some further research on float therapy and other’s experience with it. In addition, we have included all of the sources used to write this post at the bottom if you wish to check any of them out. We hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and we hope to see you back for our next post!
Personal Float Therapy Experiences:
Questions to consider
Feel free to discuss these questions in the comment section down below if you feel comfortable doing so, or you can ask your own questions if you have any for us.
Have you tried float therapy before? If so, how was the experience for you?
If you have not tried float therapy before, do you think it would be a useful tool for you?
Do you have any float tanks in your town or in one nearby? If so, which one(s)?
https://www.justfloat.com/the-history-of-float-therapy/#:~:text=The%20first%20float%20tank%20was,float%20 tank%20 emerged%20in%201972