Why Floatation Therapy Works
Scientists have estimated that up to 90% of the brain’s workload is generated by the stimulation of our sensory organs, muscles and nervous system by our surrounding environment through gravity, light, sound, temperature etc. Free from external stimulation, the body can achieve a state of deep relaxation, giving your body the chance to restore itself.
Flotation therapy has been researched and endorsed at over 100 universities, hospitals and sports training institutes around the world, and is regularly used in Olympic training programs.
The Floating Body
The floating body enters a level of physical relaxation deeper than sleep. This de-stimulation of the nervous system spontaneously triggers a parasympathetic response. Muscle tension, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen consumption are all dramatically reduced. The chemistry of the body changes.
Blood vessels dilate, improving cardiovascular efficiency, increasing the supply of nutrients to each cell in the body.
Stress related chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol, ACTH, aldosterone, renin activity, epinephrine and lactate, all directly associated with stress, consistently decrease in the bloodstream, while the level of beneficial endorphins increases. Endorphins alleviate chronic pain and fatigue, improve memory and learning and create intense feelings of wellbeing. Happiness is an endorphin!
The solution within the float tank is a saturated solution of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate). The body is able to effectively absorb magnesium from the solution through the skin. Magnesium plays a key role over 300 chemical reactions within the body, and is important for bone formation, muscle relaxation, nervous system regulation, metabolism of carbohydrates and glucose (improving insulin sensitivity and reducing the risk of diabetes), reducing the risk of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, reducing levels of anxiety through activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and helping boost exercise performance. Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common mineral deficiencies.
The Floating Mind
Although the body enters a state of deep relaxation, the mind remains awake and dreamily alert, just above the threshold of sleep. Large areas of the brain are liberated from their normal workload of processing signals from the nervous system and sense organs. There is a sharp drop in the level of electrical activity of the brain (measured on an EEG), from the usual 20-25 Hz down to 4-8 Hz. A slow rhythmic wave pattern known as the theta state is established. During this state, EEG measurements on floaters show that the level of activity of the two hemispheres of the brain become more balanced and synchronised. During this time your learning abilities are at their highest, and powers of visualisation and auto-suggestion greatly enhanced. EEG measurements of experienced Zen meditators show large amounts of theta activity across the cortex.