Imagine the feeling you get when you settle into a beach vacation and find yourself floating in the waves. All of your worries and stressors are washed away and you are left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
A recent health trend that is gaining popularity for its healing benefits is a float spa. A float spa is an isolation tank, often referred to as a sensory deprivation tank that is a pitch-black, light-proof, soundproof environment heated to the same temperature as the skin. During each one-hour session, guests experience a near-weightless environment of floating. This allows for the muscles and joints of the body to relax, increasing blood flow and helping to more quickly repair muscle tissues and heal the body.
While the trend in float spas is fairly new, the concept has been around for decades. In 1954, Dr. John C. Lilly, a neuropsychiatrist who was interested in the effects of sensory deprivation on the brain, developed the first float tank. The initial design evolved over the years with the first commercial float tank available in 1972.
According to Greg Supelak, owner of True Rest Float Spa, with locations in Easton Town Center and Powell, “Floating gives your immune system the opportunity to shift into a higher gear and our bodies physically rest and recover more quickly in a floatation tank, up to four times faster, in fact. This means that you can train yourself harder and reap the benefits of slower recovery times with the use of a float tank.”
Within our daily lives, our minds race from one thing to the next often overstimulated by social media, Zoom calls, the pressures of home schooling and the general uneasiness of today’s society. With its lack of external stimuli, floating offers unparalleled psychological benefits of inner peace, and is a perfect complement to many alternative wellness regimens.
This zero-gravity environment allows the mind and body to completely let go, relax and reset. Using 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, dissolved in 180 gallons of water, creating a 30% salt solution. This solution is used to create the buoyancy in the water, making floating on water feel like floating on air. The forces of gravity that normally pull on our bodies musculoskeletal and nervous system are removed, creating a deeply relaxing anti-gravity environment. It’s even safe to fall asleep! “The spine naturally elongates and straightens, and the body undergoes the same regeneration process that transpires during a deep sleep,” adds Greg.
The pounds of salt used to create the means for the body to float weightlessly also provide some physical benefits to the body. Epsom salts are great for your skin, hair, nails, and act as an exfoliate. They aid in joint pain, ease stress, and naturally relax the body. They help with inflammation in joints and muscles and treat sprains, strains or sore muscles.
Self-care for your mental health is critical in today’s world. Float therapy has been credited with helping with anxiety and depression. Similar to meditation, floating in a salt tank or pod may hold an advantage over other methods of mindfulness because of how it affects the human brain. It is proven to lower blood pressure as well as levels of cortisol (a stress hormone). Studies have shown that floating is a great complementary treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.
Floating has been proven to aid in the process for overcoming addictions and is believed to be an effective supplement used on the path to recovery. It also provides relief to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “We believe that floating helps so many veterans that are dealing with PTSD. To honor them, we even offer a free float to all veterans on Veterans Day,” adds Greg.
Floatation therapy is safe and natural. It offers an alternative to medicinal treatments or may be helpful working in conjunction with traditional medicines in treating certain conditions. We could all use a little time to reset ourselves from our daily lives and this may be just the thing to add to your wellness journey.