What Is Float Therapy?
December 02, 2017
By Don Thorpe, LMT, Aches Away Massage Specialists
Have you heard of float therapy? If not, you aren’t alone. Float therapy has been widely embraced in larger cities for several years, but it is new to the Bloomington-Normal area. The concept of float therapy, which originated in the 60s, is to induce a state of deep relaxation by floating in a tank of warm water. Unlike some other alternative therapies, there is solid scientific evidence that shows “floating” can significantly improve your health and wellbeing.
Float tanks, pods, and rooms can have different features, but the underlying concept is the same. The vessel holds about 200 lbs. of water saturated with about 1,000 lbs. of magnesium-rich Epsom salt. The air and water are kept warm at skin temperature, which is around 92 to 94 degrees. The high concentration of salt forces the body to float in about 10 inches of water. While light, music, and even guided meditation options are available, to have a true “gravity-free, sensory-free experience,” the lights and sound are turned off for what is called a “pure float.”
“Floating” has gained momentum and become more mainstream over the last few years. Float centers are popping up all over the country, offering a variety of different float vessels and experiences to choose from. Perhaps new technology that provides lighting and music options to help floaters unwind is what is making floating more enjoyable? Maybe it is the public endorsement of people like Joe Rogan that has catapulted the industry? Regardless, the Chicago Cubs have incorporated float therapy into their training room, and athletes like Tom Brady and Steph Curry are talking about floating. All of this is increasing awareness about the benefits of float therapy.
What are the benefits?
Float therapy provides a wide range of both mental and physical benefits. Float therapy has been used to effectively treat everything from stress and anxiety issues, to depression and PTSD. People also report higher energy levels, improved sleep quality, and better creativity and problem-solving ability.
Physical benefits include reducing inflammation and pain from conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, diminishing or even eliminating migraine headaches, and helping muscles recover faster. The high concentration of magnesium promotes absorption, which can reduce inflammation. Magnesium sulfate helps build bones and enable nerves to function. While the magnesium-rich water can help reduce inflammation and pain, relaxing the brain along with the body can have multiplicative benefits. It is often difficult to distinguish between physical and mental pain, and floatation therapy attempts to help both concurrently.
The long list of benefits makes it easy to see why people want to try it. Here are some examples:
- Athletes want to maximize their physical recovery and mental state for increased performance
- Working professionals want to “unplug” and obtain mental restoration
- People with chronic or acute pain want to decrease inflammation and reduce related aches and pains
- Pregnant women want natural, anti-inflammatory pain relief along with the ability to produce more serotonin and improve their mood
Float therapy can have a tremendous positive impact on your health and is an effective way to treat many different illnesses and conditions without using drugs. It should never be used as a substitute for conventional treatment from your physician. Float therapy has no risks or adverse side effects, the cost is affordable, and it works.
For more information, contact Aches Away Massage Specialists at 309-662-2900 or online at www.aches-away.com. Aches Away is locally owned by Don Thorpe and has been serving the community since 2001. Don recently added float therapy as a service to compliment massage therapy in his practice. Their new office is located at 3807 General Electric Road Bloomington.
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