For centuries we have understood the spiritual and health related benefits of the float. Flocks of people gathered in the Dead Sea in Jordan to experience the very same feeling now so readily available to people around the globe!
A sensory deprivation tank, also called an isolation tank or flotation tank, is used for restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST). It is a dark, soundproof tank that is filled with concentrated salt levels.
The first tank was designed in 1954 by John C. Lilly, an American physician and neuroscientist. He designed the tank to study the origins of consciousness by cutting off all external stimuli.
His research took a controversial turn in the 1960s. That’s when he began experimenting with sensory deprivation while under the effects of LSD, a hallucinogenic, and ketamine for sedation to create a trance-like state. In 70s commercial float tanks were created and began being studied for possible health benefits losing popularity due to fears of diseases spreading.
These days however with advancements in technology finding a sensory deprivation tank is easy, with float centers and spas offering float therapy all over the world.
Their increase in popularity may be due in part to the scientific reports and studies. Studies suggest time spent floating in a sensory deprivation tank may have some increased benefits. Thanks to the introduction of UV anti-bacterial filters and filtered pumps people can float in a hygenic and safe environment and gain all the health benefits associated with floating.
Floating therapy is said to be an antidote to stress, thanks to it providing a deep sense of relaxation and inner peace. Many users even say that colors seem more vibrant and many floaters report an increased awareness as if they have just experienced everything for the first time all over again. While these types of benefits can be difficult to prove, research is beginning to show how it works, revealing that it can be an effective, non-invasive way to treat pain and illnesses that are related to stress. A Swedish study published in the Journal of Complimentary & Behavioral Medicine in 2014, suggested that it may work by reducing the body’s stress response, which induces deep relaxation.
Floatation therapy can help assist in creating regular sleeping schedules. Research has found that floating just two hours a week for two weeks may bring improvement in insomnia symptoms. It restores and refreshes the senses, leaving one rested, relaxed and able to forget about those worries and finally enjoy a good night’s sleep. Even if you don’t generally experience sleep problems, after a session you’re likely to find that you sleep much deeper, and feel much more rejuvenated and restored the next day.
You'll find that if your suffering from acute pains in your body that floatation relieves pain you have grown accustomed to. Many people suffer from tension and stiffness in places like the lower back and shoulders, but by the end of even just one session, it becomes practically nonexistent.
Both patient testimonials and multiple studies have suggested that float therapy might serve as a natural pain killer as the primary way it helps relieve pain is by evoking the relaxation response, which is known to improve recovery and ease tense muscles.
Research that examined the effects of placebo treatments as compared to floatation therapy showed that the floating sessions relieved muscular pain related to stress in patients suffering from burnout depression. Patients that underwent therapy for six to 12 weeks, had less pain, as well as reduced blood pressure levels, more energy, less anxiety and lower stress levels.
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