We all have our own ways of relaxing, switching off after a hard day or week and soothing our aching bodies. But something you may have heard of but not tried is flotation therapy.
Flotation therapy is an excellent way to relax, unwind, and soothe the body and mind. Let's take a look at what it is and how it can benefit you.
What Is Floatation Therapy and How Does It Work?
The concept of using a flotation tank as a therapeutic technique was developed by Dr John C Lilly, an American physician, neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, writer and inventor, in the 1950s. His initial goal was to devise a way of isolating the brain from external stimulation, so he filled a dark soundproof tank of warm salty water in which subjects could float for long periods in sensory isolation.
These tanks are basically large bathtubs with a lid designed to block out any light, sound, and any other external distractions. Tanks are filled with an Epsom salt solution to a depth of around 30 cm, allowing a person to float just above the bottom without ever touching it.
It was likely inspired by the Dead Sea, which is a hypersaline body of water located between Jordan, Israel and Palestine that is so salty that you can float on top freely, enjoying a feeling of being completely weightless.
While these tanks were originally used for medical purposes, they have since become hugely popular as a way to relax and unwind. ‘Floating’, as it is now known, has a range of wonderful benefits for the mind and body, and is enjoyed by everyone from professional athletes to those simply looking for a way to switch off or revitalise the body after a long week.
The Benefits of Flotation Therapy
Flotation therapy is a simple and effective way to soothe the body and calm the mind. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits.
Reap the Benefits of a Epsom Salt Bath
A soak in magnesium-rich Epsom salts is a wonderful way to relax and revive the skin, muscles, mind and body. Once absorbed, magnesium aids with the conversion of tryptophan, an amino acid, to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which conveys sensation of satisfaction and relaxation. It also flushes out toxins, heavy metals, and accumulations of other harmful substances from the skin, relaxes the muscles and helps reduce inflammation.
Magnesium is important for over 300 biochemical functions in the body. It is also one of the most common mineral deficiencies found in adults, and many health professionals recommend supplementation to ensure our bodies are getting enough. Flotation therapy is a great way to boost your magnesium levels.
Turn Off Your Mind and Relieve Stress
All day, every day we are bombarded by stressful situations. Work, relationships, family - it can all amount to a big stressful mess. Flotation therapy is the easiest way to turn off your mind without any outside distractions bugging you. Meditation can be hard at home, with so much stimulus around you, but in a flotation tank, you are completely free to close your eyes and switch off. It’s best way to achieve a deep, relaxed, stress-free state with very little effort.
Get an Endorphin Boost
Floatation therapy can stimulate the release of endorphins and dopamine, leaving you feeling elated afterward. This can have a huge impact on your mental and physical wellbeing.
We all know that sleep is incredibly important - in fact it’s the most important thing for our overall wellbeing aside from eating well and doing plenty of exercise. By relieving stress, relaxing the body, and calming the mind, flotation therapy can help you sleep much better.
Help Relieve Tension Headaches
If you regularly suffer from stress headaches, tight shoulders and a sore neck, flotation therapy might just be your miracle cure. A recent study at UC Irvine found that it is a “long-lasting and versatile treatment” for chronic tension headaches.
Sensory deprivation and meditation can both have a profound impact on creativity. By blocking out external stimulus, you mind is essentially given some down time, which is often when we are our most creatively inspired (have you ever tried going for a walk or taking a show to boost creativity - it’s extremely effective!).
As science journalist Ferris Jabr notes, “when we are relaxing or daydreaming, the brain does not really slow down or stop working…many important mental processes seem to require what we call downtime and other forms of rest during the day.”
These are just a few of the ways that flotation therapy can help your mind and body. If you’re looking for a similar experience from the comfort of your own home, we can’t recommend trying bath salts enough. Take a look at our range of Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts and magnesium flakes.
If you're looking to buy bulk Epsom salts for flotation tanks, click here.