Floating, sensory deprivation, and restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST)—all essentially the same thing with different names—can improve mood swings and sleep regulation after 8–12 float sessions. When floating, your body and mind will go from normal alpha and beta brain waves to transform into theta waves. These waves are usually only present right before falling asleep or waking up. Basically, being in the theta state helps us reach a level of calm we don’t generally experience otherwise during our waking hours. Theta brain waves are much slower than alpha and beta waves, allowing for deeper relaxation and reduced stress.
5 Stress-Relieving Benefits of Floatation Therapy
Amongst the many benefits that have been proven over time, here are our top five reasons float therapy is so effective in relieving stress.
- Floating Improves Sleep Quality: This is largely due to the absorption of magnesium during the float therapy session. Magnesium is an essential macromineral that keeps our muscles and nerves working optimally. It helps regulate mood and stabilizes our sleep/wake cycles.
Unfortunately, our bodies do not produce magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is more common than we realize and can result in:
- Interference with our body’s enzyme production
- Increased stress and anxiety
- Lower levels of energy
- Disruption in our ability to fall and stay asleep
- Compromised musculoskeletal system that makes us prone to injury and pain
- Compromised nervous system
The weightlessness, the complete and utter silence, and the total lack of sensory stimulation during a float provide the perfect environment for our bodies and minds to completely unwind. This enhances relaxation, helping us sleep deeper for days following a float session.
- Improved Cortisol Levels: Cortisol is involved in regulating metabolism and plays an important role in our body’s immune system functioning. Maintaining healthy cortisol levels is key to protecting our mental and physical health. Chronically high cortisol levels are a symptom of stress and often poor sleep. It becomes a vicious cycle—too much cortisol also contributes to sleep issues and other health problems, such as:
- Poor regulation of blood sugar
- Suppressed immune system
- Weight gain, specifically around the mid-section
- Gut issues like irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic anxiety
- Floating Relieves Pain: As floating promotes vasodilation, enabling better oxygenation—better blood flow to the brain, organs, and limbs—it helps to minimize pain caused by tension, stress, and even arthritis. Magnesium is better absorbed through the skin rather than via the normal digestive tract, making it more effective to counter migraines, promote relaxation, and help lubricate muscles and joints.
- Floating Relaxes Muscle and Accelerates Recovery: Floating helps to relax the muscles and accelerates the body’s natural ability to recover by reducing lactic acid in the body. The zero-temperature, magnesium-saturated water allows the lactic acid to move out of the muscle faster when relaxed, thereby reducing overall muscle stiffness and pain.
- Floating Reduces Anxiety and Depression: According to scientific studies, every hour spent floating can help reduce anxiety and depression by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels. This in turn eliminates fatigue and stimulates dopamine release, a natural mood enhancer. Floating can induce similar meditative states as well.
Floating Improves Posture to Reduce Stress
The body becomes stressed when it is not functioning properly. The posture of one’s body is important because it determines how the body functions. For example, the lungs are positioned in the ribcage and if the ribs are unable to expand due to restricted movement, then a lesser volume of air enters the lungs. Less air into the lungs means less oxygen into the body, which in turn increases stress on the body. The heart and circulation are also affected by the body’s posture. A “slumped forward” posture puts additional pressure on the heart, slightly limiting the amount of blood moving into the chambers of the heart, leading to impaired circulation. This situation lessens the body’s ability to heal from stress.
The most common side effect of poor posture are tight muscles. When the body’s bones are not in proper alignment, some muscles have to work harder to ensure that the body stays upright on two legs. A person with a forward head posture will most likely have tight muscles of the neck or upper back. Other common areas for tight muscles are the low back and legs. Tightness and pain are major stresses on the body. The alignment of the skeletal system is very important. Helping improve the alignment of the bones corrects the body’s posture. which in turn allows for improvements in function and a reduction in the overall stress on the body.
Discover What Cloud9 Can Do for You
At Cloud9 Float Spa & Wellness Center, we value your health and have seen firsthand the difference it has made in many of our clients’ lives. We hope the information here will encourage you to start improving your health and enjoy floating to provide you with the healthy life you deserve. Make floating a part of your health regime today.
Lynn Brewer is owner of Cloud9 Float Spa & Wellness Center, SWFL’s Only Float Spa. Come be part of the solution to a healthy live at Fort Myers Cloud9 Float Spa today! located at 13710 Metropolis Ave., Suite #104 in Fort Myers. 239-887-4161