Far from being just another wellness fad, the science of floating has been around for over 60 years, originally conceived during the early work of Dr. John Lilly – a neurophysiologist and psychoanalyst. The benefits of sensory deprivation (achieved by floating) are also very real – backed by countless studies and widely accepted by the scientific and medical communities.
When you temporarily take away the effect that gravity has on the body, our muscles can relax fully, allowing them to heal faster and get rid of any residual tension that has been building up. Epsom Salt is rich in magnesium – a muscle relaxant and a protein builder for your joints, that can be absorbed directly into your muscles when you float. Better still, the positive effects of floating on our bodies are cumulative – which means the more frequently you float, the more you will feel the benefits.
For more information on floating and sports recovery, read this article.
Inside a float tank – without gravity, movement or other physical pressures on our bodies – our blood pressure and heart rate can return to healthy levels. The profound effect this has on our cardiovascular system is that it encourages our blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. The greater flow of blood, the greater the flow of oxygen and nutrients to every single cell in our bodies, promoting healthy tissue growth.
T-cells (or T lymphocytes) are a type of blood cell that play an important role in determining the health of our immune system. During floating, our t-cells are boosted, along with our circulation, improving our overall immune health.
Biologically, deep neuromuscular relaxation (achieved through floating) changes the type and quantities of hormones secreted by the brain and endocrine system. Floating is proven to improve our hormonal balance by reducing the production of cortisol – the stress hormone – and increasing the production of endorphins (or colloquially, our “happy hormones”).
For those interested in learning more about the science behind floating and sensory deprivation, we’ve hand picked some interesting reading material below. Enjoy!
Float Hopes: The Strange New Science of Floating (Time Magazine)
Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium (Journal of Neural Transmission)
Suffer from anxiety? Try a sensory deprivation tank (The Guardian)
Floating Effective For Stress And Pain, Research Suggests (Science Daily)
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