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Floating as therapy

It is an article for all people who want to learn or expand knowledge about floating as therapy.


Some history

Floating and swimming are as old as our species, however, floating as a therapy was invented by John Lilly in 1953 at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, U.S.A.Lilly was interested in the physiology and psychology of meditative states when he began working on the effects of floating and sensory deprivation. He discovered that the people who participated in his experiments not only enjoyed the experience, but also achieved levels of relaxation only seen in advanced meditators. In fact, numerous scientific investigations have demonstrated that a few minutes in a flotation tank or flotation tank allow a person to reach levels of relaxation that take years of practice through classic meditation techniques.Starting with Lilly's work and for the next twenty years, official organizations and numerous hobbyists began to build their own flotation tanks. NASA used giant flotation tanks to simulate the weightlessness and isolation of space in its research and astronaut training; and hobbyists around the world used tanks to experience floating as a healthy and natural way to relax.Subsequently, various flotation tanks were developed for therapeutic and commercial purposes, which established the basic format of a closed chamber whose interior contains a 30 cm solution of Epsom salts and water at body temperature. These salts, in addition to increasing density and facilitating flotation, give the water a silky texture beneficial for the skin that is very different from sea salt. Likewise, when the tank is used with the hatch closed, it provides a cozy, warm, private and quiet space that encourages deep relaxation.This is how historically the flotation tanks fulfilled their therapeutic function but were not very functional and had a box shape, a situation that motivated the design of a new concept of flotation, with a modern design, organic character and pleasing to the eye, in which They take care of all the aesthetic, functional and hygienic aspects.

The opportunity to completely isolate yourself from the outside worldNowadays, stress has become a normal part of our lives and something that we must endure whether we want to or not. It is something constant that affects both our health and our quality of life, preventing our rest and relaxation.Floating as a therapy is a relatively new, easy and quick way to achieve intense relaxation, disconnect from the environment and release the tension accumulated during everyday life. That is why these tanks are also called sensory isolation chambers, where you can close your eyes and experience the well-being provided by the warm and silent environment where, little by little and naturally, the body begins to relax until reaching a deep relaxation phase only comparable to years of meditative practice.

What float therapy consists of

Floatation therapy consists of floating effortlessly inside a flotation tank that contains a special solution composed of 600 liters of water and 300 kilos of Epsom salts, which allow the body to float as if it were a cork. in 30 centimeters of depth at a temperature of 36°. These salts recreate the density of the Dead Sea in such a way that by floating effortlessly you lose track of your body's weight, also eliminating 90% of the external signals that reach our brain, almost instantly generating a deep state of physical relaxation. , nervous and mental. Likewise, since the temperature of the water is the same as that of the body, there is the sensation that the body disappears, melting with the water, promoting even deeper relaxation.

How to sleep a whole day in one hour

Sessions can be of different lengths. The most advisable thing is to float for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, which is equivalent to 8 hours of deep sleep or 4 hours of massages. This is possible because during floating the brain stops being aware of balance, the position of the body and the stimuli that arrive from our five senses to the central nervous system. Inside the flotation tank, almost 90% of the brain's workload is eliminated, allowing the body to fully relax and eliminate accumulated tension. These effects are noticeable instantly, however, to make them more intense it is advisable to do several sessions every one or two weeks.

As easy as taking a bath

Before starting the session you should have a few minutes to take a shower. Then you enter the floatary to perform flotation therapy. During it you can listen to music or enjoy the calm and absolute silence. Likewise, you can float in the dark or with light, with the upper tank door open or closed depending on the floater's choice and comfort. You just have to enter, close your eyes and feel the well-being provided by the warm and silent environment where, little by little and naturally, the body begins to relax, lowering the heart and breathing rate until reaching a phase of deep relaxation. The end of the session may be indicated by a faint melody if required. Then you will have a few minutes to take a new shower. Towels, bath gel, hairdryer, earplugs and everything necessary for floating will be provided by staff of the institution or spa.Total hygiene and safety

Hygiene and safety is a priority when designing and manufacturing equipment. The high concentration of magnesium mineral salts makes the solution a 99% sterile and hygienic environment that is very unsuitable for the proliferation of bacteria and germs. Likewise, to achieve total sterility of the solution, the flotation tanks incorporate an optional water ozonation system and special filters that recirculate the solution both between flotation sessions and throughout the night, thus ensuring the correct hygienic condition of the water. for users.

Useful Tips

Float sessions generally last between 30 and 45 minutes, but you should always consider the time taken for the shower before and after floating. It is also advisable to take a brief massage after a floating session.During floating, water contact with the eyes should be avoided. If this occurs, it is necessary for the user to repeatedly open and close their eyes in order to lubricate them and for the slight burning to pass, or to leave the float to take a light shower and then continue with the session. In some cases you can use a sprayer with clean water to remove salt deposited on your face without having to leave the tank. In any case, so that none of this happens, just enter the float calmly and avoid sudden movements.

Benefits

Float therapy is such a simple idea that some of its benefits seem too good to be true. However, numerous scientific investigations have validated its contributions to improving health and physical and mental performance.Floating in a floatation tank is without a doubt one of the most relaxing therapies you can experience. The state of deep relaxation achieved allows the body to recover from accumulated stress. Pain is relieved, blood flow is stimulated throughout all tissues, natural endorphins are released while the brain emits alpha waves associated with relaxation and meditation. The floater experiences an important sensation of well-being. Breathing slows and decreases by approximately 15% compared to the 8% achieved after five hours of sleep. Heart rate and metabolism in general also decrease free of the hundreds of sensory messages that usually arrive per second.Controlled studies have shown that both sports performance and creativity improve thanks to floating. Chronic pain and arthritis are often relieved for a long period after floating. People with stress, anxiety or jet-lag have also expressed feelings of well-being and claim that 45 minutes in a flotation tank is equivalent to sleeping for a whole night.Another aspect on which studies have shown great benefits of floating is related to the possibility of learning more effectively thanks to the use of audio recordings designed to help people stop smoking, eating, to increase self-esteem, etc. Language learning and finding creative solutions to general problems have also improved thanks to floating. Detailed work on brain waves and body chemistry confirms the reality of the physiological effects produced due to the experience of floating.Some people also take advantage of the opportunity during floating to daydream and enter wonderful vivid states similar to those experienced by expert meditators with many years of experience. In this sense, deep relaxation through floating is a much simpler and faster technique than the practice of deep meditation. For all these reasons, the development of flotation tanks has proven to be a great advance in the progress of human consciousness.


Flotation tanks






Dry floating systems






 

Scientific studies

Since its beginnings in 1954, flotation has been the result of numerous scientific studies carried out by specialist doctors from various branches of medicine. Below is a list of these studies and the medical professionals who have performed them:Stress ManagementBarabasz A., Barabasz M., Dyer R. & Rather N. (1993). Effects of Chamber REST, Flotation REST and Relaxation on Transient Mood State. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp.113-120. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.Ewy G., Sershon P., Freundlich T. (1990). The Presence or Absence of Light the REST Experience: Effects on Plasma Cortisol, Blood Pressure and Mood.Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Research and Commentary. pp.120-133. Toledo, Ohio: Medical College of Ohio Press.Jacobs, Heilbronner & Stanely. (1985). The Effects of Short Term Floatation REST on Relaxation. First International Conference on REST and Self-Regulation. pp.86-102. Toledo, Ohio: IRIS Publications.Sports and athletic performanceBaker D.A. (1990). The Use of REST in the Enhancement of Sports Performance-Tennis. Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Research and Commentary. pp.181- 187. Toledo, Ohio: Medical College of Ohio Press.McAleney P. & Barabasz A. (1993). Effects of Flotation REST and Visual Imagery on Athletic Performance: Tennis. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp.79-86.New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.Stanley J., Mahoney M. & Reppert S. (1982). REST and the Enhancement of Sports Performance: A Panel Presentation and Discussion. 2nd International Conference on REST. pp.168-183. Toledo, Ohio: IRIS Publications.Chronic Pain and Rheumatic ArthritisBorrie R. (1997). The Benefits of Flotation REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) in a Pain Management Program. 6th International REST Conference. San Francisco.McCormick B.A., Shafransky D.R., Fine T.H. & Turner J.W. Jr. (1997). Effects of Flotation REST on Plasma Cortisol in Rheumatoid Arthritis. 6th International REST Conference. San Francisco.Mereday C., Lehmann C. & Borrie R. (1990). Flotation For The Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Research and Commentary. pp.255-259. Toledo, Ohio: Medical College of Ohio Press.Diet and weight controlBarabasz M. (1993). REST: A Key Facilitator in the Treatment of Eating Disorders. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp.121-126. New York: Springer-VerlagNew York Inc.Borrie R.A. (1985). Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy used in Weight Reduction. First International Conference on REST and Self-Regulation. pp.144-151. Toledo, Ohio: IRIS Publications.Dyer R., Barabasz A. & Barabasz M. (1993). Twenty-Four Hours of Chamber REST Produces Specific Food Aversions in Obese Females. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp.127-144. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.Alcoholism and substance abuse treatmentAdams H. (1988).REST Arousability and the Nature of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. Journal of substance abuse treatment. Vol.5, pp. 77-81.USA.*Barabasz M., Barabasz A. & Dyer R. (1993). Chamber REST Reduces Alcohol Consumption: 3, 6, 12, and 24 Hour Sessions. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp.163-173. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.David B. (1997). A Pilot Test of REST as a Relapse Prevention Treatment for Alcohol and Drug Abusers. 6th International REST Conference. San Francisco.*DiRito D. (1993). Motivational Factors in Alcohol Consumption: Extending Hull's Model. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp.157-162. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.Increased creativityBaker D.A. (1987). The Effects of REST and Hemispheric Synchronization Compared to the Effects of REST and Guided Imagery on the Enhancement of Creativity in Problem-Solving. 2nd International Conference on REST. pp.122-126. Toledo, Ohio: IRIS Publications.Metcalfe J. & Suedfeld P. (1990). Enhancing the Creativity of Psychologists Through Flotation REST. Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Research and Commentary. pp.204-212. Toledo, Ohio: Medical College of Ohio Press. Vartarian O.A. (1997). The Effects of Flotation REST on Musical Creativity. 6th International REST Conference. San Francisco.*SmokingBarabasz M. & Barabasz A. (1993). Treatment of Trichotillomania and Smoking with Hypnosis and REST. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp.145-156. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.Fine T. & Bruno J. (1985). Floatation REST and Smoking Cessation: A preliminary Report, Health and Clinical Psychology. North Holland: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.Ramirez C. (1985). Restricted Environmental Stimulation Techniques in Smoking Cessation in a Latin American Country. First International Conference on REST and Self-Regulation. pp.152-166. Toledo, Ohio: IRIS Publications.

Corpontamental therapyBorrie R., Dana J., Perry S., & Friedman M. (1993). Flotation REST, Physical Therapy and Psychological Intervention in the Treatment of Physical Disabilities. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp. 289-296. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.Cahn H.A. (1985). Sensory Isolation used with Cognition Modification Training to Restore Medically Declared Unfit Persons to Duty and Reduce Absenteeism in City of Phoenix Maintenance Workers. First International Conference on REST and Self-Regulation. pp.167-178. Toledo, Ohio: IRIS Publications.AnxietyO'Toole P. & Barabasz M. (1997). Effects of Rational Emotive Therapy and REST on Social Anxiety. 6th International REST Conference. San Francisco.Pudvah M.B. & Rzewnicki R. (1990). Six Months in the Tank: The Long-Term Effects of Flotation Isolation on State Anxiety, Hostility, and Depression. Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Research and Commentary. pp.79-85. Toledo, Ohio: Medical College of Ohio Press.AutismHarrison J. & Barabasz A. (1993). REST as a Treatment for Children with Autism. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp. 269-280. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.Suedfeld P. & Schwartz G. (1980). Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) as a Treatment for Autistic Children. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Vol.4, #3, pp. 196-201. William & Wilkins Co.Pre-menstrual syndromeGoldstein D.D. & Jessen W.E. (1990). Flotation Effect on Premenstrual Syndrome. Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Research and Commentary. pp.260-266. Toledo, Ohio: Medical College of Ohio Press.Jessen W. (1993). The Effects of Consecutive Floats and Their Timing on Premenstrual Syndrome. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation: New Developments and Perspectives. pp. 281-288. New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.Psychological effectsBarabasz M., O'Neill M. & Scoggin G. (1990). The Physiological Panic Button: New Data. Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Research and Commentary. pp.112- 119. Toledo, Ohio: Medical College of Ohio Press.Budzynski T.H. (1990). Hemispheric Asymmetry and REST. Restricted Environmental Stimulation: Theoretical and Empirical Developments in Flotation REST. Pp. 2-21. New York: Sringer-Verlag New York Inc.Fine T. & Turner J.W. (1985). The Use of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) in the Treatment of Essential Hypertension. First International Conference on REST and Self-Regulation. pp.136-143. Toledo, Ohio: IRIS Publications.

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