Float Therapy 101 About Floatology Floating Float Spa Therapy

floating 101

A float tank is a low-gravity, lightproof, soundproof environment that removes the effects of weight, sight, sound, and touch. No longer burdened by gravity or the senses, body and mind enter a uniquely deep state of relaxation and awareness. Stress hormone levels decline, and pain and tension fade away. The brain becomes more efficient at creating beneficial endorphins, and the body’s healing centers are allowed to function at a higher level.

floating explained

Floating is the act of lying on your back on the surface of 10-12 inches of water inside of a state-of-the-art, lightproof, soundproof tank. The floating effect is achieved by saturating the water with large amounts of Epsom salt, resulting in maximum buoyancy. In fact, the water inside the tank is so buoyant that it borders between liquid and solid, and the majority of the floater’s body sits above the surface of the water. The water is also heated to skin-temperature (approximately 93.5 F), allowing the floater to lose the ability to distinguish between the physical body and the water.  The tank provides an environment where the effects of sight, sound, smell, and touch are removed.

Each float tank sits within its own personalized room equipped with a shower and changing area, allowing the floater to experience their float session in complete privacy.

Floatation Tank Therapy Spa Floatology Phoenix Tempe Mesa Gilbert

personalized rooms

At Floatology, we use full-sized float tanks designed and manufactured in the USA. The large interior of our tanks, combined with top-notch filtration and ventilation, provide a more spacious and enjoyable customer experience. The tanks also have multiple options for audio input and interior light settings for those who prefer to float with some form of soft light and/or sound, while still receiving the benefits of a low-gravity environment.

Floatation Tank Therapy Spa Tempe ASU

full-sized tanks

bouyancy

Float Therapy Spa Phoenix About Floating Floatology
Our tank’s solution requires almost 1,000 pounds of salt, and is approximately 2/3 water, 1/3 Epsom Salt. To put this in perspective, the solution inside of a float tank is 5-10 times denser than normal sea water, and substantially more dense than the Dead Sea, famously known for its buoyancy.

the science of floating

Because of the sharp reduction in signals being transmitted through the nervous system to the brain, the floater enters progressively deeper levels of relaxation, and the body seems to “disappear” from conscious awareness. This sudden lack of stimulation to large areas of the nervous system leaves the brain and body with a surplus of energy and processing power, and interesting things start to happen.  The body will shift the focus inward and prioritize its natural powers of self-regulation, rest, and healing, triggering a spontaneous chain reaction throughout the body known as the parasympathetic response.

The parasympathetic response is associated with reductions in stress and adrenal hormone production, and increased production of endorphins, often referred to as the body’s natural “happy hormones.”  A key 1999 study by Dr. Peter Suedfeld, a pioneering researcher of float therapy, demonstrated that “plasma and urinary cortisol, ACTH, aldosterone, renin activity, epinephrine, heart rate, and blood pressure, all directly associated with stress, consistently decrease.”  Floating, it seems, makes your brain happy and reduces stress all over the body.

There are also interesting changes that occur in our brainwave activity. As the biological changes above are occurring, there is also a sharp drop in the level of electrical activity in the brain (referred to as EEG). By simply measuring brain activity of floaters, researchers have easily shown that brain activity shifts away from the higher frequency Beta waves (14-40 Hz) associated with our left-brain, normal waking state of alertness.  In turn, we see a shift towards the Theta brain waves (4-8 Hz), which are generated primarily from the right hemisphere of the brain, and associated with deep relaxation, restoration of both the mind and physical structures of the body, dreamlike activity, creativity, and more.

the gravity of floating

(or lack of it)
Float Therapy Spa Phoenix About Float Therapy Tanks Floatology

80-90% affects of gravity disappear

Newton's laws do not apply. The specific gravity of the tank caused by the density of the salt water puts the floater in an environment where approximately 80-90% of the normal effects of gravity are no longer affecting the user.

therapy and sensory deprivation

The growing incidence of user reported benefits confirm what many veteran floaters have known for years, which is that floating is a unique and simple way to relax, rejuvenate, and enhance both mind and body.  The physiological changes brought on by the combination of sensory deprivation and gravity reduction provide for a long list of potential outcomes, benefits, and behavioral changes.

the benefits of floating

mental • physical • lifestyle

Floating is an effective tool for improving mental and physical well-being.  Because floating acts as a type of re-training of the body and brain, the benefits accumulate, and each session builds open the results of previous sessions. As one gains more experience in the tank, the benefits start to last for days afterwards, becoming stronger and more permanent. This is why, at Floatology, we encourage and enable customers to develop a regular practice of floating.

To learn more about the benefits of floating, please select a category below:

Float Tank Therapy Mental Benefits To Floating

Mental Benefits

The low-gravity, lightproof, soundproof environment works wonders for the brain. One could say that the mental state achieved in the tank acts like the opposite of stress.  The brain will start to suppress production of stress-related hormones, and becomes better at producing the body’s own natural neurochemicals associated with happiness and well-being.  These effects have a potentially widespread range of benefits and applications:

  • Profound relaxation and stress relief

    Free from the effects of gravity, sight, sound, and touch, floating can quickly and easily allow a user to enter a meditative state that might otherwise take years of practice without a tank. Many users found floating in their search to learn how to meditate, a skill that can be very difficult to master and often takes years to acquire.

  • Relief from depression and anxiety

    Floating has been shown to reduce production of stress chemicals such as cortisol, ACTH, and epinephrine, while increasing production of naturally occurring endorphins such as dopamine. Brain chemistry shifts away from states of stress and anxiety, and towards relaxation and happiness. These changes becomes more permanent with more floats, and the brain becomes ‘better’ at being happy, and less efficient at being stressed.

  • Improvements in PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Many have been drawn to floating for this reason. Floating can help with the treatment of PTSD due to cortisol and stress hormone reduction, and increased dopamine production. Floating makes it easier for a user to enter into the parasympathetic response, which signals to the brain that everything is ‘safe.’

  • Relief from migraines and headaches

    By decreasing production of stress hormones and increasing production of endorphins, floating allows the brain to become ‘better’ at being happy, critical for combating migraines and headaches.

  • Enhanced Cognitive Ability, Learning, and Visualization

    As a prime environment for absorbing new information, float tanks can be integrated into language learning, memorization, and skill acquisition by way of audio/visualization techniques. While many floaters prefer pure sensory deprivation, our tanks include audio input capabilities that allow users to listen to audiobooks, instructional material, music, and other similar content.

  • Enhanced Problem Solving and Creativity

    Allowing the brain an opportunity to operate free from external distractions can enhance problem solving and creativity. The theta state is often associated with great inspiration and vivid visualizations, and there is both scientific and user-reported evidence that increases in theta wave activity go hand-in-hand with creativity.

  • Synchronize Left/Right Brain

    It is widely agreed upon by neuroscientists that when left and right brain work together in balance, an individual is most healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. In fact, one of the main purposes of religion, psychology, philosophy, and many healing practices is to allow for unity between the two halves of the brain.  By removing most of the stimuli processed by the left brain, the tank allows the right brain to flourish during a float.

Float Tank Therapy Physical Benefits To Floating

Physical Benefits

With too much stress and insufficient rest and relaxation, the body simply won’t be able to heal and perform optimally. Subsequent lack of sleep, inability to relax, and hormone issues only make the problem worse. Prevailing wisdom is that much or all physical disease likely stems from stress in some way or another, and the modern world produces plenty of stressors. In addition to the benefits of reduced stress hormone production, the low-gravity environment and high Epsom Salt concentration of the water offer unique physical benefits to the user. Below is a short list of user reported and documented physical benefits of floating:

  • Overall improved immune function

    The low-impact environment of the tank allows the body to focus more energy on building up its defenses. Lower levels of stress hormones and higher levels of endorphins are undoubtedly correlated with a strong body and immune system. A healthy immune system also aids in the fight against bacteria and infection, helps kill defective cells in the body, and enhances the body’s ability to digest and repair.

  • Improvements in physical symptoms of stress

    The low-impact environment of the tank combats stress hormones at the biological level, allowing the body to focus more energy on building up its defenses. Floating continues to show promise in the treatment of symptoms and physical ailments that have been linked to stress, including but not limited to hypertension, high blood pressure, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and other stomach issues that stem from stress and related poor immune function.

  • Expedited healing of bones, joints, and support structures

    Use of a float tank has been shown to expedite the healing of bone and joint tissue, which receive a lower blood supply than surrounding muscles. The near weightless environment improves circulation to these tissues, allowing them to receive nutrients via the blood. Users are often drawn to floating for its potential in providing relief from arthritic conditions.

  • Improved physical recovery from bouts of exercise or training

    The nearly weightless environment of the tank allows the muscles and support structures of the body to relax. Floating improves circulation and helps to more quickly clear the body of exercise induced toxins and lactic acid, allowing for increased recovery time. Epsom Salt is widely known for its ability to reduce inflammation and assist with muscular recovery.

  • Spinal and structural relief and alignment

    The muscles and structures of the body, including the spine, hips, muscles, and bone structure, are allowed to elongate and return to their optimal lengths, as they are no longer fighting the pull of gravity, and built up pressure and tension fade over time.

  • Increased Magnesium levels (Epsom Salt)

    This could be a section of its own. A session in a float tank also serves as a near full-body Epsom Salt soak. Magnesium deficiency affects an estimated 2/3 of all Americans as a result of highly processed food and mineral deficient soil used in modern farming. Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) is easily absorbed by the skin, and has been used for many years for relaxation and other physical benefits. By regulating over 300 enzymes in the body, magnesium is highly regarded for skin and hair health, detoxification, improved circulation, nutrient absorption and digestion, bone and joint strengthening, improved immune and nervous system function, blood sugar regulation, and more.

Float Tank Therapy Benefits To Floating Floatology

Lifestyle Enhancements

The benefits of relaxation and stress reduction are well-known, documented, and rarely doubted. Without adequate levels of physical and mental relaxation, a person cannot perform optimally at work or school, with sports or hobbies, or family and friends. Indeed, a life without adequate relaxation and rest will often be a life with too much stress and hardship. A float tank is a tool that allows people to reverse this trend. The various benefits described above allow for many uses and applications that can improve quality of life. This makes floating a cost-effective, powerful, safe, and natural alternative to other therapeutic modalities.

  • General stress relief

    Stress is prevalent in modern life, and is widely believed to be a root source of many physical and mental ailments. By combating stress at the biological level, floating continues to be studied and show promise in the treatment of ailments often correlated with stress and related poor immune function.

  • Physical pain management

    By easing the burden of gravity and increasing endorphin production, floating addresses pain on multiple fronts by relieving physical issues and reducing the brain’s perception of pain. For these reasons, floating shows promise and is being studied in the treatment of conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. Anecdotally, center owners have seen customers reduce or stop their usage of prescription painkillers after developing a floating regimen.

  • Improvements in insomnia and sleep disorders

    Many people don’t sleep due to an inability to ‘downshift’ their brains into the theta and ultimately delta (sleep) state, often as a result of simply having too much on the brain. Floating effectively re-trains the brain to gear down from its often overly heightened state of activity, and reach these states of rest and relaxation more easily both in and out of the tank.

  • Improved sports and athletic performance

    By speeding recovery from activity and injury, improving circulation, reducing lactic acid buildup and cortisol, improving sensory acuity, reaction time, and focus, floating is a beneficial tool for athletes and hobbyists of all kinds. It can also be beneficial as a visualization tool for athletes, particularly those functioning at a high level where mental edge is as important as physical ability.

  • Overcoming drug or prescription painkiller dependence

    Addiction or dependence often result from substituting one’s natural endorphin production with a drug or substance such as prescription painkillers and anti-depressants, alcohol, or narcotics. In time, the brain won’t efficiently produce endorphins on its own anymore because it has long relied on outside substances to achieve this effect. Floating offers affordable and natural healing by coaxing the body into producing its own endorphins. It should be both noted and applauded that many avid floaters discovered floating during their search for help with addiction.

  • Alternative to traditional methods of psychological therapy

    Floating can complement or replace traditional psychotherapy by providing a natural means for the body to reduce stress and produce endorphins, as well as working through painful memories while in the relaxation of the theta brain state. Existing centers consistently report customers opening up about personal breakthroughs and emotional growth after floating.

  • Beneficial for Pregnant Women

    Floating in a weightless environment removes the strain of gravity from the muscles, bones, and joints, all of which are compounded by the increased weight of the child in the mother’s womb. Improved circulation and reduced inflammation and swelling are hugely beneficial. Pregnancy can take a toll on both body and mind, and the sense of relaxation, pain relief, and well-being achieved with floating can be particularly beneficial during this period.