Recently a floater shared the story of telling his friend that he had started floating regularly. He explained the process of going into a room, showering and slipping into ten inches of skin temperature water and finding deep relaxation in the dark, nearly silent environment.
His friend looked at him, incredulously. "You're crazy", were the first words out of his mouth.
A few years ago, before I heard about float tanks, read about them and began hunting down the research, I probably would have said the same thing.
Let’s face it, getting into a tank of salt water sounds odd. How can salt and water do all the things that are claimed? I admit, I am a skeptic about a lot of things. I want to understand why things work.
But, this is why I love the float tank. Because science backs up so many of the claims. I can understand why it works. There are studies that replicate results. And there is enough evidence to spend time and resources delving deeper into its effects. The Swedish Float Association received a hefty four year grant to look deeper into the tank's positive effects on General Anxiety Disorder. That's exciting!
Granted, my understanding of the how's and why's is somewhat limited. I am a massage therapist. But thanks to extensive A&P and Pathology classes, I do know a few things.
As a lymphatic drainage practitioner (a modality widely accepted by the western medical community and years of comprehensive studies to back up claims of its results), I am aware of the physical effects water pressure has on the superficial lymph system and the benefits of having nothing external to impede its flow.
As a massage therapist, I am keenly aware of the physical and cellular wear and tear of gravity on the body. And I know what can happen when we give the body a break from most of the earth’s gravity.
While anecdotal, my own story of pain reduction using a float tank had a big impact on me. There was a time when living with pain on a daily basis, western medicine and eastern medicine both failing to help, I was desperate for relief and a better quality of life.
While it didn't cure me or erase my pain completely, floating helped me live a little better and gave me more better days than worse days. I was thrilled!
If you think floating is crazy, we understand that first impression. But, let’s look at the things that matter. Let’s look at science and the research and the well-crafted studies that are getting consistent results. I’m going to help you get a head start.
Our friends over at Float Solutions offer a free download of a research list that shows hundreds of studies done on floating. (By the way, these guys ARE awe-inspiring!) Many of the studies you can check out for yourself at pubmed.gov. Try out google scholar, too!
We are here to help and serve our float community. We believe that a consistent floating practice can be a catapult for deep seeded changes in body and mind. While floating won't cure many of the things that ail people, it can be a great tool in maintaining quality of life.
If you want to talk more or just come by and see the tanks, let us know! We're happy to help any way we can.
Until then, float on!