If you suffer from anxiety or chronic pain, there’s a natural solution you need to hear about. It might be time to replace the anti-anxiety medications and painkillers with this simple yet effective way to stop anxiety and reduce chronic pain – floating.
Float is a flotation and sensory deprivation tank center. Darou Wellness interviewed Sean Lavery of FLOAT-TORONTO to learn what flotation therapy is all about.
During a Float session, you lie on your back and float in a water tank. If you aren’t the best floater – no worries. The 850 pounds of Epsom salt in the tank allows you to float effortlessly on top of the water without being pulled down by gravity.
The water is kept at 34.1 degrees Celsius.
Lavery explains, “This is a skin receptor neutral temperature which means that once you settle in, you lose track of where your body ends and the water begins.” Once you enter the tank, the lights are turned off and you’re left to relax and float in darkness.
“During your float, the outside world is gone and amazing things happen,” Lavery said. “It turns out that when you’re not fighting gravity or constantly taking in external information, your body has a lot of extra resources at its disposal. Your mind is free to navigate without distraction, your brain produces dopamine and endorphins, and your body gets to rest, de-stress and heal.”
Floating therapy has been shown to lower cortisol levels in the body, reducing stress. It has also been shown to benefit those suffering from chronic pain issues, ranging from back and neck pain to fibromyaligia.
How Does It Work?
The primary component of Epsom salt is magnesium. As you soak in the bath, your body absorbs the mineral through your skin. It helps relax your muscles by flushing lactic acid buildup in the muscles. Magnesium plays an important role when it comes to the absorption of vitamins in the body. It also helps regulate muscle and nerve function.
Floating weightlessly in the dark lowers the stress hormone cortisol, to help alleviate stress and anxiety. If being surrounded by water in a dark room scares you a little, you aren’t alone. Lavery explained that while many people are a little worried before they get in for the first time, the vast majority end up truly enjoying their floats. Lavery also made sure to point out that you’re still in control.
“The door isn’t lockable – it’s a lightweight manual door that can be opened or closed at any time and only by the floater,” he said. Lavery also said he encourages first time floaters to leave the door open for the first few minutes of their float, until they get comfortable.