Home Mental Health & Well-Being The Mental Health Benefits You Can Get from Doing Float Tank Therapy

The Mental Health Benefits You Can Get from Doing Float Tank Therapy

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Floating, also known as float therapy or sensory deprivation, has become an increasingly popular wellness trend in recent years. Floating involves lying in a float tank or pool in a solution of Epsom salt and water heated to skin temperature. The large amount of Epsom salts allows you to float effortlessly on the surface. The tank is designed to minimise sights, sounds, and other external stimuli. Many people report experiencing profound relaxation and mental health benefits from spending time floating.

Here are some of the ways float tank therapy can improve your mental health:

Reduces stress and anxiety

One of the most well-documented effects of floating is a dramatic reduction in stress and anxiety. The float experience triggers your body’s natural relaxation response. Corticosteroid, cortisol and norepinephrine levels drop while endorphins are released. This produces feelings of euphoria and lowers stress. Floating has been found to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders. Regular floating can help manage daily stresses and leave you feeling more calm and centred.

Alleviates depression

Studies show floating in Epsom salt water can help alleviate depression. The magnesium absorbed through the skin has anti-depressive effects. Floating also releases endorphins, which lift your mood. The introspective, meditative aspect of floating allows rumination, which can help gain insight into depressive thought patterns. Many people report that floating leaves them feeling rejuvenated and more positive. This can happen after as little as one session of float tank therapy in Melbourne.

Promotes mindfulness

The removal of external stimuli in the float tank clears the mind and allows you to be fully present. This induces a meditative state of relaxation, awareness, and focus. Floating can become a powerful mindfulness practice that can carry over into daily life. It can help quiet mental chatter and cultivate mindfulness skills like focus, acceptance, and letting go. Regular floating can rewire thought patterns to be more mindful.

Improves sleep quality

The extreme relaxation and freedom from stimuli during a float session leave you feeling restored and deeply rested. Floating increases the production of theta waves, associated with dreams and deep sleep. Flotation therapy has been shown to help those with insomnia fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly through the night. Floating before bed can become an effective part of an overall sleep hygiene regimen.

Increases creativity

The theta waves stimulated by floating also correlate to increased creativity. Floating clears away distractions, allowing you to tap into areas of your psyche that are often inaccessible. Many artists, musicians, Silicon Valley tech workers, and athletes use float tanks to spark creativity, problem-solve and brainstorm new ideas. Floating provides mental clarity that can help unlock creative potential.

Offers pain relief

The buoyancy of the Epsom saltwater takes the pressure off joints and muscles, providing natural pain relief. Magnesium absorption also helps relax muscles and reduce inflammation. This can temporarily alleviate back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions. Floating prompts the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers. For chronic pain sufferers, floating can offer a respite and a sense of freedom.

Aids addiction recovery

Float tanks have been used in rehab settings to support addiction recovery. They can help addicts relax and reduce cravings and anxiety early in the recovery process. Floating also aids psychological aspects of addiction, like learning to be alone with one’s thoughts. Floating promotes mindfulness, which can strengthen resilience against relapse triggers. Some recovery centres even use floating as a complementary treatment alongside counselling.

Improves immunity

The reduction in the stress hormone cortisol from floating gives a boost to your immune system. Cortisol suppresses immune system functioning. Lowering it helps your body fight viruses and infections. Magnesium absorption supports immune strength as well. The mental health benefits of floating also contribute to better physical well-being in the long term.

While research is still limited, floating appears to hold great promise for bolstering mental health and wellness. From reducing everyday stresses to mitigating clinical mood disorders, its benefits span both recreational and therapeutic contexts. As more people integrate floating into their self-care routines, its positive impacts continue to emerge. While not a cure-all, floating offers a unique way to relax the body, declutter the mind, and feel more at peace.

Samantha Green, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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