Why Should I Float?

Athletes float to enhance their performance and dramatically speed up recovery from their injuries. Floating improves circulation and it’s easier for large muscle groups to receive oxygen rich blood more easily. This is also responsible for quickly alleviating the pain of injuries as most injuries are the result of improper muscle tension; floating causes a reduction in muscle tension due to the zero gravity environment created from resting on the surface of a pillow of water. Additionally, having a reduction in muscle tension allows harmful lactic acid build up to disperse quickly. Following extended periods of anaerobic exercise our muscles release lactic acid, a by-product of glucose that causes a toxic effect on our muscle performance such as fatigue and stress. It naturally disperses from our systems within 24-36 hours; however, athletes who exercise more regularly and more aggressively tend to have a problem getting rid of this waste product quickly enough and it builds up day to day. Lactic acid build up has a very negative impact on an athlete in more ways than just high levels of Sodium Lactate. It is also linked to highly disruptive mood effects such as anxiety, an inability for the athlete to make quick ‘game time’ decisions and to remain ‘calm and collected’. For this reason, the rapid removal of this harmful build up leads to positive effects for athletes such as stronger leadership qualities, more strategic thinking and mental clarity. Floating enhances performance and limits the need for long periods of rest as it allows our body to recuperate quickly and most importantly, naturally without pharmaceutical intervention.
People who suffer from painful afflictions or ailments float for pain relief. This can come in the form of a break from having your body weight on a certain muscle group or injury that is hurting. It can come from the endorphins released from balancing our brain’s chemistry or likely a combination of the two. Dopamine has been demonstrated to play a role in pain processing in multiple levels of the central nervous system including the spinal cord. The central symptom of fibromyalgia, namely widespread pain, appears to result from neurochemical imbalances of Dopamine among other hormones. Dopamine levels are significantly regulated when you float due to the hypothalamus’ increased production of Prolactin resulting from our body’s Relaxation Response being activated inside the tank.Osteoporosis has been linked to malnutrition, alcohol consumption and even smoking. If floating can help mitigate these unwanted behavioral patterns that can contribute to the onset of Osteoporosis, then it can be considered precautionary and preventative at the very least.Beyond this however, Endocrine disorders, specifically those associated with the Adrenal gland, are known to induce loss of bone density. Floating regulates the Endocrine system by helping the Adrenal gland manufacture and regulate the secretion of chemicals.

Scoliosis and Parkinson’s disease can both lead to poor bone density and the onset of Osteoporosis; thankfully floating can assist with structural alignment (Scoliosis) as well as regulate Dopamine (Parkinson’s).

A float tank is a self-regulation tool that assists our body’s internal operating systems. Our body has many interconnected systems that affect each other; the ability to regulate and balance this network of closely related systems is the most powerful function of the float tank. This is also what makes floating appear deceptively simple when in fact powerfully corrective and regulatory physiological functions are getting stabilized, balanced and reset.

Stress represents anything that poses a threat to our well-being. Sometimes stress can be good; it can activate resources within your body to assist you in coping with many problems life throws at us. When we experience stress, a few things happen in our body. We experience elevated blood pressure, breathing becomes more rapid, pulse rises, immune system is weakened, muscles become tense and we cannot sleep. Take a moment to think about that list of essential body functions and then ask yourself the following question: if this happens often, could that possibly be good for my mind or body well-being? Let me frame this another way; did you know that people who even worry about stress are twice as likely to have a heart attack from stress related illness within ten years? It doesn’t seem fair does it? You already know that we are experiencing a chronic form of unabated stress in today’s modern age, and what’s worse is that worrying about it makes it even worse! If we had the energy to write the list of negative effects of stress on your body, we could be here forever. Ranging from hypertension and cardiovascular disease to immune system and digestive disorders, the list is shocking and morose. In addition to harmful physical effects, the question to whether or not our society is sick becomes unarguable when you consider the following effects on our thoughts and feelings resulting from stress: anger, restlessness, forgetfulness, fatigue, burnout, anxiety, insecurity, emotional outburst, relationship problems, social withdrawal, crying, food cravings, drug seeking behavior and the list continues.

The damaging effects of stress are so severe they are almost unmentionable. Among the worst things are the extremely high risk of abortion and miscarriage, losing your employment, losing a significant other and loss of life.

How can Floating help eliminate stress?

People who are prone to stress related illness, anxiety and depression benefit from decreasing the production of harmful stress hormones such as ACTH, Adrenaline and Cortisol which are directly associated with your influencing your mood, energy, focus and outlook. These adrenal sympathetic hormones will not be released when we enter into prolonged states of relaxation because there is no external stimulation to trigger their secretion. When we trigger our relaxation response it prevents negative stress hormone production while increasing the release of endorphins at the same time; a balance of this delicate chemical dispensary system built into our brains. Floating delivers deep relaxation; therefore, floating literally makes you feel ‘better’. The results of floating are cumulative; the more you float the better you feel.

Endorphins have an astonishing variety of functions ranging from relieving pain and causing pleasure to integrating information from our senses. Research indicates that just a few minutes of stimulation of certain areas of the brain can provide pain relief lasting for twelve hours or more. Further, it’s now known that just mere thoughts have the power to trigger endorphin release. This means that the good mood floaters experience from the deep relaxation of an hour or two in the tank is directly related to their brain turning up the dial on endorphin production.

Floating has a powerful influence on our reality well beyond anecdotal suggestion; concrete evidence from double blind research experiments displays floating has a proven ability to decrease stress and significantly reduce the pain associated with all of life’s challenges ranging from headaches, sadness of heart break or even broken bones. This is done by regulating the flow of information to the brain through sensory deprivation. This means, by calming our RAS, by limiting the amount of data we are processing from the external world in the calm solitude of the gravity free environment, we can shift our attention internally and as we enter this meditative brain rhythm linked to higher states of internal awareness, the mind discovers its ability for self-regulation of brain chemistry.

The International Journal of Stress Management of May, 2003 reported that individuals suffering from stress-related health problems such as chronic pain, depression, or anxiety are often helped a great deal by floating. The reason stated was the individuals have usually tried many other forms of stress management prior to floating and had little success. They are individuals who are in the greatest possible need of relaxation but who have the hardest time adopting methods of relaxation.

A Swedish team of scientists studying the effects of floating on combatting stress uncovered that prolactin, a kind of ‘life-force hormone,’ is released in large amounts when we float. Prolactin plays an essential role in enabling females to produce milk as well as all human metabolism, regulation of the immune system, and pancreatic development. Most interestingly related to stress management and floating, Prolactin also regulates the release of our body’s Dopamine. As most types of ‘rewards’ increase the Dopamine production in our brains, it has a direct association with how addictive drugs relate to our brain. Dysfunctions with the Dopamine dispensary system in our brain is linked to such significantly destructive diseases and disorders such as Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia, ADHD, substance abuse and more.

Our reaction to stressful situations is causing a mechanism in our brain to release harmful biochemicals such as Epinephrine (Adrenaline), ACTH and Cortisol into our bloodstream and as these chemicals build up, we begin to experience emotional responses such as the feelings of being helpless, sad, angry, stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, dark, lonely, etc. These feelings lead to physical manifestations such as insomnia, loss of appetitive and loss of libido, which further exacerbates the symptoms causing viscous cycles that can be hard to break. This exacerbation causes an even deeper cognitive shift in our emotions, leading to feelings of fatigue, difficulty concentrating and suicidal thoughts for extreme cases.

When we float, we cease production of the stress related chemicals that lead to and facilitate these symptoms while simultaneously increasing optimism, self-assertiveness and more socialization. This is due to the simultaneous increase in the production of Endorphins we experience when deeply relaxed inside the tank.

Tight chest, sweaty palms, pounding heart, sense of dread, loss of control, irritability, restlessness, trembling, fear, butterflies in the stomach.

Do these symptoms sound familiar? Currently taking liver destructive pharmaceuticals to manage these reoccurring symptoms?

These symptoms are all responses. Responses to what our brain perceives as a threat. The problem with anxiety sufferers is that the brain can experience one small trigger causing what would be a normal response to a threat, and then spiral out of control with a flood of Biochemicals that spill out like a faucet with a broken handle. What should have been a small ‘reaction’ dose of stress hormones released into the system becomes a steady stream; this is essentially the definition of a ‘phobia’. A phobia is where the normal ‘response’ becomes a debilitating life disrupting illness.

Like depression, anxiety has physical and hormonal effects, including muscular tension, elevated blood pressure, high pulse, heightened levels of stress related hormones and a broken ‘off switch’ on top of everything.

Floating, as you know, reduces the stress hormones, the catalyst behind the scene, as well as providing immediate physical relief in the form of reduced muscle tension and slowed heart rhythm. Essentially floating will combat anxiety from both a mind and body perspective.

Pregnant women and their unborn children share a special bond and it goes without saying that the baby experiences what mom experiences. This is true with diet and emotions, etc. Imagine a womb inside a womb! Not being a woman I have to admit it’s hard for me to even imagine what this would be like; however, to help you imagine it to the extent that I can, consider the dark, warm embryonic environment of the tank with zero gravity to take all the weight off the body, including the other body that a woman is carrying around inside of them. Both mom and baby free from gravity as they rest effortlessly on the surface of the salt-water. As mom experiences deep states of calm and relaxation she will pass this straight to her child. The gravity free environment created in the tank allows for the baby to move around more freely and it has been reported that the result of being less restricted causes the baby to move less erratically. Mothers all across the world are reporting a strong zen-like connection with their babies in this environment; be it a deeper connection or deeper understanding of their unique bond. This is one of those anecdotal situations that we trust in due to everything we know about the clinically proven results of floating. Pregnant women will receive a sizable discount at our float center and we look forward to presenting the results of future studies on this fascinating area of benefit.
The effect of sensory deprivation on smoking cessation is well documented within the floating community. Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) related research has shown isolating one’s senses could actually help change ingrained behaviors. The reason floating is such a talked about technique for helping smokers stop, is because of the maintenance effect of getting them to stay stopped once they’ve quit and the first few days of being highly motivated begin to slip away. Floating makes a long lasting change in the mind and behavior of the smoker due to the ability to analyze the dangers of smoking in the deeply meditative state of relaxation coupled with an increased self-confidence in their ability and attitude towards changing habits.
Similar to the effects of sensory deprivation on smoking cessation, floating allows for a highly introspective state of brain functionality that lends itself to deeper understandings of one’s behaviors and when those behaviors are destructive we are forced to face them head on in the tank. It is just you and you alone, a journey into your deep self; an altered state of consciousness, and with that comes very revealing truths about ourselves that we can see through a different lens while undergoing prolonged Theta State brain wave activity. Those determined to lose weight can listen to weight reduction reinforcement messages while floating and alter complex behavior patterns that may be preventing them from the proper motivations to eat healthier, exercise more and increase their supplement intake.
Again, in the same area of the brain that is positively modified by sensory deprivation and our built in intrinsic desire to stop unwanted behaviors, floating can reduce stressors that trigger the desire for alcohol consumption. Simply stated, when we damage our opiate receptors, and we cannot find ‘reward’ naturally with ease, we self medicate with substances that provide us with the sensation of ‘reward’ to compensate for the unpleasant feelings of withdrawal. Research conducted at the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, Wisconsin revealed that prolonged floating periods of up to one year had a 45% reduction in alcohol consumption. The study was originally intended to monitor stress reduction and the positive effects it had for alcoholics was admittedly accidental at the time. Nonetheless, floating has been shown to be as therapeutic as any other cognitive shifting technique such as patient counseling, if not more so because of the power of self-suggestion over that of a taped message or third party opinion. Smokers, drinkers and drug addicts rarely want to hear from anyone other than themselves when it comes to hearing a hard truth.
People with neck, back or spinal chord problems, arthritis, or even scoliosis and structural alignment impairments, may wish to minimize the amount of trips to the chiropractor, physical therapist or acupuncturist. They may choose to float for the reason that it delivers similar results to their traditional therapies; however, there is no sensory deprivation or therapeutic mineral salt absorption in the other scenarios. Therefore floating can deliver results for your physical ailment while simultaneously yielding tremendous mental benefits in addition.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. This important mineral is required by more than 300 different enzymes in your body, which play important roles in the following biochemical processes, many of which are crucial for proper metabolic function. Unfortunately most humans are magnesium deficient or operating with levels lower than we should be due to changes in agriculture and diet over the last 100 years. It’s been estimated that up to 80 percent of the population is deficient in this important mineral, according to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, author of The Miracle of Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is often misdiagnosed because it does not show up in blood tests – only 1% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the blood. Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency; a magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient. Magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. Because magnesium deficiency is largely overlooked, millions of people suffer needlessly or are having their symptoms treated with expensive drugs when they could be cured with magnesium supplementation. After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies. Magnesium deficiency will disturb sleep and background stress levels and a host of other things that reflect on the quality of life. Magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every organ system of the body. With regard to skeletal muscle, one may experience twitches, cramps, muscle tension, muscle soreness, including backaches, neck pain, tension headaches and jaw joint (or TMJ) dysfunction. Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness with constant movement, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. Symptoms or signs of the cardiovascular system include palpitations, heart arrhythmias, and angina due to spasms of the coronary arteries and high blood pressure.
One out of three people have hypertension, or high blood pressure. This is a common and serious health concern, as uncontrolled hypertension can cause heart disease and increase your risk of having a stroke. It’s especially dangerous because it often has no warning signs or symptoms. People who suffer from cardiovascular disease or hypertension will find therapeutic relief from the regulation of their blood pressure from the large dose of hospital grade magnesium sulfate absorbed through their skin while floating. Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and floating can regulate and stabilize your blood pressure not only during your time in the tank but for days, even weeks following just one visit. Linked to hypertension is an underlying cause of magnesium deficiency in the production of insulin.
Magnesium deficiency may contribute to high blood pressure, but the most common underlying cause is typically related to your body producing too much insulin. As your insulin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure to increase. Research published in 1998 in the Journal of Diabetes reported that nearly two-thirds of the test subjects who were insulin resistant also had high blood pressure. Simply put, magnesium helps regulate your body’s metabolic functions including glucose production. Magnesium is needed to optimize many cellular functions and is required for the proper function of your insulin receptors. Floating on top of the waterbed of magnesium sulfate salt-water inside our float tanks will keep your risk for Type 2 Diabetes low. If you even suspect that you diet may not be rich in magnesium, you may want to speak to your physician about the benefits of absorbing this critical mineral through your skin and contact us for more information.

* If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, check with your doctor before using Epsom salts.

The spiritual minded, answer seekers, psychedelic enthusiasts, mind explorers, higher-consciousness aware, inter dimensional travelers who meditate regularly, practice yoga and seek enlightenment through various avenues are often thrilled to learn that whatever they normally do can be amplified significantly inside the tank. After all, cultivating a mental stillness is the name of the game. A great example of this would be the technique of Visualization where reports indicate that practicing Visualization in the tank can dramatically increase the results due to the brain’s highly relaxed state. The ability to think in sensory images instead of words is an absolutely essential first step toward the mastery of higher states of consciousness. Visualization is also a crucial element of creativity, and this normally takes practice and experience; however, in the tank, while Floating, we produce slow rhythmic Theta waves that allow us profound relaxation perfect for cultivating this practice.

Those who wish they had the time to meditate or want to learn and can’t seem to find the time or the energy to just get started get to reap the benefits of long time practitioners without mastering any techniques, training their mind or trying at all. The hard fact about meditating is some people are better at it then others, some people find it easier than others and some people experience more powerful results than others. With floating, it’s a guarantee that you will experience benefits similar to meditation without doing anything. Literally, doing nothing!

Those seeking to be hypnotized will be fascinated to learn that the practice of the progressive relaxation technique of relaxing their muscles to enter into the hypnagogic brain wave state from Floating. Reports indicate that Floaters can benefit from the great creativity offered through these separate realities and enjoy passively observing their dreams forming right in front of their eyes. Inside the tank the ability to concentrate is enormously enhanced and since there are no distractions, receptivity to suggestion is increased dramatically. It is a fact that we are slipping in and out of light hypnotic trances all the time but it can be difficult to manifest awareness of when exactly this is happening. The tank is the perfect deconditioning tool because it separates us completely from our relationship with the outside world and this allows us to eliminate harmful programming, bad habits and non helpful beliefs that may be harming our lives.
When your brain is free from processing external data as well as the forces of gravity, coupled with the slower rhythmic activity it enters from the deeply calming experience of floating, the ability to absorb new material will sky rocket. Floaters are capable of complex synthesis thinking, combining concepts in new ways and creating original ideas. This capacity for processing information is nothing short of a quantum leap in learning ability. Theta State brain wave activity is known for the uncritical acceptance of large amounts of new material. What is important to realize is that this goes for a greater awareness of your own deep self and higher state of consciousness; not just external information presented to you in the form of audio or visual components. Floaters will have this same ‘superlearning’ effect on their own moods, behaviors and responses as if seeing themselves from a new perspective. Floating can be a highly revealing self-enhancement tool that increases our ability to handle difficult or complex insights and map significantly strong connections with the information within our own minds.
Burnout Syndrome is a result of chronic stress and symptoms are strikingly similar to depression only worse. Burnout Syndrome is very real and can lead to physical illnesses such as chronic fatigue disorder. Chances are if you are an employer, Burnout Syndrome is a major drain on your company’s productivity and competitiveness. Almost every employee who quits a job cites stress as one of the top three factors for leaving; usually number one. Whether they are overworked, under challenged, time pressured, conflicted by colleagues or a cantankerous boss, chances are they may feel exhausted, empty, burned out, and unable to cope.

High stress means low productivity, low retention of staff, client dissatisfaction. I don’t think we need to continue this list. Improving the stress of your employees will ultimately lead to lower health care costs if you want to look at it from a business stand point; however, from a human perspective, lower your team’s stress and increase their happiness, their work output, their ability to make the client happy, their calling out sick, their quitting after one year and ultimately, improve your corporate image. It may be time to buy your hard working sales team who just hit their quota a three-pack of floats at Theta State not only to thank them for their hard work; however, to ensure their recharged enough to do it for you again!

You heard us ladies. Forget the fountain of youth; we have the tank of tranquility. Eliminating stress and tension in your body leads to the appearance of looking more ‘alive’, healthy and energetic. There is an ageing factor of tension; any dermatologist will agree that this is no industry secret. Tension affects the appearance of your skin. When tension is removed, the skin becomes smoother as a result of the muscles behind the skin of your face being relaxed. In addition, floating in Epsom salt makes your skin softer, smoother, and draws toxins such as lactic acid away from your body.
This benefit could be the most powerful of all. Insufficient sleep has become nothing short of a public health epidemic in today’s modern times. There are over 80 different types of sleep disorders and over 75% of adults experience sleep disorder symptoms at least a few times a week. More than just feeling tired the next day, sleepiness interferes with cognitive function, memory impairment and behavioral changes, not to mention high risk of automobile accidents and job loss.

Stress hormones being continuously released into your bloodstream have a jarring effect on your ability to remain calm enough to enter sleep friendly brain wave patterns. In fact, simply the thoughts you are having about stress are causing more stress hormones to be released and thinking about not sleeping feeds into a vicious cycle. It is imperative that you gain control of your brain’s chemical dispensary system and turn down the volume on the amount of adrenaline coursing through your veins or you will forever experience anxiety when you try to go to bed.

There are two ways of combatting sleep disorders that have been having a lot of clinical success. Putting yourself into a state of prolonged relaxation resulting in slowing your brain wave activity to the rhythmic Theta State, or consuming habit forming prescription pharmaceutical medication that damages your liver, interferes directly with your natural chemical mechanisms and ultimately leads to a full blown addiction. Drinking yourself into a coma with Scotch also seems to work; however, Theta State Float Center does not recommend this technique.

Jet Lag is a horrible feeling and it couldn’t come at a worse time. When we land, often we are heading to an important meeting with a client, traveling to an important family obligation, using precious vacation days on our short lived holidays, meeting friends we have not seen for a long time, etc. Remember getting off the plane in Las Vegas for that bachelor party but barely being able to keep yourself from yawning before you even left the pre-party in the hotel room? Well, maybe that one was just me. Besides fatigue, Jet Lag sufferers may experience a number of physical and emotional symptoms including anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, confusion, dehydration, headache, irritability, nausea, sweating, coordination problems, dizziness, and even memory loss. Your biological clock, known as your circadian rhythm, is on a 24-hour cycle that gets confused when you fly long distances. This system is altered from receiving information that is different from its normal environmental occurrences; light when it should be dark, warm when it is usually cold, eating when you’re normally asleep, etc. Additionally the drastic changes in altitude cause severe body dehydration if we’re not careful; especially those of us who like a cocktail or two in the cabin. The atmospheric pressure and decrease in oxygen wreaks havoc in our bodies; the dry air alone causes many people to get an instant scratchy throat and itchy eyes.

What can we do to combat this annoying co-passenger?

Drink lots of water, avoid alcohol and tell your taxi to take you directly to Theta State Float Center.

In the tank, your body is at rest due to the effortless floating on the surface of the water. This zero gravity environment allows your body to regain vital energy at a rate of four times faster than REM sleep. This means two hours in the tank provides as much ‘rest’ for your body as a full night’s sleep. Beyond this energy gained are the wonderful benefits of your brain hemispheres synchronizing, endorphins being released, stress melting away and perhaps the most important for globe trotters, sleep patterns stabilizing. Your definition of jet lag surely will change as you move away from “2 days of being exhausted” to “two hours of deep relaxation”. The mental focus and clarity gained inside the tank will have you prepared for that business meeting well beyond the rehearsing your lines repeatedly in the taxi technique most sales people go with.