From regulating blood circulation, to optimisation of our chemical balances to refocusing thoughts and the dynamics of our nervous system; from assisting those suffering from arthritis to cope better, those suffering from insomnia to sleep better, those suffering from injuries to heal faster and the list goes on, there is a constant it seems, and that constant is called floatation therapy.
Now, this may seem like it is a pretty far-fetched statement based on the fact that the inventor of the sensory deprivation tank was a psychedelic era quack who experimented with psychotropic drugs.
Nevertheless, the rise of floatation clinics around the planet and its inclusion in health spas, beautician parlours and medical institutions over the last decade must lend some significance to the statement made and the only way to look into the matter and rest the argument if at all the benefits of floatation therapy is indeed fact or just mere fiction riding on a placebo effect is to look at it from a scientific qualitative and quantitative perspective.
First and foremost let look at the reports regarding floatation therapy from athletes. Athletes and their trainers have reported that those who subject themselves to flotation therapy after a sports injury recover faster than those who do not. Placebo, positive thinking… maybe, but 100/ 100 saying yeah, it works? Fact!
Now let us look at chronic pain disorders, whether migraine, PMS, gout or arthritis, let us not bother about the source of the pain and focus on how floating in a tank filled with Epsom Salt solution could help people suffering from pain to cope better. What we have to understand here is how we feel pain, when our senses are heightened, so do our sensitivity to pain.
Our senses are usually heightened when we are alert and our mind is constantly alert as it has to deal with all forms of external stimuli which range from sight/ vision, odours/ smell, heat/ temperature, sound/ noise and why is our brain constantly engaged with these external stimuli?
To keep us safe from harm and be able to react the moment our ‘spidery senses start tingling’ that something, hot, loud, bright (explosion) has happened triggering us to automatically ‘duck’. Now imagine the amount of processing power that would be released if these external stimuli were all eliminated?
Our brain would have the long awaited break which sends it to deep space, okay not deep space, but deep state of relaxation which reduces levels of cortisol, adrenaline production and our ‘fight or flight’ response system which is the reason for ‘heightened state of alertness’.
So when these factors are eliminated, brain becomes lazy and numb to care about these things and focuses on ‘happy things’ such as ‘good rest’ which produces endorphins and dopamine which are basically ‘feel good’ drugs that are naturally produced by our brain, these drugs also help numb pain relieving sufferers of chronic pain and enhancing their capacity to cope with the pain and allowing the body a window of opportunity to heal itself.
Fact or fiction, I would say pure scientific fact! Medical professional, therapeutic healers and not to mention pharmaceuticals have come to a consensus that the impact of numerous illnesses can reduced and some even treated especially illnesses that are directly correlated to stress based on the numerous and various studies that they themselves have conducted.