Floating and Health Benefits

Floating seems to allow our bodies to regain their natural state of fine tuning-which is know as health.

Through all sorts of tests, including EMG (which measure muscle tension), EEG, blood pressure, and measurements of certain biochemical's, scientists have determined that the float tank can bring about a state of extraordinarily deep relaxation-probably deeper than is possible by any other means yet available except for certain drugs. This state of relaxation is in itself beneficial to health, since it allows the body to maintain its internal system of checks and balances, its homeostasis. That is, the body has its own highly effective methods of maintaining itself at an optimal level of well-being,and if allowed to operate freely, it will generally do so flawlessly. But certain mental attitudes can throw this delicate mechanism out of whack. Stress causes harm by its disruption of our natural biochemistry. For example, researchers have recently discovered that, under stress, Type A personalities secrete forty times as much cortisol and three times as much adrenaline as Type B men. Cortisol has been proven to suppress the immune system. Tests have shown that floating decreases cortisol. Excess adrenaline, and related biochemical's such as nor adrenaline and ACTH also cause our bodies to rev up in fight-or-flight response,and, ultimately, to wear out. Floating, through deep relaxation, lowers the levels of the harmful chemicals.


Deep relaxation is beneficial in another way. Because of what has been called the curare effect, and as explained by the Webber-Fechner Law, floating leads to increased sensory awareness; we simply feel our bodies better, more clearly, and as a result we are able to regulate them more effectively. As John V. Basmajian's experiments showed, we have the capacity to control the firing of a single motor neuron in the body, once we are made aware of that neuron. Deep relaxation also leads to improved access to internal imagery. And awareness and control of mental imagery is the key to self regulation.


Michael Hutchison "The Book Of Floating"

"To beat stress, combat high blood pressure, ease headache pain, kick bad habits, and boost concentration. Floating, free of light, sound, and touch, you are now able to tune in to profound relaxation that, scientists have found, trigger the same positive physical and mental effects that occur during meditation. And even more significantly, this deep relaxation seems to linger long after the float is over, according to Thomas Fine, assistant professor of mental health at the Medical College of Ohio. When researchers tested people who floated for 1 hour, they found that the subjects' heart rates and breathing had slowed down and their blood pressure dropped. This favorable drop in blood pressure may be due to the additional finding that floaters have lower levels of cortisol and other stress related hormones that influence high blood pressure. If you are suffering chronic back pain, headaches, or some other painful condition, floating can be a part of your pain management program. According to Gib Koula, program coordinator at Stress Lab Services at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Appleton, Wisconsin. Researchers have found that when floatation is used as a primary method of relaxation training, chronic pain conditions improved. For one thing, pain is eased because buoyancy reduces pressure on the body and thus brings blessed relief. Even more significant is the fact that floating triggers the production of endorphins, your body's natural painkillers. Gratefully, this special painkilling effect continues after you step out of the Tank. Without outside stimulation you can zero in on your breathing, heart rate, and muscle tension." This feedback helps you learn how to deeply relax and alter bodily functions at will for the times you need pain relief when you are not floating,' says Koula."


--from "The Prevention How-To Dictionary of Healing remedies and Techniques" by the Editor of Prevention Magazine; John Feltman, Rodal Press, 1992.
Health Resorts and Spas currently using floatation


Claremont Hotel and Resort, in Oakland California

Miraval Center for Life and Balance, in Tucson Arizona

Hosteria Las Quintas Eco Spa Cuernavaca, Morelos Mexico

Elemental Embrace: The Wellness Spa Retreat


is a key aspect of any healthful lifestyle. Without it, we become vulnerable to mental stress and physical illness. These medical spas offer options to improve the quantity and quality of your sleeping hours. If you suffer from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or insomnia, you may benefit from the medical therapies and stress-relieving procedures offered at these medical spas.


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