Words by Helena Metzke
It’s normal to experience feelings of stress, or anxiety, as we encounter difficult situations throughout life. Some such situations may be that of a challenging exam, a job interview, or a nerve-wracking blind date. However, where these feelings of stress and/or anxiety go beyond this and begin to hinder your ability to live your life as you wish, you may be suffering from an anxiety or stress related disorder.
Talk therapy and medication trials aside, it may be argued that floatation is one of the more beneficial therapies for such disorders, with its ability to bring the body and mind to a place of absolute tranquility. You can read more on Floatation here.
Its undeniable that floatation offers a time of relaxation and self-reflection to those who choose to undertake the therapy, however, it goes beyond this to address anxiety and stress related disorders. According to Justin Feinstein, a Clinical Neuropsychologist, the level of relaxation achieved during Floatation is similar to what would be achieved with anti-anxiety medication.
The tank works to suppress the functioning of the sympathetic nervous system, which results in our ‘fight or flight’ response when active. It also then goes on to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows relaxation, healing, replenishment (and the list goes on). This is often known as the relaxation response in floatation. Some physical symptoms of the relaxation response include a decrease in muscle tension, blood pressure and stress hormones, as well as an increase in endorphins.
The extraordinary level of silence, as well as stillness in the tank, enables you to achieve a deep meditative state of what are known as Theta brainwaves. Theta brainwaves occur most commonly during sleep, but are also present in deep meditation. These stimulate a therapeutic dream-like state within the tank.
Many individuals who suffer from anxiety explain the imagined experience of their heart beating uncontrollably. Floatation also helps people to become more aware of their body, due to the zero-gravity environment, which allows those suffering from such a sensation to lie still and truly hear their own heartbeat, as well as their breathing.
High levels of stress have reached epidemic proportions in 21st century culture. Being constantly immersed in such high levels of stress, results in fear signals being sent through your body, which in turn perpetually activates your ‘fight or flight’ response. The extended exposure to said levels of stress can result in many health issues, such as anxiety, depression, tension, pain and sleep disturbance, just to name a few.
Floatation works to address all of the above-mentioned health issues, that result due to anxiety and stress disorders. And while Mind. Body. Salt. does not encourage you to swap prescribed medications for floatation, without first seeking advice from a medical professional, we do encourage you to try floatation, as you may find it to be your miracle treatment, as it has been for many others. Studies have shown that floatation is an effective treatment for anxiety, PTSD and depression.
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