What's truly impressive about floating is that almost every one of these benefits lasts for several days past the float itself. The longer and the more often the float tank is used the stronger the effects become, the longer they last, and the better off someone is when they come back to float again.
This creates a positive spiral of recovery and health that simply works to reinforce itself, giving people a path and a means towards a better life. We live in a world that is overbrimming with sensory stimulation. Our brains take in this information and look for warnings of potential danger. This was an efficient system when only fast moving objects around us were lions pouncing out of bushes to attack. However, our modern world of blinking advertisements, speeding cars and honking buses overwhelm this system. Our fight or flight response is constantly firing, creating unwarranted levels of emotional and physical stress.
When you are in a float tank, this system is at rest. Our brains look for sights and sounds for warnings, but there are none. the float tank gives us a feeling of safety and comfort that is unparalleled by any other environment. Our fight or flight regulates many of the hormones associated with stress, including adrenaline and cortisol. When our fight or flight goes dormant, the production of these hormones drops lower and lower, allowing us to relax on a biological level. In response to feeling safe and relaxed, our brains start pumping out dopamine, a neurochemical our body uses to reward us with pleasure, encouraging us to repeat the actions that got us to this state.
A FEW REASONS TO FLOAT
Float tanks have huge implications for athletics, mostly stemming from the fact that you can actually train your body harder and faster with the use of a float tank. This means that anything from gyms, to private trainers, to high level athletes could benefit from floating.
Our bodies can physically rest up to 4 times faster in a float tank than in bed. REM cycles are not expedited (so you can't decrease the amount of time you need to sleep at night), but expedited physical rest can mean a lot to people who are training their bodies. Doing an upper body workout usually requires letting your upper body rest for 48 hours before it will be beneficial to work that same part of the body again. With a float tank, an athlete can simply float after their upper body workout, and get right back to it the next day.
Injuries have shown to heal up to twice as fast while floating, with a gradually diminishing effect for several days after. This can bring sports players back onto the field faster, and is an ideal treatment to coincide with many forms of physical rehabilitation. Many injuries are a result of stress and tension in the body during the moment of injury. Floating encourages a relaxed physicality that helps prevent injuries from occurring.
STRENGHTENED IMMUNE SYSTEM
The abundance of resources freed up while floating allows our body to reallocate that energy towards building up our defences, giving us a nice boost of immunity during and after a float. The density of the salt water puts the floater in an environment where approximately 80% of the gravity we usually feel is no longer affecting our body. We use a large portion of our mental and physical resources contracting the force of gravity on a moment to moment basis, and the relief of this effort leaves our body with a surplus of energy and processing power at its disposal. When left with this abundance, our body spends its efforts on resting, recuperating, and healing anything that needs attention. In addition to this, the gravity-reduced environment allows our body to decompress, especially throughout the joints and the spinal column. It is the combination of these elements that creates the following benefits.