Flotation Therapy: How Does it Work and Can it Improve Your Mental Health?
With so much stimulation and background noise, it’s difficult to tune out and fully relax. While popular relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can effectively reduce stress, some people choose to go a step further and sign up for a flotation therapy that can cut them off from the outside world completely. In this blog, we’ll talk about what this treatment consists of and if it can improve your mental wellbeing.
What is Flotation Therapy?
The therapy consists of staying in an enclosed tank filled with salt water and floating for about an hour. While the prospect of being in a confined space for so long might not sound too inviting, the treatment allows your body to take a break from all the outside stimulation. The inside of the tank is dark so you’re deprived of a sense of sight, you’re either asked to wear earplugs or the tank is soundproof and floating lets your muscles fully relax. Sensory deprivation puts your body’s nervous system at rest and lowers cortisol levels, inducing a highly-relaxing state.
How Can Flotation Therapy Benefit Your Mental Health?
As mentioned before, floating puts us in a deep relaxation state which is what we all could benefit from. Sensory deprivation not only allows your body to relax as there are no threats to perceive but also puts you in a theta state, which can otherwise be only experienced just before you fall asleep, upon waking up and while practising deep meditation. Theta state is associated with stress reduction, boosted mood and increased creativity.
Recent research also suggests that flotation therapy might be helpful in treating a range of mental health disorders. In one study, a woman who suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression was subjected to regular floating sessions. Upon the completion of the study, it was noted that the quality of her life and well-being improved. 
Additionally, flotation therapy seems to be a promising option for those who suffer from chronic pain. Although the research on the topic isn’t vast, studies suggest that patients who experience intense pain can benefit from a significant reduction when undergoing flotation. 
Although flotation therapy might not always be enough to treat a mental health issue, it’s a great addition to counselling. Whether you think floating is something you’d like to try or not, consider speaking to a therapist that can offer you professional treatment catered to your needs. Contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat today.
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