1). It feels good!
Floating is simply a uniquely enjoyable sensation in itself. There is just nothing else quite like the pleasure of the effortlessly floating in skin-temperature water while theEpsom salts feel utterly silky to the skin. And at the end of it all you come out feeling fresh and relaxed as well. The more often you float the better your body comes to embrace these feelings.
2). Floating unlocks deep relaxation much easier.
It is not easy to come across the type of deep relaxation that floating provides. What makes for deep relaxation are the amount of theta waves produced by the brain. These are much slower but more powerfully rhythmic brain waves. Theta waves are typically produced in that halfway conscious state most commonly just before waking up and falling asleep. The amazing thing about floating is it’s the most efficient and easy way to induce this deeply meditative state.* And with regular floating your body will become even more accustomed to this relaxation response, making it easier and more effective with continued practice
3). It relieves pent up stress.
It’s easy for stress to build up and accumulate with all the demands of everyday life. Everyone acknowledges that stress isn’t good for you. It makes us less healthy, less productive, and more tense. And yet we seem to put up with it anyway like it’s an inevitable part of life. Some people even seem to forget what it’s like to not be tense! It doesn’t have to be that way.
Floating has been shown to lower stress levels and increase endorphins in the body, the effects of which are very commonly reported. Frequent floating will stop stress from accumulating, and will keep you a healthier and more productive person. Plus it feels great to not have that constant weighty feeling on your shoulders.
4). Floating helps naturally relieve pain and tension.
For those who deal with regular pain or tension pain relief is not always easy to come by. Usually pain can be relieved either by pain killing drugs, vigorous exercise, or relaxation. However, the former two are not always appropriate remedies. Not everyone is able to exercise as much as they need it, and not everyone wants to be dependent on drugs for relief either. That leaves the possibility of relaxation, but that is often not easy to come by, especially if you’re in pain which is exactly what makes it hard to relax in the first place.
Fortunately, that’s where floating comes in, and it is especially helpful for those restricted in their movements. The effortless floating in warm water is perfect for triggering the body’s relaxation response, and thereby releasing endorphins. The endorphins released by relaxing are the body’s natural pain killer. Floating also helps physically relieve tension in muscles, joints, and bones with the minimum pressure possible. The warm temperature also helps to stimulate circulation, while the relaxation response steadies blood pressure. For those regularly dealing with pain or restricted movement capabilities, floating is a perfect tool for providing relaxation relief that can often be so elusive.
5). Your sleep will thank you.
Too many of us simply do not get enough restful sleep. We all know it’s not just the quantity of sleep you get, but more importantly the quality of sleep. However, that doesn’t seem to stop us from sacrificing the quality of our sleep quite regularly. Quality sleep often gets pushed aside for tight work schedules, projects and assignments (as many students will attest), or simply for the sake of entertainment. How many of us stick to the scientific recommendation of avoiding the blue light of our smartphones, monitors, and TVs some hours before bed after all?
However, no matter your sleep habits, floating will still improve your restfulness and quality of sleep. Floating does this in two ways: it helps reduce factors that deprive sleep quality, and the relaxation of the float itself is itself also restful. Stress, tension, and pain are all factors that deprive sleep quality. The relaxation response triggered by floating helps reduce these factors, and regular floating will keep these factors in check. This relaxation state is also when your brain is most prone to producing theta waves. These theta waves are not just relaxing but they also improve your restfulness, because this state is essentially the same as a deeply relaxing nap. Hence floating can catch you up on sleep, but more importantly it primes your body to slip into even more restful deep (quality) sleep later on.
6). It puts things in perspective.
Floating is just as much a chance to get away from it all, and get some valuable me-time. With no other outside distractions, it’s just you, the warm water, and your thoughts. This makes it the perfect time for some self-reflection. It’s a time to slow down and process what’s going on in your life, and get some fresh perspective.
7). It’s perfect for creative inspiration.
Floating can help your creative problems as well. Floating will remove the distractions and stress bogging you down, giving you the time to think and come up with solutions. Plus the relaxation state floating puts you in is optimal for producing theta waves. This theta wave state is perfect for lateral thinking. Though it is a halfway conscious state much like a nap, going into a float with the goal of solving creative problems will prime yourself for coming up with creative solutions and a fresh take on things.
8). It improves athletic performance.
Athletes who regularly float come out better prepared mentally and physically. The relaxation provides endorphins for relieving pain, and vital rest for muscles. Floating also removes lactic acid build-up, relieves tension in muscles, and improves blood circulation around the body to aid and speed up recovery. Floating also increases bodily awareness, which is crucial not only for improving athletic performance but also for detecting tensions that might have gone undetected otherwise thus helping prevent injury.
Floating will also prime you mentally for your athletic performance. Floating helps reduce stress both before and after peak performance events, helps visualisation of goals and performance, and enhances concentration and bodily awareness. If you’re an athlete regular floating will give you that extra psychological edge heading into events and winding down after them.
9). It enhances your perception.
After your float you may experience what is commonly known as the afterglow effect. The world suddenly feels brighter and sharper. In coming down to the level of your breathing, blood pulsing, and bodily tension, your perception becomes sensitive to a micro scale of sensory data which in turn enhances the reception of sensory data on a macro scale, i.e. the outside world. This makes floating a natural way of enhancing your senses, and better appreciating the world.
10). Consistency yields better results!
This applies to all of these benefits. The more often you float, the better your results. There are all sorts of reasons to float, but floating regularly is the best way of getting even more of the results you want. You’ll be a healthier, more relaxed, less stressed, more calm, better performing version of yourself. It couldn’t be simpler either.
*Hutchison, Michael. The Book of Floating. P.98.
By James Stannard
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