It’s abundantly clear to anyone who’s been to the beach that ocean water is far more buoyant than fresh water. This is, of course, because of the salt content, which increases the salinity of ocean water by about 3.5 per cent for the most part. The Dead Sea, bordering Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, has a salt concentration of around 30 per cent, meaning virtually anyone can float in its briny waters.
The tanks at float culture, however, have more than 500kg of salts to just 1000L of water, a 60 per cent concentration unparalleled in nature. And it’s not just normal salt.
Epsom salt, otherwise known as magnesium sulfate, is a naturally occurring mineral compound that has been used internally and externally in medicine for hundreds of years. Epsom salts are an amazing source of magnesium, which is otherwise found most in foods such as spinach, legumes, nuts and seeds.
In the right amounts, magnesium is effective at treating a wide range of conditions such as but not limited to:
Anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, cystic fibrosis, alcoholism, mania, recovery after surgery, cramps, diabetes, kidney stones, migraine headaches, osteoporosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), altitude sickness, urinary incontinence, restless leg syndrome, asthma, hay fever, and multiple sclerosis.
How fortuitous, then, that epsom salts are absorbed through the skin, working synergistically with the tranquil environment of the float tank to deliver additional benefits while you float.
It’s well known that stress drains the body of magnesium, decreasing serotonin and simultaneously increasing adrenaline levels in the brain. The float tank is a direct counter: while the reduced sensory input of the tank helps to encourage mindfulness, introspection and a deep calm, the epsom salts help to replace magnesium in the body, which in turn allows for increased conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.
Science aside, anyone who’s already floated can tell you how damn good your skin feels after a float. It’s as if the magnesium has enriched the body, filling it back up like a dried out sponge. Moistening it’s parched fibers. Exfoliating it’s scaly coat.
I came to floating from the psychonautical side of things, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t anticipate the delicious silk robe that my skin becomes after a dip in the tank. Follow that with a healthy application of the various complementary Sukin cosmetics and it’s like being one big, zen’d out, exquisitely scented baby’s cheek.
The other week we talked to Alex from Mukpuddy animation studio here in Auckland. Alex has been floating at Float Culture for almost 2 years and had over 100 floats by now. His main reason to float is the stress relief.Read more
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