I get sick around a week or so from deadline. It happens almost every time I work on a big project to the point where I can predict and prepare for the inevitable achy joints and headache. But as I’ve matured as a writer I’ve realised that my reoccurring flu is a direct result of bad stress management. Stress kills, we’ve known that forever, but modern medicine proves time and again just how insidious the ramifications of stress are. It’s a particularly vicious self-perpetuating cycle; stress causes sleep disruption and wrecks havoc on the immune system, which causes further stress which…and so on.
But there’s a way we can break the cycle before it even begins. If we reduce our stress, our immune systems remain strong in order to do battle with the various germs, viruses, colds and flus filling the autumnal air and covering every surface hidden to the naked eye. Conveniently, I know of a way to immerse your body and mind in total relaxation for an hour. (Floating and the Immune System Research Presentation)
The causal relationship between floatation therapy and increased wellness has been established since at least 1984 when journalist and float superstar Michael Hutchison wrote in The Book of Floating that recent experiments demonstrated that through use of the floatation tank, “a person can actually strengthen his or her immune system…” Hutchison describes tests by neuroendocrinologist John Turner and psychologist Thomas Fine, of Medical College of Ohio, which showed that floatation lowers, among other things, epinephrine (adrenaline), and cortisol. “High levels of cortisol have been linked to a number of ailments,” he says. “They depress the body’s immune system [and] increase the effects of adrenaline on body tissues…”
Aside from Hutchison’s extensive discussion of the benefits of floating in his book, I can tell you from personal anecdote of my heightened sense of both mental and physical wellbeing in the days following any dip in the tank. My mind and body feel sharp, and robust. My sleep is great, and cognition is definitely improved. I really intuit that health depends on a holistic defence, and by taking care of one facet like stress, we inadvertently also bolster our immune system and sleep patterns in the process. It just makes sense.
Float your way to better health this winter at Float Culture.
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