LET YOUR TROUBLES FLOAT AWAY on a sea of tranquillity
Stiff, sore, anxious – have you heard of salt floatation therapy?
Floating in salt water for therapeutic reasons is not new – travellers have made pilgrimages to the Dead Sea for this very reason for hundreds of years.
In today’s modern world, we can cut the 18-hour flight and head straight for our nearest floatation studio. So why the renewed interest?
Although terrifying to some, floating in a sensory-deprivation tank, known as restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) is designed to be a meditative and restorative experience.
These tanks are usually dark, soundproof, and contain about 30 centimetres of magnesium-saturated water, allowing you to float effortlessly.
All external stimulation such as sound, sight and gravity are diminished – encouraging a state of meditation.
Studies suggest that time floating in REST may assist in muscle relaxation and improved sleep, as well as reduced pain, stress and anxiety.
In fact, a large portion of the reported benefits of REST are attributed to the water’s magnesiumrich content. Magnesium is well known for its ability to reduce muscular cramping and pain as well as improving sleep quality.
The benefits of REST floatation aren’t limited to aches and pains. Of recent interest is the potential for magnesium to assist in combating depression and anxiety. When stressed or in pain, your hypothalamus signals the release of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Prolonged or chronic stress leads to an overactive hypothalamus which can lead to depression.
The high magnesium concentration of REST water inhibits the hormone responsible for stimulating the release of these stress hormones. Reduced cortisol production thereby helps to combat depression and anxiety.
Studies also suggest that REST floatation therapy may assist in boosting creativity and clarity – the meditative state achieved through REST clears the mind and allows creativity to flourish.
So if you are feeling the pressures of day to day life and this is causing lack of sleep and stress, or if you have been suffering a few niggly aches and pains, why not try a salt float, you may, like most, become hooked.
Dr Candice Tandy is an osteopath at the Health Creations Centre Ocean Grove.