Floatation therapy or floating is a well-researched alternative healing technique of reliving stress and pain by floating in water. This therapy is performed in a floatation tank, which is specially designed for this purpose. It involves floating in warm water without feeling the weight and is useful in treating many ailments that are caused mainly due to stress.
This technique was found by Dr. John Lily, who during his experiments with neuro-psychiatric cases came across the medical benefits of this wonderful therapy. He intended to have an environment where he could restrict the external stimuli due to which, evolved the present day floatation tank that is used for the floatation therapy.
The basic theory and philosophy behind the floatation therapy is that people need to find relaxation of body and mind without having to do much. The external sensory stimuli are restricted and the body and mind are allowed to remain in complete silence. As the body feels relaxed by floating in the warm water, the mind enters into deeper relaxation. These effects are almost immediately seen and help in relieving stress, reducing pain and in treating psychosomatic ailments or those ailments that originate from emotional imbalance.
The floatation tank is a capsule like tank made of fibre glass and is treated with Epsom salts and heat is maintained at skin temperature. The entire system provides the necessary atmosphere and the person can float naturally and effortlessly. The centre of buoyancy and that of gravity are well maintained to avoid the fear of sinking. The restriction of the external stimuli maintains a sensory deprivation state and leaves the person in a completely relaxed state. The environment inside the floatation tank maintains zero gravity and is completely sound proof, which allows the relaxation of every muscle. The person inside is floating in the dark and this allows the brain to relax and those areas that are constantly working are also found to take rest during this therapy.
The flotation therapy has proved beneficial in many areas of medical treatment and researches have suggested the use of this therapy for many ailments. Some of the benefits that are commonly observed are:
- Provides deep muscular relaxation
- Reduces body ache, backache, neck pain or arthritis
- Fastens recovery or healing after injuries
- Relieves stress and reduces heart rate
- Revitalizes the brain and encourages creativity
- Improves attention and learning