Floatation therapy, although not new, is growing rapidly in popularity in recent years due to the fact so many independent researchers have found proven results using floatation tanks in areas such as mental health, exercise recovery, wellness and mindfulness.
Recent research has shown that floatation therapy can assist in weight loss through a number of ways, but first, let me explain what floatation therapy actually is.
Floatation therapy involves floating inside a floatation tank, these tanks are known by a variety of names, float tanks, floatation pods, sensory deprivation tanks and isolation tanks. Whatever the name, the method is always the same, the tanks are basically a medium sized spa, wide and long enough for your body to stretch out completely at length.
These spa’s are completely enclosed, meaning that once inside and with the light turned off, you experience absolutely no external light or sound. In addition to this, the tank is filled with 50% water and 50% epsom salts, the reason for this is that this high saturation of epsom salts allows the body to actually float on top of the water without effort, which is the key to this kind of therapy.
The water is also heated to 35.5 degrees celcius, the temperature of the human body, this means that while floating inside the tank, your body is unable to detect the water. All of these aspects lead to the experience producing a sense of total isolation, or sensory deprivation.
You are immersed in an experience with absolutely no light, sound, skin sense / feeling or sense of weight, in fact the experience itself is often referred to as feeling like one is floating in space. With all sensory input removed as much as possible, the body is free from all physical stress, and the mind is left in a state where there is nothing to do but relax and think about absolutely nothing.
This has numerous effects on the body, for weight loss the effect of a completely calm mind enables the participant to focus on the absolute here and now, and the peace of not thinking allows the mind to process all previous existing stress and anxiety, removing it completely in most cases, this effect is known to last around a month after floating, and can be prolonged with further floatation sessions.
Furthermore, this effect has been shown to allow an individual to gain greater insight into their day to day activities, focusing on areas where they need to improve, for individuals looking to loose weight, they often gain a greater sense of impulsive behaviour, which allows control over diet and exercise regimes.
The physical aspect of being in a completely weightless environment also stimulates the body to reduce cortisol, a well known stress hormone which has negative effects on muscle repair and metabolism. By lowering this stress hormone, the body is able to recover from physical stress and exercise much faster, and frequent floatation tank sessions have been shown to decrease cortisol further each time, provided a session is undertaken once a month or sooner.
Floatation therapy during a period of diet and exercise can significantly contribute beneficially to a weight loss and exercise regime, and for individuals struggling to maintain control of their motivation to exercise or stick to a specific diet, floatation can provide the mental and physical requirements to assist in achieving these results with very little effort, while also leaving you feeling completely calm mentally in your regular day to day activities and interactions.