This physical relaxation makes the floatation room an extremely beneficial healing environment, especially for those with injuries or chronic pain.
Since the effects and stresses of gravity are lessened, the body is able to more efficiently allocate it’s resources towards maintenance and healing.
Back problems are one of the most common conditions experienced among Americans.
It is estimated that 70–90% of people will suffer from lower back pain in some form at some point in their lives. Pain is the main symptom in most back problems.
Both origination of pain and individual perception of pain are related to the degree of relaxation in the muscles and to the general degree of stress in the nervous system. Unfortunately, many rely largely on treating pain symptoms through medication (pain killers), rather than using specific methods to create states of relaxation, such as auto-suggestion, autogenic-training or yoga, for example.
Float Therapy for Pain Management
Floatation therapy has seen success easing more chronic pains such as neck and back pain, and helps with spinal misalignment issues. Float therapy has even been shown to ease the pain from such conditions as arthritis and fibromyalgia, conditions with few natural treatment options. This alleviation in conjunction with the healing of massage or the strengthening of yoga and other exercise can lead to prolonged periods of respite from pain. An increasing body of scientific evidence shows that float therapy can significantly alleviate pain, for a number of reasons:
Reduction of Over-stimulation of the Nervous System
As a physiological form of relaxation, float therapy has both an effect on the subjective perception of pain and on the autonomic nervous system, the system of pathways which transport pain impulses. A radical reduction of exterior sensory stimuli reduces stimulation of the nervous system so perceptibly that over-stimulation is reduced and pain is perceived as being less intense.
Increased Endorphin Release
Relaxation and the reduction of sensory stimuli contribute to an increase in the release of endorphins and can thus be linked to pain relief also at bio-chemical level. A higher level of natural opiates in the blood of test persons was reliably tested in various examinations.
Increased Magnesium Absorption
Magnesium – an essential and important mineral – also plays an important role in pain management, as it is a natural pain killer besides enhancing many physiological processes in the body. Magnesium is easily absorbed via the skin and thereby can be utilized by the cells immediately as opposed to taking magnesium supplements of which commonly a large part does not actually get absorbed sufficiently. Research has shown that immediate magnesium treatment directly following injury provides both vasoprotective (pertaining to blood vessels) and neuroprotective (pertaining to the nervous system) properties, improving both immediate as well as long term outcomes among patients with injury to the spinal cord. With over 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) in each on our rooms, you’ll be sure to absorb a whole lot of the good stuff!
Orthopedic Benefits of Being Weightless
Floating in a saturated solution of Epsom salt enables the human body to take a position which is unlike being in a bed, a waterbed, a bathtub or lying on any other surface. This particular position is characterized by the following:
- The spine is completely straight
- Individual vertebrae are not functional twisted
- All muscle groups (in particular the muscles of the neck) can relax simultaneously
- All joints, inter-vertebral discs, ligaments and bones are relieved at the same time
Hereby acute and chronic tension is released and slipped discs, joint pains, sciatica, lumbago, pulled muscles or sprains improve. In particular chronic back pain can effectively be relieved by floating.
Nearly all types of back pain originate in the spine. The spine carries the weight of the torso and has to therefore adapt to pressure in various situations. Misalignment, one-sided strain, or age-related wear and tear often lead to chronic pain. The spine is divided into three major sections:
- Cervical spine
- Thoracic spine
- Lumbar spine
Each section is associated with distinct problems and kinds of pain.
Although the cervical spine carries the least amount of weight, blockages in the joints often lead to pain. When suspended in a float room, the vertebrae lie free from any pressure or contortions and are thus able to regenerate in a completely new way. The pain-relieving effect of this treatment is very plausible.
The thoracic spine is less often a source of pain, but pain can often be very intense. The ribs are attached to the spine over joints and it is here that incorrect movement or accidents can lead to problems. Experience has shown that here too, the healing process of bruising, breaks or sprains is accelerated when the thoracic spine is not weighed down by gravity and lies in a completely relaxed position.
Most cases of back pain originate in the lowest section of the spine, as it carries the entire weight of the torso. The vertebral bodies carrying this weight are smaller than those in the other sections of the spine and are exposed to tremendous stress when we are in an upright position. The inter-vertebral discs, which act as the spine’s shock absorbing system, lose a portion of their fluid every day. The fluid in the discs is replenished at night when we lie down. The degree to which the discs are replenished diminishes as we grow older or if the spine is subject to a lot of stress and the inter-vertebral disks slowly shrink. Muscle tension decreases and the lumbar spine arches forward. This leads to chronic back pain, which in some cases can seriously impede the person’s range of motion.
Floating counteracts the above mentioned processes by enabling inter-vertebral disks to regenerate and by slowing down spinal deformation processes. It can therefore supplement generally accepted forms of treatment or training aimed at strengthening back muscles.
Slipped discs are often associated with the lumbar spine. When a disc is misaligned, lumbar tissue can press against the spinal nerves causing intense pain that may even radiate down into the legs, it may irritate the nerves or cause other symptoms. Floating again can be used as a supportive post-operational therapy for example.
Float therapy can therefore serve as a valuable supplement to physio-therapeutical and physical therapies to alleviate pain and naturally heal spinal issues.