Pain can manifest itself in many ways and can often be a sign from the mind and body that something is out of balance.
Due to the weightlessness and sensory restriction experienced in the float room, floatation therapy can aid with relief of pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic osteo-arthritis, sports related injuries, migraines, back and joint pain, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, bursitis and traumatic injuries.
Floating helps to stimulate the body’s own natural power of healing and regeneration.
An increasing body of research supports that floatation therapy reduces pain and improves joint mobility in arthritis sufferers.
There are five major reasons why floatation therapy works to relieve chronic pain:
- First, the effects of gravity are removed, allowing the spine to lengthen and pressure on the back, neck, joints, muscles and tendons is alleviated. The release of this pressure increases blood flow to areas in need of healing.
- Secondly, the experience of weightlessness and sensory reduction triggers the body to produce elevated levels of endorphins and enkephalins which help to deal with pain. These natural painkillers block the transmission of pain signals at the level of nerve cells and may be more effective coupled with the pressure release of weightlessness and improve blood flow. In particular, beta-endorphins are released which are more powerful than many prescription drugs.
- Third, the reticular activating system, RAS, found in the brain stem (reptilian brain) normally responsible for alerting the body to “fight or flight” responses and also responsible for regulating pain sensations, turns its focus away from external stimuli and begins focusing on internal stimuli. This redirection of the RAS toward internal stimuli allows floaters to lose the sensation of being connected to the body.
- In addition, floating also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the relaxation response. The release of tension in the body and lowering of stress hormones may also be responsible for the pain relief.
- Moreover, pain relief associated with floating allows chronic pain sufferers to break the cycle of pain-depression, enabling improved healing.
“All 27 respondents had received treatments other than those from this pain program: 81% had used pain medications; 56% had had some form of pain injections; 70% had received physical therapy; 59% had received chiropractic treatment; 22% had undergone surgery. These patients reported more short-term and long-term pain relief from flotation than from the other therapeutic modalities.”
Floating is an easy, natural and enjoyable way to free yourself from chronic pain without the use of drugs or invasive techniques.