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Could Floating Be The Perfect Antidote To Pandemic Stress?

26 October 2020, by i-sopod

The ongoing pandemic is impacting us all, and whilst we may have been socially distanced from one another, we’ve been united by the commonality of the experience. We have all felt anxious and overwhelmed by the uncertainty of what’s to come, had our life goals and plans put on hold or flipped completely, and seen the radical changes to our lifestyle caused by this global crisis.

Lockdown gave us all an unexpected opportunity to take stock of our lives and have a closer look at what makes us happy, what we take for granted, and what our basic needs are. As we strap ourselves in for a bumpy ride this winter, it’s worth remembering the little lessons we’ve learnt so far to do what we can to maintain our wellbeing.

That’s where floatation comes in, as regular visits to a float tank will benefit your wellbeing physically, mentally and emotionally. Floating can be a calming counterbalance to these rocky times, thanks mainly to three factors: magnesium, weightlessness, and sensory deprivation.

Here are some of the stresses and difficulties you may have been experiencing during the pandemic, and the ways in which floating can help:

Easing the aches and pains of WFH

Working from home can be liberating in some ways, but as many of us have discovered over the last few months, it can lead to challenges of its own. Being sat in front of a laptop for hours without the right desk and chair (which many of us don’t have the space or £££ means to get at home), or without taking proper breaks, can cause physical discomfort and even chronic pain. Ouch.

What’s more, it is becoming more widely acknowledged that emotional stress can manifest itself as tension in the body (something yogis and practitioners of alternative therapies have known for a long time). And it’s safe to say most of us have had more than an average dose of stress this year so far!

If you’ve been feeling achey, the high magnesium content of a floatation tank will provide your body with the relief it needs. Magnesium is a vital mineral in the body which relaxes the muscles and decreases nerve pain. Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin, meaning floatation is a highly effective way to get your boost.

If you’re not getting as much movement as you usually would (cutting out the commute to and from work, for instance) the rate of blood circulation around your body will likely have decreased. A lot of joint and muscular tension can be recurring due to inadequate blood flow. Floating oxygenates the body by promoting vasodilation (meaning better flow of blood to the brain, organs and limbs), and therefore serves to relieve muscular pain.

Finally, floating eases physical tension due to the weightlessness you experience. The high density of Epsom salts creates a buoyancy which allows the body to float with no effort at all. Being at zero gravity immediately takes all the weight pressure off the body, resulting in total muscular relaxation.

Some extra TLC: Floatation and Mental Wellbeing

Most people been through some form of upheaval during Covid times, triggered by either health concerns, relationship issues, financial worries, work stress; or all the above. Meaning we could all do with a big hug and some TLC. Floating can provide just that! Here’s how:

  • As the options for being out and about socialising are increasingly limited, and problematic, time spent in front of Netflix, or surfing online tends to go up as we twiddle our thumbs at home more often than we usually would. The impact of this is overstimulation; sending the brain into overdrive, we end up feeling wired, overthinking, and often unable to sleep well… Floatation is also known as R.E.S.T (restricted environmental stimulation therapy) as you are peacefully cocooned from all sensory stimuli. Inside the tank there is no external sound, no visuals (up to you whether you keep the lights on) and your body is completely weightless. When the mind is shut off from external stimuli in such a way it is able to enter into a deeper state of rest, triggering theta brainwaves, which are healing and restorative for our entire being.
  • When you’re stressed, your hypothalamus signals your adrenals to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Magnesium actually inhibits cortisol being released, and a recent study in which a group of people floated 8 times over 2 weeks showed a 21.6% drop in their cortisol levels, and a 50.5% decrease in cortisol variability (meaning less spikes in cortisol when faced with stressful triggers).
  • Time out: when working from home, and especially during lockdown, not having separate spaces for work and our personal lives means the boundary between the two often blurs, and it is difficult to completely switch off, or even to take adequate breaks. Here’s another brilliant reason to float: an hour a week or more in a totally calming space, fully tuning out from work, and away from all the stresses that you may find yourself unable to shake off otherwise.
  • The world is currently in such a state of flux and uncertainty, that many of us are feeling the effects mentally and emotionally. The benefits of total weightlessness for mental wellbeing are many, as experiencing zero gravity temporarily is proven to help with anxiety and depression.
  • Meditative qualities: floatation tanks are designed with meditation in mind, providing the perfect setting for you to implement mindful techniques. When anxiety sets in, there is value in coming back to the present and letting go of your thoughts. Many floaters are aware of how the pod can be a great aid to finding that mindful distance from the whirring of your mind. By taking the time to step out of your daily life and tune into yourself, you will be amazed at how much calmer you feel after the session.

Float to Boost Your Immunity

As winter sets in, our immune systems are faced with a lot of threats at once: the shift in seasons usually means depleted immunity and more viruses circulating, and this year that’s topped with Covid. Plus, stress is known to have a detrimental impact on the strength of our immune system, so we have to do all we can to reduce stress and boost our immunity.

Luckily, magnesium plays an critical role in keeping the immune system strong. The high magnesium content of the water in the float tank, combined with the various ways in which floating can reduce stress, provides a great foundation for a healthy and strong immune system. Whilst we’re not making any claims that floating can actually stop you catching Covid (government guidelines are important to follow), floatation provides an easy way to naturally boost your immunity, which can only be a good thing.

How about hygiene, and how safe is it really at the moment? You can rest assured that float tanks are hygienic, as they clean themselves between each session with inbuilt filtration and sterilisation systems.

Why Choose Solitude?

Lastly, floatation is the perfect solution for socially distanced self care! Many of us have had to self isolate in recent times, and while this can be very challenging, it’s also very beneficial to intentionally opt for solitude every now and then. If we take regular time out for self care, and to simply be with ourselves, we can be nicer people to be around, improving our relationships with those we love and care for.

Think of it as a choice for your wellbeing: stepping into a quiet space on a weekly basis, for an hour, to tune in with yourself, release physical tension, and actively choosing to turn off the constant chaos that’s bombarding us as pandemic news every day. If we all take the little steps we need to feel happier and healthier at this time, we’ll be a happier and healthier community too as we brace the winter ahead.

Find out more about floatation and its benefits on our website, and get in touch to inquire about getting a float tank at your home or business.

Photos by Ian and Sydney Rae on Unsplash.