Let’s be honest, isolation pods look pretty futuristic! These relaxing tanks are filled with soothing saltwater, warmed to body temperature, allowing you to float your troubles away. Sounds cool, but is there actually any science behind it? In this article, we’re looking at floatation therapy, it’s benefits, and whether it can actually relieve stress, or if it’s just a new-age gimmick.
What Is Floatation Therapy?
Floatation therapy is the practice of using sensory deprivation tanks to relax, unwind, and treat specific conditions. Isolation tanks are light-less, soundproof, and filled with warm saltwater. This allows the person inside to float, which relieves pressure on the joints and encourages a clear, relaxed mind.
What Are the Benefits of Floatation Therapy?
There are numerous potential benefits, many of which have been studied by researchers. Some of the most prominent include:
People living with conditions that cause muscle and joint pain, such as arthritis, may find that spending time in the warm and soothing saltwater helps alleviate their symptoms. Simply taking pressure off the affected areas can provide substantial relief, and there is evidence to suggest that magnesium within Epsom salts – a common addition to the floatation tank water – has pain-relieving qualities. All without extra medication!
Research has shown that floatation therapy has a positive correlation with improved sleep. Whilst the mechanism behind it isn’t precisely known yet, the numerous other benefits of using isolation tanks may feed into a broader sense of well-being that promotes restful sleep. Think of how comforting a warm bath is before bedtime and ramp up the relaxation to 11! It’s not unusual for patients to fall asleep in the tank, but the relaxation effects are felt long after they get out to improve sleep and wellness overall.
Improved Mental Health
A study conducted in Sweden found evidence to suggest that floatation therapy can have positive effects on our mental health. After 12 sessions in the isolation tank, participants reported that anxiety decreased by 27.4% and depression fell by 24.1%. Anxiolytic and antidepressant effects were also observed in another recent study. Whilst further research will be helpful in pinpointing the mechanism at work, initial data is promising.
The same study found that beneficial effects from 12 sessions of floatation therapy could last up to and beyond 4 months after treatment. Again, further studies looking at this result in particular will be welcome, but for people looking to improve their quality of life – particularly those living with chronic pain, depression, and/or anxiety – this has the potential to be transformative.
Can Floatation Therapy Relieve Stress?
Evidence collected from research studies to date does suggest that floatation therapy can relieve stress. In the Swedish study, participants reported that after 12 sessions in the tank, stress decreased by an average of 31.4%. Further research – also undertaken at Karlstad University in Sweden – cites the stress-relieving benefits of this treatment. In fact, it’s a principle supported by multiple studies. Again, the precise mechanism isn’t yet firmly known, but given that floatation therapy can simultaneously help relieve chronic pain, reduce the severity and prominence of certain mental illnesses, and improve sleep, there’s no wonder that it corresponds with alleviate stress.
Future research will undoubtedly provide further insight as to why and how we’re able to enjoy these important benefits.
Check out all of our amazing floatation options and experience all of the benefits for yourself!