As Tom Brady prepared to face the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl, one part of his self-care routine was to include floating in total darkness and silence in his own private floatation device. Brady supposedly kept one in his Boston home. Unsurprisingly, the superstar quarterback famous for winning not just on the football field, but at life in general, is at the forefront of the latest health trend.
R.E.S.T or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, sensory deprivation therapy, or what’s currently being called floatation therapy has been touted as a panacea for a myriad of physical and mental issues including muscle soreness, sports injuries, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, PTSD and more. Proponents claim it is the ultimate mood regulator encouraging a deep meditative state that decreases cortisol levels and encourages the release of endorphins.
Once only popular among hippies and artists-John Lennon apparently kicked his heroin habit with 1.5-hour floats, the practice has been gaining respect in broader circles. In the past few years with wellness becoming more of a mainstream priority, the number of float centers has increased to meet demand.
Here are the 8 things I learned.
There’s complete privacy
Studios offer a suite complete with a changing area, shower and a spacious tank. There is total privacy and plenty of room which is something you’ll appreciate given that you’re naked during your experience.
Meditation for dummies
I’m much more of a dance cardio devotee than a yogi type, however, this experience left me no choice but to relax, providing a shortcut to a meditative state. I first took a warm shower to ensure utmost cleanliness and then submerged myself in water heated to the temperature of my skin which is about 93.5 degrees (35.50). I fidgeted for a good 15 minutes but then settled. While my mind did not become a total blank, I did have stretches of blissful nothingness, something I have not experienced during my attempts at meditation alone.
It’s a creativity boost
Floating is said to boost concentration and problem-solving skills. During my own session, I became fixated on finding the perfect headline for a story and was able to hit upon just the right phrasing. In a time where we are bombarded with endless forms of distraction, this experience forces you to focus.
Research endorses benefits
Much of the evidence is still anecdotal, but something positive does happen to the brain during floats. According to one Time magazine article, an fMRi study conducted by Dr. Justin Feinstein, director of the Float Clinic and Research Center at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 90 minute float sessions act on the brain by shutting down the amygdala-the area of the brain that triggers the fight-or-flight response. This reduction in anxiety is similar to the effects of prescription drug Atavin. After my one float, I felt buzzy and a bit euphoric. My mood definitely improved. This feeling increases the more you float.
“Recently I floated for a month straight every day and it had profound effects. One benefit that really surprised me was that I had flashbacks to my floating experience throughout the day and I remembered what it’s like to be in that state. It relaxed me, giving me an instant sensation of peace almost immediately.”
Magnesium sulfate is a cure-all
Most floating solutions are 10% epsom salts rendering the water twice as buoyant as the Dead Sea, which allows the body to float and provides amazing anti-inflammatory benefits. I had a 2.5-month-old c-section scar that was healed, but still quite puffy along its borders; I saw a reduction in puffiness after one float. My skin was also silky smooth. Inflammation in the body is caused by a lack of magnesium which floating replenishes.
Athletes love it
In addition to Brady, gold medalists Carl Lewis and Ali Reisman and NBA champion Steph Curry love floating for muscle recovery. The meditative state enhances visualization techniques which boosts performance levels.
It doesn’t HAVE to be total sensory deprivation
Elevation offers the ability to have the lights in the tank on, off or on a colour change option. That way you are in complete control of your environment. See what works best for you.
see full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/beamcmonagle/2017/01/31/8-things-to-know-about-tom-bradys-favorite-self-care-ritual-floatation-therapy/#3445ec507071