Float centres are surging in popularity, and devotees claim their sessions have helped relieve everything from pain to PTSD.
As wellbeing is becoming more and more popular and floatation centres are easier to access, people are turning to floatation for so much more than relaxation some have started using it as an alternative treatment for aches, pains and migraines particularly people living with chronic pain and disorders like fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and heightened sensitivity to hot and cold, the condition is described as a constant dull ache, typically arising from muscles.
Even though there is medication available to those suffering, the medications side effects can be so severe that patients will often opt to go without them and try to tolerate their pain.
While fibromyalgia is not well understood, current thinking is that it is the result of central augmentation of pain sensitivity, either triggered by a traumatic event or developing gradually.
A study conducted by Dr Roderick Borrie, Dr Tamara Russell and Dr Stefan Schneider in 2011 was presented at the 2012 floatation summit in Gothenburg Sweden, the study put forth “compelling evidence” that floatation therapy or Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST), can have a “beneficial impact” and greatly improve the quality of life for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.
Volunteers went through three floatation sessions once a week for three weeks, for each session they compared pre-and-post treatment factors such as quality of sleep, pain, anxiety, and more.
The study found that floatation therapy provided “significant temporary reductions in pain, muscle tension, stress, and anxiety, as well as significant increases in relaxation, feelings of well-being, energy and ease of movement.”
These sessions showed an average of 33% reduction in pain and muscle tension and a 30% reduction in stress levels with an average of 2.5 days of post-float pain relief amongst the volunteers.
It was also noted that there was a “significant improvement in the quality of sleep.”
Following these encouraging results, the Fibromyalgia Floatation Project (FFP) was established to document the efficacy of flotation therapy as a promising and healthy alternative treatment for fibromyalgia.
The Relief from symptoms although temporary, offer a promise of further relief from floatation REST and other relaxation-based strategies for chronic pain management.