PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a tough and sometimes debilitating disorder that can develop after an individual survives a trauma. The feeling of fear and panic during a dangerous situation is normal, but PTSD develops when those agitated feelings and symptoms linger long after the trauma has passed and crippled the ability to get through basic daily tasks.
While veterans are perhaps the most well-known segment of the population that experience PTSD, the disorder can also occur when an individual survived a disaster, car accident, physical or sexual assault, or even witnessed a family member or loved one experienced danger, harm, or death. Estimates from the Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder suggest that between 5 to 10 percent of people will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives. However military veterans, especially those who served in combat situations, and members of search and rescue teams are much more likely than the general population to suffer from PTSD.
Treatment options are available—and as a complement to traditional methods of treatment such as cognitive and exposure therapy. Fortunately, floatation therapy is a natural therapy that has been proven to reduce PTSD symptoms such as stress and anxiety. After an hour of complete quiet and calmness in a float tank can be a great relief especially for sufferers who experience ongoing anxiety and tenseness.
Floating often gives an individual the perfect environment to locate the source of their hyperarousal and their negative emotions, without the clutter of sensory input.
The brain begins to produce deep theta brain waves (i.e. REM sleep) which can bring forth a sense of clarity and focus unparalleled by anything in normal waking life.
This state of focus, as reported by those who suffer from PTSD, gives an honest and unfiltered look into the source of their symptoms.
Many people have found floating to be a safe place to reprocess their traumatizing memories, as well as mitigating anxiety and depression. Among other benefits, a floating practice allows people to develop a sort of “body memory” of calm and positivity, which they can carry into their daily life. For those having a hard time, this is a compelling reason to float! If you or someone you love suffers from PTSD, it is important to seek the help of a mental health professional. Speak with your doctor about adding float therapy to your recovery plan and experience the true liberation that floating can bring.