Floating: A Future for Chronic Pain Management

Pain can be debilitating. Chronic pain can steal the days and make nights seem like they go on forever. A new study from Gallup-Healthways showed that 47% of those surveyed reported some type of chronic pain. The majority, 36% reported chronic neck and back pain. The pain cycle intensifies with stress and lack of sleep, which are caused by the pain itself. It is a vicious cycle that has the potential to lead to depression and hopelessness.

Sensory deprivation floatation, or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, R.E.S.T. offers a non-toxic, healthy alternative to pain management.   Roderick A Borrie, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at South Oaks Hospital, Amityville, New York and Thomas H. Fine, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical College of Ohio, have researched Floatation R.E.S.T. for chronic pain with some interesting results. They found that Floatation benefits chronic pain patients greatly. The majority of patients that utilized Flotation REST suffered from chronic pain for longer than six months and floated from one to 16 sessions. The most common causes of pain in this group of patients were from motor vehicle accidents, work accidents, or chronic illness. The participants reported a reduction in pain that averaged 31.3%!  The highest level of relief was reported in the upper back at 63.6%.

At Peace Floatation Spa participated in a study in 2011 which yielded similar results. The participants in this study were Fibromyalgia patients with chronic pain. The study 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. Both studies show promise for chronic pain suffers with the use of Floatation Therapy.

“[F]lotation REST can have an important role at several stages of the pain management process. By reducing both muscle tension and pain in a relatively short time and without effort on the part of the patient, flotation provides a dramatic demonstration of the benefits of relaxation. Relief is immediate and, although temporary, offers promise of further relief from REST and other relaxation-based strategies. Symptom reduction gained from flotation can increase a patient’s motivation and interest in the remainder of the therapy plan. Pain patients generally come into treatment feeling suspicious and skeptical, requiring a clear demonstration that they can be helped.”

Flotation REST in Applied Psychophysiology
Thomas H. Fine, M.A. and Roderick Borrie, Ph.D.

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Float Your Way to a Healthier Pregnancy and Delivery

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-pregnant-woman-swimming-image11658594Your pregnant and your body is growing and changing to accommodate a new life. Not only are you concerned with having a healthy pregnancy and delivery but you are now very aware that you are responsible for another life. Trying to balance work, relationships, and the stresses placed on the body during pregnancy can be challenging. Fortunately there are options for managing these stressors and supporting your body through your pregnancy. Floatation therapy is a wonderful way to help you feel healthier and happier during your pregnancy and delivery.

As the baby grows your center of gravity begins to change causing structural shifts that can leave you feeling off balance and in pain. The most common complaints are back pain (both upper and lower), torso discomfort, leg cramps and achy feet. Floatation Therapy during the second and third trimester with clearance from your physician, can offer an amazing escape from the pull of gravity,and relief from muscle pain and tension.

Floatation takes place in a tub or a tank filled with water and 800 pounds of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). The water is kept at 94.5 degrees which is thermoreceptor neutral and safe for pregnancy.The high salt content allows the body to float comfortably without any effort, the body relaxes and stress melts away. During pregnancy it is recommended to float on the stomach with the head rested on the hands or on a float pillow.  Floating offers mothers an environment in which they can connect with their own body and their baby on a deep level. The float provides a similar atmosphere for the mother that the womb provides for the unborn child. Some women have even reported being able to hear their babies heartbeat! Floatation creates a safe, quiet, healing space for mother and baby to commune without distraction.

Relaxation is not the only benefit that floatation offers, the epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) has amazing anti-inflammatory effects and relieves muscle aches and pains. In addition, magnesium has been shown to play a vital role in pregnancy and birth. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to preterm labor, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. It is clear that adequate magnesium levels are necessary during pregnancy and delivery. The floatation solution allows the body to take in magnesium while floating effortlessly. Magnesium assists in building and repairing body tissue in both mother and fetus, as well as regulating insulin and blood glucose levels. It is understood that magnesium and calcium work together in the muscular system. Calcium works to stimulate muscle contraction and magnesium helps muscles to relax back into their normal resting state, which is why it is wonderful for muscle cramps, pain and tension.

Taking time for yourself and your baby is a wonderful gift during pregnancy and floating offers many benefits to both mother and child. Embark upon a journey within and experience the bliss of weightlessness with your bundle of joy, give floatation a try.