Athletic Development: Find Your Flow with Floatation

athletic manBeing an athlete, whether recreational or professional, requires discipline, strength and skill. Athleticism is an intricate balance of physical and mental performance. Floatation therapy is known for its physiological effects on the muscular system and the soft tissues of the body.  Floating in a tub with 800-1000 lbs of Epsom Salt works wonders for the recovery of the body after athletic exertion. Floatation therapy decreases inflammation, relaxes the muscles, increases oxygenation of cells, and speeds recovery from injury.

The physiological effects of floatation are certainly important, but what about its benefits for the mind? The mind thrives in the state of flow. “Flow” was coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly a Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago, and describes a “state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.” This is a common occurrence with most athletes, and is often referred to as being in “the zone”. Floatation offers a unique environment for the development of “flow” for the athlete. Not only does floating decrease stress and anxiety, it increases mental cognition, creativity and clarity.  Michael Hutchison writes, in The Book of Floating;

“It is here that we see the unique value of floating: The flotation tank is a specific and reliable flow-creation tool. On the whole, floaters seem to experience flow every time they enter the tank. Even better, they experience that most elusive and pleasurable thing, long periods of pure, uninterrupted flow.”

Floatation therapy enables one to identify and experience flow and recall that state at will outside of the tank: it is a tool to develop the mind and can be a valuable asset for the athlete in training or anyone who desires to be on top of their game. We are seeing a rise in the number of athletes who are utilizing floatation therapy to enhance their athletic performance. From UFC fighters to NFL teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, floatation is being embraced with documented success. Olympic teams from Sweden, Australia and the UK  employ floatation therapy for athletic training, and many athletes are making floating even more accessible by installing float cabins and tanks in their homes.  With mounting scientific evidence to back up the benefits, floatation therapy may very well become a standard in athletic training and flow development.

References:

Floatation Therapy Current Concepts, Austrialian Institute for Sports.

The Acute Effects of Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique on Recovery From Maximal Eccentric Exercise, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 2013.

Floatation REST and Imagery in the Improvement of Athletic Performance, Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 1990.

Effects of flotation-REST on muscle tension pain, Journal of the Canadian Pain Society, 2001.

 

 

 

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Self Care Matters

thumbnailWe live in a world of constant stimulation. On any given day we are bombarded with cell phones, email, facebook, twitter, traffic, billboards, television, (bad) news, not to mention most of us have calendars packed full of events requiring our attention. All of these stimulate our central nervous system and can activate a stress response in our body. Stress creates a cascade of chemical reactions in the body releasing substances such as epinephrine and cortisol. Prolonged stress causes damage to the body systems and results in decreased immune function, sluggish digestion and is the cause of many diseases of both body and mind.

The problem is clear, so what are people doing about it? More importantly what are you doing about it? Self care is the answer; we must balance the stress in our lives with its natural opposite, relaxation. Relaxation shouldn’t just be that 2 weeks a year when you’re on vacation lounging in a hammock reading your favorite book and sipping a margarita, it needs to be a way of life. What we do for ourselves today effects our tomorrow and all of the tomorrows to come.

Some of the most popular self care practices include;

  • massage
  • yoga
  • conscious breathing
  • meditation
  • exercise
  • healthy eating
  • aromatherapy
  • energy work
  • floatation
  • reading
  • writing
  • gardening
  • drawing
  • painting
  • biking
  • hiking

All of these methods assist in fighting disease and increase feelings of peace and lead to a well rounded and healthy lifestyle.What we do is not nearly as important as the simple act of doing it. Creating the time and the space for self care is half the battle. We must make the time, then engage with passion and intention in the preservation of health and wellness. Taking the time to enjoy the moment, relaxing into uncertainty, swaying with the winds of change, loving ourselves enough to give time to the nourishment of our body, mind and soul, this is self care. As we change our attitude to ourselves we change our perception of the world, one breath at a time.

What are your self care practices?.

Yoga Poses for Pregnancy Bliss

I was recently asked by a client what yoga poses were helpful during pregnancy. I wasn’t able to answer the question off the top of my head so I decided to put together a list and post it for any other mom’s to be who might also be interested.

If you have never tried yoga you may think of it as nothing more than exercise, a series of postures designed to sculpt our body. Let us not forget that Yoga is much, much more than this. The word “Yoga” means union, its holistic practice unites our body, mind and spirit and connects us to the infinite. During pregnancy the practice of yogic postures (asanas) coupled with yogic breathing (prananyam) and daily meditation  facilitates balance for the mother and the child in all three areas.

It is important to always listen to your body while doing yoga especially during pregnancy, do not over exert yourself. stay calm and focus on your breathing while visualizing a conscious healthy pregnancy and delivery. These gentle yoga postures are safe during a normal healthy pregnancy, please consult your physician or midwife before practicing yoga. Enjoy!

Easy Pose – Sukhasana

Butterfly Pose – Purna Titliasana

Cat Cow – Marjariasana

Goddess pose- Supta Baddha Konasana

Lunge- Anjaneyasna

Childs pose- Balasana

https://youtu.be/uxY2UofbghA.

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.

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Zero Gravity, The Magic of Floatation Therapy

When was the last time you experienced total weightlessness? If you are like most people the answer is most likely never. Even when I take my kids to the local pool and attempt a nice long back float, gravity wins as my feet slowly sink and force my flutter kick back to the surface. Don’t get me wrong, I respect gravity and have a certain amount of unspoken gratitude that I don’t float away into the stratosphere; however, the idea of defying it has captivated my imagination since I was a child. I dreamed of training with NASA, of launching into the vastness of space to experience freedom from the pull of gravity- without all of the traumatic events Sandra Bullock experienced in the movie Gravity, of course. Well I am happy to report that I have recently attained my dream without the support of NASA or a spaceship! I found floatation!

What is floatation, you ask? It is the most amazing and affordable zero gravity experience available to date. It is an adventure into your own mind, body and spirit. It is a freedom from the mundane the monotonous and the stressful.  Floating is flat out fabulous! Floatation Spas have been gaining momentum across the country as a means of self care, relaxation, and healing. At Peace Floatation Spa in Colleyville, Texas is one of these hidden gems. At Peace Floatation Spa offers two beautiful, private floatation rooms which are equipped with their own shower and floatation tub. The floating takes place in a large tub filled with 800 pounds of Epsom salt and water. The high concentration of salt in the water is responsible for the out of this world anti-gravity experience. Coupling floatation and massage therapy in a single visit maximizes the effects of each process making for a phenomenally relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

Floatation spas and floatation tanks are known by several other names; sensory deprivation, (sounds scarier than it is), and restricted environmental stimulation therapy (R.E.S.T).  Studies have shown that floatation has many physiological and psychological benefits; and I would argue even spiritual. We will, in future posts look into all of these benefits and explore the possibilities that are emerging from floatation therapy.  But for now I will leave you with thoughts of weightlessness, and the knowledge that you have the power to defy at least one law of physics..