I have heard so much about this float thing, where did it all come from?
While float therapy may sound new it actually got it’s start decades ago in the 1950’s. Dr. John A. Lilly, an American doctor (who was also a psychoanalyst, writer and inventor) received attention when he created an isolation tank to induce sensory deprivation and then study its affect (if any) on human consciousness. Dr. Lilly was a member of the counterculture scientists and leaders who included Timothy Leary (of the ‘drop in, drop out’ phrase). Trying to isolate the brain from any external stimuli, Lilly designed his tank and filled it with salt infused water (warmed to skin temperature) that also blocked out all external stimuli – sounds, smell, noise and light. It is theorized that when the brain is cut off from all stimuli it is able to enter a more relaxed state. While everyone will have a different experience, many people have reported experiencing a feeling of a heightened state of creativity while floating.
Some people may not be sure what to think when they hear about Float Therapy or Sensory Deprivation Tanks. Fortunately, the modern hydro therapy tanks/ Pods and Pools have advanced in their design for use by the general population than Dr. Lilly’s original version. Often referred to as hydra pods, pods, pools or tanks, hundreds of spas and wellness centres across North America now offer this incredible experience. In Burlington, at Thera Float & Massage we offer the experience of pods and a pool room along with a complete registered massage therapy practice.
Will I sink, I don’t normally float ?
Beyond the sensory deprivation one of the most important parts of Float Therapy is the Epsom salt infused water. Epsom salts have been associated with health and healing since wellsprings were found in 1600’s England. Epsom salt is actually the commonly accepted brand name for magnesium sulfate. Magnesium has long been associated with muscle health and has also been linked to improving heart conditions, arthritis, chronic muscle pain, diabetes and improve the functioning of the nervous system. Research has shown that magnesium also helps with cognitive functioning.
The amount of salt in the water allows people to stay buoyant and essentially removes gravity from the situation (and it’s near constant strain on your body). This suspension of gravity allows the muscles to fully relax. This deep relaxation allows the human body to release endorphins. Endorphins are produced by the central nervous system and pituitary gland; they inhibit pain signals in the body and can cause feelings of euphoria. This change in state, with minimal effort required, often results in an extremely positive relaxing experience. Research shows that Float Therapy or Sensory Deprivation is one of the most effective solutions to pain relief.
Scientists are also studying the effects of float on mental health. Thomas Fine, a float researcher who studies PTSD at the University of Toledo College of Medicine, completed a study where he gave people suffering from PTSD eight float sessions. He drew their blood at the end of every float session and found that overall there was a drop of 22% drop in their cortisol level. Float Therapy has also shown promise in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Massage and Float Therapy
Whether by itself or following a float session massage has long been considered an integral component of complementary and integrative medicine. Studies have shown that massage can help the following conditions: fibromyalgia, anxiety, soft tissue injuries, sports related injuries, stress related pain, headaches and insomnia. Massage can also play an important role in preventative medicine. At Thera Float & Massage Therapy in Burlington our Registered Massage Therapists offer a range of services: Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage and Taping, Hot Stone Massage, Bamboo Massage and Prenatal Massage.
We highly recommend that you have your massage prior to your float session. During your massage it is natural that toxins will be released into your system; the magnesium sulfate in the Thera pod will help detoxify your system.
We look forward to welcoming you to Thera Float & Massage Therapy in Burlington, bookings can be made online here. When you arrive at Thera Float & Massage Therapy you will be shown to your Thera pod. Once you enter the pod or pool room you can close the lid and start your experience. As you lie back you will notice that the salt infused water will allow you to become naturally buoyant and you will float without much effort. We offer a 60 minute or 90-minute session in our Thera pods or pool room.
Our crew at Thera Float & Massage Therapy makes sure that each treatment experienced at Thera enhances, balances and promotes the maintenance of a healthier lifestyle. When using the massage and hydrotherapy modalities together our goal is to help you augment and align the physical and spiritual state of your body.