Recently I tried a float. Some of you may be aware of the concept while others will have no idea what I am talking about. A “float” is when you float in a pool of warm water with a high concentration of Epsom salt. This allows you to float like you are in the red sea. I know, cool right?!
It seems like an odd concept and while it is relatively new to the NZ population the concept of floating and the healing benefits that come with it date back as far as cleopatra’s time in ancient manuscripts (so I am told). Absorbing magnesium through the skin is healing for many aspects of the human body and is great for those people who struggle with absorbing magnesium orally. (See information on magnesium at the bottom of this post). The concept of being weightless and still for an hour at a time is also something that appeals to people in today’s society while many people battle to find "zen" balance throughout everyday demands.
So what do I have to report?
How did I find it?
I loved it.
Will I float again?
What if I am claustrophobic?
Let me put some of your minds at ease. I am mildly claustrophobic, I had no issue with this in the pod, it feels spacious and safe when floating. I was apprehensive as some people had explained it as a sensory deprivation chamber, that is incorrect (IMO). I chose to use ear plugs so I didn’t get salt in my ears but I could still listen to the calming music that was playing in the background. There is also a light in the pod which you can choose to leave on or turn off. So plenty of sensory feedback going on.
How do you know if floating is for you?
Personally I think it would be suited for everyone, it is about calming the entire nervous system and down regulating your fight and fight response. This enhances your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). Who wouldn’t want some of that?!
The parasympathetic nervous system is designed to conserve energy which means it slow’s the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity and relaxes muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.
When you come to understand what functions happen in parasympathetic (rest and digest) mode it becomes easy to understand that conservation of energy, rebuilding energy stores and healing tissues are imperative for life.
Rest and digest mode is designed to allow the body to restore and regenerate itself, meaning you can live life to the max.
There is a common theme in today’s lifestyle’s that suggests as humans we don’t allow ourselves to have enough of rest and digest mode. Over a period of time this wears us down, but our bodies are smart, it happens slowly and progressively and we don’t really realise how we have get ourselves into a burnt out, sick or tired state.
One of my favourite principles in chiropractic is: “there is no process that does not require time”. Are you getting my point? Too much fight and flight for prolonged periods of time has an effect on our bodies by breaking our systems down slowly.
It has been said that floating can help decrease depression, addictions or withdrawal symptoms, headaches, low immune function, burnout, chronic fatigue or low energy, jet lag, brain fog, chronic pain and muscle tension and difficulty sleeping. But even if you don’t suffer from any of these symptoms a float could be a great way to make sure you are able to regulate your parasympathetic (rest and digest) system optimally.
I would highly recommend Black Lotus Float Studio in Riverhead and I cannot wait to float again! Jodie the owner/operator has a wonderful warming presence and an energy that calms all and puts your mind at ease. The studio is also incredible and well thought out with plenty of space making you feel like you are at a luxury get away. Let’s get our sympathetic (fight and flight) nervous system’s at ease!
Dr A ox
Magnesium is a key mineral in our bodily functions, we need it for A LOT of processes. I will cut to the chase rather than boring you with a list. Extended periods of time in fight and flight mean an increased use and need of magnesium in the body. Are you getting enough magnesium? Studies indicate that magnesium helps with decreasing muscle cramps, better sleep, calmer body and mind, decreasing stress and many many more functions!
Hi. My name is Ainslee, I am a chiropractor and passionate about guiding people towards living their best. I love to facilitating people to get people well and stay well.