Floating in weightlessness, without any external stimuli, allows the body to get rid of chronic, muscular and inflammatory pain. But beyond physical relaxation, rigorous scientific studies have proven the benefits of float therapy on stress and depression. And on the many pathologies directly attributable to anxiety. Let’s see how a sensory deprivation session, in our GRAVITI centres in Bordeaux or Lyon, really works on stress.
We often talk about the “disease of the century” by naming back pain or fatigue or stomach aches… but all these worries have a common base: stress.
Studies on stress show that it is responsible for numerous pathologies, both physical and mental, directly or indirectly. And the list goes on:
– cardiovascular diseases,
– stomach ulcers,
– psychosomatic diseases,
– skin problems,
– respiratory problems, etc.
Not to mention the impact of stress on our social life.
And it’s not going to get any better.
Not only is daily life tiring and stressful, but all these worries are phenomenally accentuated by the connected objects around us, especially the smartphone. It has been established that even when our phone is switched off, our brain remains alert for a hypothetical notification, or an impossible phone call.
Smartphone use increases anxiety, depression, burn-out, even the risk of suicide, by impacting on social life and sleep.
There are a number of more or less effective ways to reduce stress-related health concerns: medication (with often problematic side effects), physical activity, meditation, yoga, etc.
If you don’t have the time or motivation to put on your trainers and run around the woods, learn yoga poses or wait years for meditation to take effect, if you want an easy and effective anti-stress therapy, look no further: try floating in a sensory deprivation tank, the positive effects of which have been scientifically proven.
Floating: a holistic therapy for stress
Sensory deprivation is proven to be good for the body and mind.
Floating in weightlessness in water concentrated with Epsom salt, without any stimulation interacting with our 5 senses (touch, taste, hearing, smell, sight) brings profound benefits scientifically studied.
The concentration of Epsom salt (or magnesium sulphate) and the ideal temperature of the water cancel out the weight of the body. Muscle and joint tensions directly caused by stress (neck, shoulder and back pain) are relieved within the first few minutes of the session. The body is in a state of relaxation that has no equivalent elsewhere.
However, float therapy also has unique and effective effect on the brain.
Yes, floating is definitely a natural antidepressant.
During the session, the brain is finally freed from all external constraints. A state of deep meditation sets in, levels of a corticoid directly involved in anxiety (cortisol) drop significantly and hormones such as dopamine flood the brain with their benefits.
here you can seea video of Dr Feinstein testing sensory deprivation on 50 people who have been suffering from depression for years: agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress, social anxiety, panic, mental fatigue, etc., the range of people participating in the experiment was wide.
The results are astonishing: not only did the majority of testers experience a significant reduction in stress after a floatation treatment, but those who were most affected were the ones who experienced the greatest improvement (seeherefor more information on the experiment).
Lower blood pressure, verified impact on the central nervous system, MRI evidence of dopamine explosion, relaxation of the body, etc. Dr. Feinstein’s experiment is categorical: float therapy allows for a considerable, deep and lasting reduction in anxiety states.
As he points out, a session in a sensory isolation chamber makes it possible to “disconnect from the outside world to better reconnect with oneself”.
Change of pace, including at the brain level
Further evidence of the benefits of flotation on anxiety is the change in brainwave rhythm.
During the session, the famous Beta waves, synonymous with the state of activity of the brain but also present in a state of stress, decrease.
The brain wave rhythm slowly gives way to theta frequency. This is the frequency measured by Buddhist monks during deep meditation. It is also measured during hypnosis sessions or REM sleep.
Theta waves are synonymous with relaxation of the body and mind, synchronisation of the two hemispheres of the brain, relief of pain by releasing endorphins… And, of course, they act directly on stress and anxiety. A scientific study (here) proves “the reduction of anxiety disorder symptoms” thanks to these famous Theta waves.
Finally, we should not minimise the contribution of Epsom salt to this state of calmness, as the lack of magnesium is also responsible for psychological fragility.
In short, float tank therapy is a constant field of research at the moment and studies on its benefits for both the body and the mind are accumulating. It should be remembered that it was precisely to study the effects of ‘sensory deprivation’ on the brain that the first chambers were created in the 1960s.
Today, you can enjoy the positive effects of floating easily, comfortably, by making an appointment in one of our specialised centres in Bordeaux or Lyon, and experience for yourself the zenitude, the unparalleled relaxation that this hour spent away from the world and its incessant aggressions will provide.