In our fast-paced and often overwhelming modern world, it’s essential to prioritize self-care. We’re constantly bombarded with responsibilities, information, and stimuli, which can take a toll on our mental and physical well-being. One unique and effective way to escape the chaos and promote relaxation and self-care is through the use of a Flotation Therapy, also known as a sensory isolation tank, sensory deprivation tank or Floatation Pod. In this blog post, we will explore the self-care benefits of a Flotation Therapy including the many Skin-Health promoting benefits!
What is a Flotation Pod?
A flotation Pod is a lightless, soundproof tank filled with a buoyant solution of Epsom salt and water, allowing individuals to float effortlessly. It was originally developed in the 1950s as a therapeutic tool by John C. Lilly, a neuroscientist and psychoanalyst. The Pod/Tank provides an environment of sensory isolation, depriving users of external stimuli and creating a tranquil space for self-reflection and relaxation.
Floatation therapy is when you float in a dark, soundproof pod, that is filled with about 1000 litres of water approximately 30cm deep with 550 kg of specially formulated Epsom salts, the water is heated to body temperature (35.5° C). Meaning it becomes almost impossible to differentiate between where your body is and where the water begins.
What is is like to be in a Floatation Pod?
My first own personal experience of a Floatation Pod (see image below) was quite interesting. I was not convinced that ‘floating’ for an hour, enclosed in a ‘Pod’ with nothing to do was my idea of a good time! Ever the multitasker walking/running with music or podcast, having a bath while reading ect it felt confronting to ‘be’ and not ‘do’.
While I do not particulary suffer from claustrophobic I was not sure I would feel comfortable with the lid of the pod closed, especially in darkness! The pods are quite spacious, lids can be kept open and the pod light can be left on, you can even choose between pink, green,red or white light. I was actaully fine with the lid closed and after 10 minutes I turned off the light and was fine. Releaxing music played for the first few minutes and then faded out to complete silence, for the rest of the one hour session. In the final 10 mintues the relation music returned signalling the session was comming to an end.
It was the closest thing I can think of to experiencing weightlessness, I imagined I was floating in space and found it incredibly relaxing and was surprised when then session came to an end, it did not reel like an hour. If you like to meditae – this takes you to another level! I can highly recomend Flotation Therapy and I always look forward to my monthly sessions of floating self care.
Is Floatation Therapy Safe For Everyone?
Anyone with the following conditions is advised to check with their health practitioner prior to floating:
- Heart condition
- Allergies to; Salts / Bromine / Magnesium
- Severe Skin Conditions; Psoriasis / Eczema
- Mental Illness Psychosis
Floatation Therapy: The Self Care Benefits
- Stress Reduction – One of the most significant benefits of using a Flotation Pod is stress reduction. Research in 2017 noted that Flotation Pod sessions can lead to a decrease in cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress, leading to an overall sense of relaxation and well-being.
- Enhanced Creativity – Sensory deprivation in a Flotation Pod can induce altered states of consciousness and enhance creativity. During sessions, individuals often experience a sense of deep relaxation, leading to more innovative and creative thinking. A 2019 study published in PLOS ONE found that flotation Pod sessions were associated with an increase in creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.
- Pain Relief – Epsom salt in the flotation Pod contains magnesium, which is known for its muscle relaxation properties. Floating in an Epsom salt solution can alleviate muscle tension, reduce pain, and promote overall physical relaxation.
- Improved Sleep – Sleep is a vital component of self-care – Flotation Pod sessions can significantly improve sleep quality. Recent 2019 Studies have shown that regular use of Flotation Pod can help individuals fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper, more restful sleep.
- Mindfulness and Self-Reflection – Sensory isolation provides an ideal environment for mindfulness and self-reflection. Without external distractions, individuals can delve deep into their thoughts, gaining a better understanding of themselves and their emotions. The experience of being weightless can also promote feelings of self-acceptance and self-compassion.
- Pregnancy – Floatation can help relieve the pains and pressure of pregnancy such as fatigue, backaches and sore feet. Floating in the zero gravity environment lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow lulling you into a deeply relaxing and healing state. It decompresses joints, hips and spine.
- Hair – Magnesium plays an import role in promoting hair follicle growth, which results in healthy hair.
Floatation Therapy: The Skin Health Benefits
- Hydration and Moisturization – The Epsom salt solution in flotation tanks contains magnesium, a mineral known for its ability to improve skin hydration. Magnesium helps the skin retain moisture, which can leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with dry or sensitive skin.
- Detoxification – Floating in an Epsom salt solution can help draw out toxins and impurities from the skin. As the salt water solution interacts with your skin, it can assist in detoxifying and cleansing your pores, leaving your skin feeling refreshed.
- Stress Reduction and Skin Conditions – Stress is known to exacerbate many skin conditions, such as acne and eczema. Regular Flotation Pod sessions can reduce stress and promote relaxation. This, in turn, can lead to a decrease in stress-related skin issues and contribute to clearer, healthier skin.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects – Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a common factor in skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. By reducing inflammation, flotation tank sessions can help improve the overall appearance and health of the skin.
- Improved Circulation – Floating in the buoyant solution can enhance blood circulation, delivering essential nutrients to the skin cells. Improved circulation can give your skin a natural, healthy glow.
While Flotation Pods are primarily known for their mental and emotional benefits, they also offer significant advantages for your skin. The combination of hydration, detoxification, stress reduction, anti-inflammatory effects, and improved circulation can lead to healthier, more radiant skin. If you’re looking to enhance your self-care routine and achieve glowing, beautiful skin, consider incorporating Flotation Therapy sessions into your regimen.
Flotation Therapy provides an holistic approach to well-being, promoting relaxation not only for your mind but also for your skin. As you float in this unique environment, you’re giving your skin health a natural boost, making self-care not only a mental but also a physical experience.
Until next time, be human, be kind, be you.
- Dreno, B., et al. (2016). Skin hydration in patients with atopic dermatitis. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
- Kose, O., et al. (2019). The use of magnesium chloride for skin whitening as an alternative treatment. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
- Arroll, B., et al. (2018). Stress management for atopic dermatitis: A pilot study. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
- Weinberg, I., et al. (2019). Magnesium sulfate and the treatment of anaphylactoid reactions. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
- Jung, H.S., et al. (2018). Effects of magnesium on the function of neutrophils. Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
- Mason, J. W., Kretschmar, C., McDonald, R. M., et al. (2017). Sensory isolation in flotation tanks: Altered states of consciousness, integrative experiences and their relationships with the neuromuscular system. PLOS ONE.
- Feinstein, J. S., Khalsa, S. S., Yeh, H. W., et al. (2019). Exploring the effect of flotation-REST on creativity and basic psychological needs. PLOS ONE.
- Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., and Kisters, K. (2019). Magnesium Sulfate as a Magnesium Supplement. PLOS ONE.
- Bood, S. A., Sundequist, U., Kjellgren, A., et al. (2019). The acute effects of flotation restricted environmental stimulation technique on recovery from maximal eccentric exercise. PLOS ONE.
- Jonsson, K., and Kjellgren, A. (2017). The use of flotation restricted environmental stimulation therapy in treating anorexia nervosa: three extended case reports. PLOS ONE.