09 Dec Floating To Prevent SAD
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you must know about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). People who suffer from this disorder may find relief during the beginning and middle of winter through float therapy.
SAD And Season Change
SAD is a depression-causing disorder that occurs noticeably during the seasonal transition from fall into winter. People who suffer from SAD observe the onset of symptoms at the beginning of the fall season and throughout winter.
People who are battling SAD experience a decrease in energy and an increase in moodiness. Other symptoms are oversleeping, change in appetite, feeling of worthlessness, and difficulty in focusing.
Harsh winters often trigger SAD. As the winter season ushers in the early setting of the sun, we essentially have prolonged nighttime. The dramatic change in daylight duration messes with the body’s natural sleep clock (circadian rhythm). That often leaves people feeling sluggish or without motivation.
The more-commonly known treatment options for SAD include phototherapy, psychotherapy, and medication. A fast-becoming preferred treatment is floatation tank therapy.
What Is Float Therapy?
Others call it floatation therapy or floatation-REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy). Floatation therapy involves floating in a personal float pod or sensory deprivation tank filled with a diluted Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) solution. And it usually lasts from an hour to an hour and a half.
Floating can eliminate gravity, sound, and light from your senses. Without the external sensory input, our mind and body can freely focus on other things. Our body reaches its restorative state when we cannot hear, smell, feel, or taste. At this point, we have fallen into a meditative state of deep mental and physical peace.
Benefits Of Float Therapy
The float experience is physically and mentally comforting and soothing. It helps lower the body’s production of cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones). Simultaneously, float therapy increases dopamine and serotonin. Those two hormones improve mood.
In a 2018 research, Justin Feinstein and his colleagues examined the “short-term anxiolytic and antidepressant effect of Floatation-REST.” Participants in the study reported significant reductions in stress. The floatation therapy participants also reported alleviation of muscle tension, depression, and pain. Moreover, participants also observed improved mood, characterized by increased happiness, relaxation, and overall well-being.
The findings from this study suggest that Floatation-REST can be a promising treatment for reducing the effects of anxiety and depression.
Break From External Negative Stimuli
Float therapy gives our depressed brain a break from external stimuli, especially the negative sensory stimuli associated with the seasonal change. This stimuli break can have lasting and positive effects on our mental being.
Enhanced Creativity During the Meditative State
Our mind shifts to a relaxed mode when our body reaches its meditative state while on the float pod. It slips into a sensory-deprived state and is motivated to explore new ideas. With our body feeling rejuvenated and weightless (in a floating state), our mind escapes the negative stimuli and physical discomfort.
An Antidote For Stress
For many people, floatation therapy is an antidote for stress. The sense of calmness and deep relaxation experienced after a floating session help in keeping anxiety and depression at bay.
Others have also observed greater vibrancy in colors and their surroundings after the therapy. This is important for people who suffer from SAD as this will change their mood at the prospect of a dark winter.
By going to repeated floating sessions, you may enjoy the long-term benefits that will help fight SAD symptoms.
Float therapy alleviates the different symptoms associated with depression and anxiety by:
- Reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety and production of stress hormones
- Revitalizing the body and mind to help focus and concentrate
- Promoting calmness, relaxation, and enhanced mood
- Improving immune and the circulation system
- Creating chemical and metabolic balance
- Relieving pain and chronic fatigue
- Improving creativity, awareness, sleep patterns, and athletic performance
If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a floatation therapy session might be just what you need to help you in improving the symptoms and allowing you to be more tolerant of the winter season.