Pain Management, Fibromyalgia and Floatation Therapy
"St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton, Wisconsin: A year long statistical analysis of the effects of float tanks revealed 70%-85% improvement in treatment of a wide range of problems, i.e., anxiety, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular ailments, migraine/ tension headaches, chronic pain, hypertension, and recovery from cardiac surgery."
- Esquire Magazine
"All 27 respondents had received treatments other than those from this pain program: 81% had used pain medications; 56% had had some form of pain injections; 70% had received physical therapy; 59% had received chiropractic treatment; 22% had undergone surgery. These patients reported more short-term and long-term pain relief from flotation than from the other therapeutic modalities."
- Excerpt from Flotation REST in Applied Psychophysiology
- Due to weightlessness and sensory restriction, floatation therapy can aid with the relief of pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic osteo-arthritis, sports related injuries, migraines, back and joint pain, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, bursitis and traumatic injuries.
- Floatation therapy allows the spine to lengthen and pressure to be removed from the joints while enabling greater blood flow to reach affected areas of the body.
- Floating causes the release of the endorphins and enkephalins, the bodies natural pain killers, which block the transmission of pain signals at the level of nerve cells.
- Pain relief associated with floating allows chronic pain sufferers to break the cycle of pain-depression, enabling improved healing.
There are three major reasons why floatation therapy works to relieve chronic pain. First, the effects of gravity are removed and pressure on the back, neck, joints, muscles and tendons is alleviated. The release of this pressure increases blood flow to areas in need of healing. Secondly, since the body doesn't know what is happening (weightlessness, sensory restriction) it begins producing elevated levels of endorphins and enkephalins which help to deal with pain. These natural painkillers may be more effective coupled with the pressure release of weightlessness and improved blood flow. Third, the reticular activating system, RAS, found in the brain stem (reptilian brain) normally responsible for alerting the body to "fight or flight" responses and also responsible for regulating pain sensations, turns it focus away from external stimuli and begins focusing on internal stimuli. This redirection of the RAS toward internal stimuli allows floaters to lose the sensation of being connected to the body. In addition, floating also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the relaxation response. The release of tension in the body and lowering of stress hormones may also be responsible for the pain relief.
Floating is an easy, natural and enjoyable way to free yourself from chronic pain without the use of drugs or invasive techniques.