Recently made famous by Netflix’s Stranger Things, a flotation or sensory deprivation tank offers a unique experience that can provide various health benefits. However, there are also some risks associated with using these tanks. In this blog post, we will discuss the risks and benefits of flotation tanks so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to use them.
How Do Flotation Tanks Work?
Flotation tanks are filled with a shallow pool of water that is highly saturated with Epsom salt. The salt content allows individuals to float easily in the tank, while the temperature and air pressure are set to simulate the experience of being in a zero-gravity environment. The tanks are designed to be sensory deprivation chambers, meaning they are dark and quiet so that people can enter a meditative state. In many cases, they are also used to provide the user with an experience of deep relaxation and stress relief.
Flotation tanks work by allowing individuals to float in a horizontal position while they are submerged in the water. The body is relieved of all pressure, allowing the person to feel weightless and free. The environment also works to promote a calming effect on both the body and mind by eliminating any distractions from external stimuli such as sound or light.
What Are The Benefits Of Flotation Therapy?
The primary benefit of flotation tanks is that they can relieve physical pain, such as back pain and muscle tension. Let us explore the many therapeutic benefits of flotation tanks.
The flotation tank environment is ideal for relaxation since the water is heated to body temperature, creating a feeling of weightlessness. The dark enclosed environment also allows people to completely relax and forget about the world outside for some time. The high magnesium sulphate concentration in the water can even help reduce anxiety and stress levels by lowering cortisol levels.
The Epsom salts in the water can be incredibly healing for chronic pain. The buoyancy of the tank reduces pressure on joints, muscles, and ligaments that are often aggravated by gravity, allowing them to relax and heal more quickly. The magnesium sulphate helps to reduce muscle spasms as well, providing relief from tension and spasms. Magnesium can also help increase blood flow to the area and reduce inflammation, reducing pain even further.
Improving Sleep Quality
The relaxation achieved in the tank can be beneficial for improving sleep quality. The lack of external stimulation allows your body to shift into a restful state more easily, allowing you to fall asleep more quickly and achieve a deeper sleep. Epsom salts can also help improve sleep quality by calming the nervous system and promoting relaxation.
The flotation tank environment can be beneficial for improving focus and concentration. The silent, dark environment encourages your brain to go into a state of deep relaxation, allowing you to block out distractions and focus better. Epsom salts can also help improve concentration by increasing blood flow to the brain and reducing stress levels.
Are There Risks To Using Flotation Tanks
Even though flotation tanks are generally considered to be safe, there are some risks associated with using them that you should be aware of. These include the following:
The Risk of Infection
Since flotation tanks are filled with water, there is a potential risk of infection. The water should be regularly tested and maintained to ensure it is clean and free from bacteria and other contaminants. Otherwise, users may be exposed to a variety of infectious agents.
The Risk of Drowning
Although the water in flotation tanks is usually shallow and occupants typically wear life jackets, there is still a risk of accidental drowning. The tank should be equipped with an emergency shutoff switch in case this happens. This way, trained personnel can respond quickly and take the necessary steps to rescue anyone in danger.
The Risk of Uncontrolled Movement
Since flotation tanks are designed for relaxation, it is important that users remain aware of their movements. The stillness of the water can cause people to become disoriented or experience dizziness. It is recommended that individuals enter the tank only after they have obtained proper instructions and understand what to do if they feel unwell.
The Risk of Fire or Explosion
There is also a potential risk of fire or explosion in flotation tanks. The tank must be kept away from any sources of heat, including stoves and other appliances that generate heat. The electrical system should also be grounded to prevent the buildup of static electricity.
Flotation tanks provide a unique way to experience total relaxation and stress relief, but it is important to understand the risks so that you can make an informed decision about whether this alternative therapy is right for you. By familiarizing yourself with the potential risks and health benefits of flotation tanks, you can decide whether this type of therapy is a good fit for your lifestyle.