Getting rid of all sensory input allows the fight or flight mechanism of your brain (sympathetic response) to lessen, allowing the creative, relaxed part of your brain to flourish. Without the constant pressure of analyzing the world around you, your body lowers its levels of cortisol (stress hormone). Your brain also releases elevated levels of the neurotransmitters of dopamine and endorphins, the chemical makeup of happiness.
The 1,000 pounds of pharmaceutical grade Epsom salts suspended in 10 inches of water allows our bodies to defy gravity. This sensation allows your muscles, joints, and ligaments to relax. Your body can then focus on healing and resting. Studies have found that a 60 minute float is equivalent to 4 hours of deep restful sleep. Many people experience a relief from chronic pain, have faster muscle recovery, and a better night’s sleep. Cutting edge research is currently being done in Sweden with fibromyalgia patients and they are seeing very promising results with floatation therapy.
About 40 minutes into your float, research shows that your brain stops producing its normal Alpha waves (alertness) and starts producing Theta waves (deep relaxation and meditation). Theta waves are responsible for that ‘between-waking-and-sleeping’ state, and you make them naturally every night before you fall asleep. While this only lasts for a few moments in your bed, you can achieve a prolonged Theta state in the tank, a state of consciousness that is usually only seen in children and people who have spent years practicing meditation.
Even the magnesium-based pharmaceutical grade Epsom salts we use in the tank have amazing health benefits. They soften and replenish your skin, and help counteract the magnesium deficiency that most of us have due to depleted magnesium levels in our soil. This Epsom salt mixture also aids your muscles in dissipating lactic acid which decreases recovery time between intense workouts.