All Athletes Should Float
Floating is when a person lies in a dense Epsom salt water solution. The experience takes places in a Float Tank (pod/room) that has been specially-designed for this. It is an incredible and highly-effective way of relaxing and relieving stress. This is a very widely-accepted therapy and is used by a number of world-renowned athletes and sporting teams to treat various sports-related conditions and aid in their recovery. Furthermore, floating is also beneficial for those who don’t play any sports but want to better manage the stresses in their system.
What is notable is that the positive effects of floatation are cumulative. The more frequently you use this therapy, the more you benefit. Clients frequently comment how they crave time in the float tank, it becomes very addictive. Consequently sports-people from various fields, use this experience to optimize the effects of their training routines, manage fatigue and speed-up their recovery from sports injuries.
WHICH ATHLETES USE FLOATATION THERAPY?
Commonly we see the use of floating in a Float tank being widely used within the following sports:
Long distance runners
Cross fit athletes
Pregnant women (yes if you are carrying a baby you should be considered an athlete!)
This list is not exclusive and with a growing momentum, jumping in now for your very own float tank experience, before it takes over your sport will give you the competitive edge!
THE BENEFITS OF USING A FLOAT TANK IN SPORT
As a matter of fact the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) sees flotation tank use as integral to the training regimes that their athletes’ follow. Some benefits of using floatation therapy are:
Accelerates the recovery from injury
Increases energy (ATP)
Ideal space for visualisation and mind setting.
Boosts the immune system
Reduces Lactic acid levels in the body
Aids in facilitated rest, improving athletes exposure to fatigue.
Facilitates the reduction of muscle soreness (DOMS)
Gravity isn’t a factor in the float tank. The complete relaxation that it provides, gives all the muscles the much-needed break they need. When the person is in the tank, every single muscle in the body gets the rest it needs and the time to recover. The benefits are truly impressive!
Furthermore epsom salts are a magnesium and sulphate – a muscle relaxant and a protein builder for your joints. Not only can you truly decompress in the float tank, you absorb the minerals whilst you float directly into your muscles, allowing you to be noticeably less tense as soon as you get up!
RECOVERY TIME FRAME
When the athlete is in the flotation tank, the actual rate of recovery post physical exercise is enhanced beyond recognition. Since floating in water that has high concentrations of Epsom salt reduces the stresses of gravity, the weight and pressure is taken off strained muscles, joints and bones. This increases the efficiency of the blood circulation right through the body. It also significantly improves the recovery time after injury.
The body has amazing pathways set up, to alarm it of pain or injury, hot or cold etc. When the brain receives these signals, it can then react and adapt accordingly. However this mechanism is not just designed to cope with injury. All positive signals of relief experienced whilst floating also go into the brain, producing a very profound, complete state of relaxation that is not to be dismissed.
SPORTS PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT
Athletes that use this float therapy in combination with visualisation techniques experience a very significant improvement in their performances. As the person’s brain transitions into a theta state, it becomes much more open to suggestion. The CNS (central nervous system) can essentially be effectively trained to produce ‘perfect performance’. Today a number of top athletes across Australia and the U.S use this technique to relax and up their performance in their chosen sport.
WORKING AGAINST GRAVITY
While floating, gravity pressures gets taken-off the muscles and joints & the entire body is put in to a state of high physical relaxation. The blood pressure & oxygen intake reduces but the blood flow and distribution of red blood cells increases. These combined effects are especially beneficial to athletes, as it speeds the recovery from injury & assists in flushing-out cortisol, lactate & adrenaline that might have built-up either via training or performance.
REDUCES INJURY RISK
Float Therapy loosens the muscles & gives athletes a higher degree of control in their nervous systems. In effect, this reduces injury risk during training/competition. Floatation accelerates the athlete’s recovery process and releases large quantities of endorphins (natural painkiller of the body)
By being in an environment that facilitates sensory isolation, which is another component of floatation, the athlete truly has the space to reach the level of concentration required to have a tangible effect on his/her performance. Many modern training methods are focused on helping athletes master their “inner game.” This assists in developing perfect synchronicity between body, mind and emotion and where better to find yourself then in a setting that is designed to help you lose yourself?
Floatation is also used by many people in helping them identify areas of tension that they were not previously aware of. Many people report being able to have a heightened sense of a certain body part whilst floating. This sense helps draw awareness to an area that may require additional attention in the form of stretching, massage or treatment.