Why do Veterans and First responders choose to float with us?

 

 1.  Deep rest.  Often, careers of service come with shift-work schedules and irregular sleep patterns.    Floating can help reset your sleep cycle by helping your brain down-shift from Alpha waves into the Theta waves that act as the gateway to sleep.  By floating, people’s brainwaves are naturally dropping into this Theta state, meaning their body can easily make the transition into the Delta waves required for REM sleep.  

When you float, your body also absorbs Magnesium through your skin from the highly concentrated Epsom Salt solution.  Magnesium is helpful for restful sleep as well as many other bodily functions.  A 90 minute float session can make you feel as refreshed as a 4 hour sleep.

2  Relief of Anxiety and Stress.  Floating can help you fight stress from the inside out.  A solid float practice helps to build strength and peace of mind that you can take out into the world.  In a recent study including 50 participants, floating was proven to reduce anxiety levels in 100% of the participants – a clinical success rate that is nearly unheard of.  Floating lowers the levels of stress hormones including norepinephrine, adrenaline, cortisol and ACTH.  Elevated levels of these neurochemicals are directly linked to high levels of stress and stress-related illness including anxiety and depression.  Floating activates your body’s relaxation response – reducing blood pressure, heart rate and muscular tension, and releases your ‘feel good’ hormones such as dopamine and endorphins.  Post-float blissful feelings have also been proven to last at least 20 hours after your float. 

3.  PTSD.  Studies have shown that PTSD can be profoundly helped by floating. The float tank is an ideal environment for working through painful or traumatic memories without the emotional charge that they normally carry.   When you are floating, your body sends out signals via dopamine, reduced cortisol and physical relaxation that everything is “OK”. Although time in the tank can bring up traumatic memories, the reduction of stress hormones prevents the body from triggering the same emotional stress cycles usually created when reliving painful memories, allowing us to reprogram our brains to dissociate these traumatic memories from the stressful neurochemicals they usually release.    Our customers who are also receiving help from a mental health professional find the tank a very safe and helpful place to apply and practice mindfulness techniques that they are working with.   

If floating sounds like it would benefit you, or if you have any further questions, please give us a call at 250-377-7716. 

(Information above inspired by our friends at Float On, The Book of Floating by Michael Hutchinson, and The Float Tank Cure by Shane Stott)

Posted: November 13, 2019 By: Comment: 0

Attitude of Gratitude. 5 ways that gratitude can enhance your float practice.

In this month of October, the Thanksgiving holiday is so much more than just a fabulous turkey dinner.  It is also an opportunity to pause and focus on the any parts of your life that you are grateful for.  Gratitude is perhaps the best researched emotion out there, and it might just be the most powerful one as well.

Throughout the month of October, I am placing an extra focus on Gratitude as a bit of an experiment on how an active gratitude practice can enhance my days.  I am focused on small shifts, like 5 minutes of journaling in the morning instead of checking my phone, pausing to appreciate a great moment, saying Thank You with a huge smile to perfect strangers who hold the door for me, and being thankful for what I already have in my life.  I already occasionally start my floats making lists of things that I am grateful for,  and I can’t wait to dive more deeply into that this month.

While googling Gratitude practice*, it quickly became obvious to me that many of the same benefits of a Gratitude Practice overlap directly with my Float practice.   Here are 5 ways how a gratitude practice can enhance your float practice:  

1.  Enhancing physical health.  

Studies have shown that grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, report feeling happier than other people, tend to take better care of their health, exercise more, and are more likely to schedule regular check- ups, suggesting that giving thanks helps people appreciate and care for their bodies.  How great is that!  Looking at this from another angle, research also shows that anxiety and chronic pain may be  linked in a vicious cycle – being in pain causes anxiety, which brings on more physical pain.  Plus, we are learning that  pain may also share some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.  

Spending a few minutes in gratitude in your float has the potential to bring you a double shot of enhanced physical well-being  Floating in itself has been clinically proven to reduce pain and relieve anxiety.  What would it feel like if you spent a few minutes in your float being grateful for your body and all it does for you, appreciating areas where you feel strong as well as the areas that you feel soft and fluffy?

2.  Improving Psychological health.

By shifting your thoughts in a more positive direction, acts and thoughts of gratitude reduce toxic emotions such as envy, resentment, regret and frustration.  Focusing on gratitude increases happiness and reduces feelings of depression.    Tell me I’m wrong, but I think it is nearly impossible to feel depressed and grateful at the same time.  

While you are floating, as you sink into that deeply relaxed state, your stress hormones are also reduced, and your pleasure hormones are increased.  This hormonal shift is a big piece of that ‘post-float glow’ feeling.    I can’t think of a better environment to clear out all the negative mind chatter that I no longer need.

3.  Grateful people sleep better.

Studies have shown that people who spend just 15 minutes in a gratitude practice before bed sleep longer and have higher quality sleep.  Perhaps it is a bit of positive thinking and intention setting steers your brain towards sweet dreams and better sleep as well as soothes your nervous system.

Floating also leads to better sleep.  Between the Magnesium in the Epsom Salts that helps with sleep, plus the deep relaxation, we hear all the time how post-float sleeps are the absolute BEST!  

Floating + Gratitude = the best sleep ever!

4.  Improving Self Esteem

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs—a major factor in reduced self-esteem—grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.

Focusing and visualizing your own success, celebrating your own accomplishments and clearing out the mind chatter are all easier to accomplish inside a float tank compared to outside.  While floating, you have un-interrupted time to deeply discover what your best life looks like.

5.  Increasing Mental Strength

For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma.   A 2006 study found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder.   A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience.

While we are just starting to study, clinically, the impact of floating on PTSD, there is plentiful anecdotal evidence on how floating helps relieve symptoms of PTSD.   Between the proven reduction in anxiety symptoms, deep relaxation, and the perfect environment to apply mindfulness techniques that a mental health professional may recommend, floating is instrumental in many peoples’ healing.  

So, what are you waiting for?  What do you think you could enhance, grow or let go of by including a gratitude practice with your float practice?  

Let us know next time you are in, we would love to hear about it!!!

Stay salty my friends,
Janette

Posted: October 10, 2019 By: Comment: 0

Mud Races, Motivation and Burpees

Mud Races, Motivation and Burpees!

Who else is running a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder in the near future?  ME!  I am travelling to Whistler this Weekend for a 5k Spartan Sprint.  I am nervous and excited all at the same time, that’s for sure.  This is the second year that I have done a Spartan Race, so I know what to expect this time.  To be honest, tonight, as I write this I am not completely sure if that is a good or bad thing.  Is knowing what I’m getting into a good thing, or is ignorance bliss?  Time will tell!

I definitely used floating during my training this year, as I did last.  I thought I would share how floating played such a key role in my training over the past several months.  

1.  Release muscle tension.    It feels like I worked out ‘like a beast’, especially for the past month or so, therefore  I definitely had the potential for a lot of muscle tension and soreness on a daily basis.  Floating definitely helped me recover at a much faster rate .  My muscles can’t help but relax the instant that I slip into the float, but equally as important was my increased body awareness – floating helped me to recognize where my muscles were tight, so that I could focus on releasing them during the float, or do extra stretching after my float.    I also really liked to imagine the tight muscles releasing, and increased circulation flowing to the hot spot, helping to speed up my recovery.   Many days, after training, I was certain that I wouldn’t be able to move my arms in the morning, but I was surprisingly limber and pain-free.  Thank you Float Tank!!

2.  Visualization.    I tend to process my world very visually, so I use visualization as a tool a lot.  In this case, I spent my tank time visualizing success.  I visualized completing all of the obstacles with ease.  I visualized doing burpees with ease.  (For anyone who has not done a Spartan race – if you fail to complete an obstacle, you must do 30 burpees in order to continue on the course.  I actually own the shirt in the photo, so you can get an idea of how much I love burpees 😆).  There are many studies that highlight the importance of visualization in athletic performance.  Athletes who visualize success in their event perform better than athletes who do not visualize their desired performance.

3.  Motivation.     Training for any event requires a time commitment, and extra discipline to ensure that you complete all the necessary training.   I suspect that many people will agree with me when I say that it can be difficult to get out of bed early, morning after morning, to train your butt off. It would be so much easier to just hit the snooze button, right?    Floating helped me gain deep rest and recovery on a regular basis.  Physically, I was rested.  Emotionally, I was both rested and energized.  These two factors combined helped me maintain my level of motivation, discipline and commitment throughout the training process.   I found that I floated away my excuses not to train, and had a pretty easy time to just get after it every day.  

Good luck to all my fellow Spartans and Tough Mudders out there!!!!   I’d love to hear about your experience next time you are in.  Next week, training starts for 2020 races, right?!?! 

Posted: September 13, 2019 By: Comment: 0

5 ways floating can help improve your GPA

Back to school, it’s time to hit the books! Whether you are at Thompson Rivers University, Trade School or taking any kind of professional development, floating is for you!  Are you looking for ways to make the most of your hard work?    Here are 5 ways that floating boosts your GPA

1.  Reduce your stress, clear your mind.  With all the projects to complete, pages to read, papers to write, stress is everywhere in the life of a student.  When you are stressed, your brain triggers the release of many neurochemicals like cortisol and adrenalin.  While a little bit of stress can help you ‘get in the zone’ and be super-productive for a short period of time, long periods of stress can lead to an excess of cortisol and other stress hormones.  When cortisol levels are too high, they can impact your memory and hamper your mental performance.  So, now you can become stressed out and forgetful.  Not a good combination if you are on a deadline.  

Floating has been proven to provoke a relaxation response that reduces the levels of cortisol  and other stress hormones in your body, leaving you with a greater ability to focus and concentrate.  Furthermore, floating has been been shown to produce a beneficial ‘maintenance’ response, meaning that your body has a reduced stress response for several days after your float.

So, consider scheduling a float before, during and after your exam period to boost your retention during studying, mental performance during the exam, and a quick recovery after exams are done.  

2.  Fight that cold  When you are stressed, your body’s immune response can be compromised, leaving you at a greater risk of getting sick.  A head cold is the last thing that you need when you are studying for a big exam!   Floating reduces your stress response which gives your body’s immune response a chance to function at full capacity.  Plus, studies have shown that people who visualize their bodies healing and feeling strong and healthy recover faster .  So, float regularly to reduce stress, and imagine your body being as healthy as possible.  Keep your body healthy to ensure your peak performance!

3.  Recovery from sitting too long.  You know that stiff feeling, after you’ve been sitting for a long time.  Muscle tightness, aches and pains are uncomfortable and can be distracting.   Floating effortlessly and feeling weightless for 90 minutes can release muscle tension, reduce aches and pains, and allow for increased circulation to help your body move again.   You can try out the selection of pillows and pool noodles if you find that your body likes to float in a particular position.   Make your body comfortable so that you can focus on studying, not on your sore neck.

4.  Superlearning.  There is an increasing amount of science emerging that shows that the greatest amount of learning takes place when the learner’s state of mind is one of deep relaxation combined with mental alertness.  In fact, studies have shown that the deeper the relaxation, the more the student is able to learn.  When you are deeply relaxed, your brain enters the Theta Wave state that is highly conducive to complex learning.  In theta state, the mind is most open to the absorption of new material and most capable of complex thinking and retention of what you have learned.   “A-ha” Moments come when you are in Theta state.  During a float, the absence of distraction also makes the brain even more highly receptive to the information presented to it.

Come in for a float to give your mind to process and absorb all your new knowledge.  Or, if you have a particular audio segment or lecture that you would like to listen to during. your float, let us know and we can set that up for you.  

5.  Visualize Success.   If you can imagine ityou can achieve itIf you can dream ityou can becomeit ~William Arthur Ward 

Whether it is success in school, success in sport, or success in weightless goals, there is mounting evidence supporting the powerful nature of visualization.  The more clearly you can see a situation in your mind’s eye, the more possibility it has of becoming real.    The subconscious mind tends to accept vividly imagined scenarios as real. By accepting a positive experience as real, or that it has already happened, you can spend your energy pursuing the goal instead of playing ‘what-if’.  If you are visualizing a pleasant experience, like success in an exam, your brain automatically responds by releasing feel good neurochemicals like endorphins.   The effect of your feel-good neurochemicals can also last for several days after your float, helping you to maintain a sense of clear-headed calm.  

Try this out during your next float – picture success, and soak it in (literally).    How does your success feel, what does it look like, what are the sights, sounds and smells that come with success.  Play it out during your float, and watch it come to life at the exam.

So, give these strategies a try during your school year, and let us know how they go!

Posted: September 6, 2019 By: Comment: 0

The Power of 3

So, 3 guys walk into a bar……… You know how the joke goes. Would this joke be as funny if it was just 2 guys going out? How about the 3 little pigs. Would the story be the same if there were 5 pigs? Goldilocks and the 3 bears. 3 blind mice. 3 wise men. 3 Amigos. 3 Muskateers. 3 pointer in Basketball (yayy Raptors!). Hat Trick in Hockey .

3 is the foundation of many spiritual practices – connection of the mind, body and Spirit. Good things happen in 3’s. Bad things happen in 3’s.

3 is the most basic of patterns. Neuroscience shows us that our brains LOVE patterns. Patterns help us predict things and keep us safe.

Many people would say that 3 is indeed a magic number.

So, you can see that there is little coincidence that we recommend 3 floats as the beginning of your float practice. Most people have a pretty fantastic first float. It can be a learning experience for many people, and take some time to adjust to the float environment. Maybe it took you longer than expected to wind down, and that brief state of bliss left you wanting more. Maybe you felt much more relaxed for a long time after your float, and you crave more.

When you come for your second float, knowing what to expect is a HUGE part of your experience. You start your float where you left off the first one. You know which props (if any) you like or don’t like. You have a better idea of your preferences around lights and music. Maybe you had an unfortunate run-in with salt in your eye and want a do-over (#practicesafesalt). Like any practice, when you come for your second float, you may reach that state of bliss a little faster, and enjoy just a little longer in that sweet spot.

Your third float and beyond. For many people, this is where the magic begins. Your body and mind develop a muscle memory, and find their state of flow easily. You are starting to really experience the cumulative benefits of this amazing therapy. Learning to surrender to the float, and go wherever it takes you.

Floating is a practice that gets better the more you do it. Much like exercise – you don’t walk out of your first workout with a 6-pack (I wish!) Your first yoga class or attempt at meditation will probably feel a little awkward. Practice makes perfect. We recommend that you float three times within the first two months, and we also recommend that you book all three appointments at once. We are pretty flexible with our appointments, and can always change them if things come up. In our experience, the work always magically happens, but self care, unless it is scheduled in advance, tends to be neglected.

We are here to support you and your float practice. Questions? We are always happy to share our own experiences and tips with you. Call us at 250-377-7716 to book your appointments today.

Posted: June 14, 2019 By: Comment: 0

Managing PMS with Floating

An estimated 75% of women will experience PMS symptoms that range from slightly noticeable to intense.  Float therapy can help.

Ask any woman about Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), and you  will hear about a wide variety of signs and symptoms including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. It’s estimated that 75% of menstruating women have experienced some form of PMS.

It is well documented that shifts between the hormones estrogen, progesterone, serotonin, cortisol and norepinephrine appear to make major contributions to symptoms of PMS. Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that’s thought to play a crucial role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.(1)

You don’t have to let these problems impact your life. Lifestyle adjustments like eating well, getting adequate exercise and sleep are of course helpful to ease PMS.  Studies by Goldstein, Jessen (2,3) and Turner and Fine  have also confirmed that a regular float practice reduced both the number of PMS symptoms as well as their severity.    The women who floated most often had the most significant reduction in their PMS symptoms, and the relief was long-lasting.  These studies indicate that a regular float practice regulate your hormones, which in turn reduces symptoms of PMS.  Floating both before experiencing PMS, and during the height of your PMS symptoms have the greatest benefit.  

So, get out your calendar, and give us a call so you can schedule your floats today!  We can also help you schedule your floats in advance, to be pro-active with your self care and personal health.  

Stay salty, Sisters 💦💧💦

  (1)https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20376780

2) https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4613-9701-4_18

3) https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4684-8583-7_29

Posted: April 25, 2019 By: Comment: 0

Floating- the ultimate anti-aging tool.

You have heard of the numerous benefits of floating – reducing pain,  athletic recovery, reducing anxiety and depression, reducing stress. But did you know that a regular float practice can also help you look and feel years younger? 

You know how it goes – every birthday you notice that you recover more slowly, your smile lines become a bit more pronounced, and your body and mind are just a little bit slower to react.  How can that be?  You could swear that your 25th birthday was just yesterday.     So, what is behind a large number of the symptoms of premature aging?   With age comes wisdom, but it also comes with – you guessed it – STRESS.  

Being under a constant state of stress means that your body is constantly flooded with Cortisol, the hormone released in response to stress.  Too much cortisol in your system can contribute to conditions like increased blood pressure, decreased libido, heart disease, increased inflammation, a depleted immune system and symptoms of anxiety and depression.   

Did you know that Cortisol is also the natural enemy of collagen?  Excessive cortisol breaks down the connective tissue that keeps your complexion taut and firm. Stress can also cause us to hold certain facial expressions, such as furrowing the brow which can eventually cause permanent wrinkling on the forehead and around the eyes.  If you clench your jaw when you are stressed, you could also be strengthening the masseter muscle in your jaw, making your face look more square.

Cortisol is also linked to shortening of Telomeres. Telomeres are a protective casing at the end of a strand of DNA. Each time a cell divides, it loses a bit of its telomeres. An enzyme called telomerase can replenish it, but chronic stress and cortisol exposure decrease your supply. When the telomere is too diminished, the cell often dies or becomes pro-inflammatory. This sets the aging process in motion, along with associated health risks.  (1)

A regular float practice has been proven to lower your stress levels in several ways, which in turn reduces your Cortisol levels.  For starters, just by booking your float appointment, you have decided to dedicate 90 glorious minutes to your own self care and also coincidentally remove yourself from the source of much of your stress. No one talking to you, bugging you, or asking you for something. Priceless!! Secondly, entering the float, your body and mind realize that you are no longer under a perceived threat, and your body chemistry returns to normal.  Your body slows down, the flood of nerve-jangling chemicals is eliminated.  Your stress gives way to feelings of deep calmness, peace and well-being.  Thirdly, a regular float practice gives you an opportunity for introspection and examination, helping to interrupt the cycle of fight-or-flight before it gets out of control. 

A regular float practice also helps you become amazingly body-aware.  Those furrowed brows?  That clenched jaw?  They both become glaringly obvious during your float.   Being weightless in your float allows you to perceive much smaller sensations in your body makes it easy to pinpoint any areas of muscle tension. Once identified, these hot spots can be consciously released and eliminated. 

The benefits of floating have been shown to be even more effective than other stress management techniques and have even greater benefits the longer that a person keeps up the practice.  

So, why not try trading some of the latest anti-aging skin creams for a float membership?   Renew and rejuvenate yourself from the inside-out for long-lasting results.  

  1. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/10/chronic-stress
Posted: April 7, 2019 By: Comment: 0

How much energy are you wasting?

Preserving your “Awesomeness”

I have a question for you – How much energy are you wasting?

This question was sparked during a conversation with my youngest daughter in the car on the way to school. I love car trips with my girls – we end up having the greatest chats. In this quick trip, we ended up talking about an issue that keeps coming up for her that she is trying to clear. We were processing it out loud.

During the conversation, I heard myself say “Do you realize, that every time that you stay stuck on thoughts like this, you give away a piece of your “Awesomeness?” The point that I was trying to get across is that you have a choice on which thoughts you want to spend energy on.

When I got to work, it occurred to me that this conclusion is something that my own float practice has helped me with tremendously. Many of you already know that a big part of the reason why I own a float centre is that floating is instrumental for me in managing my own mental health. Through floating, I have come to be incredibly aware of how I spend my mental energy. I treat it like currency. (quick fact, in my ‘former’ life I was an accountant, so I tend to treat everything like dollars and billable hours – a hard habit to break – don’t hold it against me – haha). I am aware of where I spend my mental energy, and where I am wasting it.

My float practice helps me put away the thoughts that I no longer need, the ones that aren’t serving me, the ones that are much bigger in my head than they need to be. The ones that leak my energy and feel wasteful. Instead, I choose to put my energy into being present with the thoughts that support me moving forward.

In my float, I often use a process that feels like closing Internet tabs. This is especially helpful when my mind is really racing. I pause the thought, give thanks for its lesson, and tell it that it can GO. Sometimes I work through this process quickly, and sometimes this process takes some time. It helps me arrive a place that is clear and calm.

Those 90 minutes are an investment in me. I am worth it. I want to preserve my “awesomeness” My kids are worth it – they deserve a clear, calm and present Mom. You, my dear float family, are worth it as well.

If you, or someone you know is looking for a pretty amazing space to preserve their own “awesomeness,” give us a call – we have a float tank waiting for you. <3

Posted: March 28, 2019 By: Comment: 0