How Float Therapy Can Help Seasonal Depression (SAD)
SAD is a depression-causing disorder that occurs during the seasonal transition from fall into winter. Generally, people who experience SAD notice symptoms starting in the fall season through the duration of winter.
Symptoms of SAD include a decrease in energy, increased moodiness, oversleeping, change in appetite, feeling of worthlessness, and difficulty in focusing.
Seasonal effective disorder can be especially prominent during harsh winters, with the early sunset and longer nights. This dramatic change in daylight duration can alter with the body’s natural sleep clock (circadian rhythm). This can often leave people feeling sluggish or unmotivated.
Some common treatments for SAD include phototherapy, psychotherapy, and medication. But, did you know that floatation tank therapy fast-becoming preferred answer for those looking for relief from SAD?
What is float therapy?
Floatation therapy or sensory deprivation therapy is a wellness practice that involves removing all sensory input in order to allow your mind and body to use it’s inherent resources to heal itself, instead of responding to external stimuli.
We do this by providing you with an amazing tool - a float tank! A float tank provides the perfect environment to achieve this intensely healing level of peace and relaxation. The concept of a float tank is very simple; There are no light (unless you opt for them), no sound (you can opt for music), and the tank is filled with about 10” of skin temperature float tank solution so dense with Epsom Salt that you float at the surface of the water like a cork! Clients lay in total peace and tranquility, floating effortlessly while all anti-gravity effects release all tension and pressure from the body. At the same time, without the need to respond to stimuli, brainwaves transition to the deeply meditation Theta state, the heart rate slows, cortisol (the stress hormone) leaves the bloodstream, while serotonin and dopamine, the body’s “happy hormones,” enter the bloodstream. This change is called the relaxation response, and clients are able to feel a deep sense of well being, as well as, profound relief from physical pain, during this time.
Halcyon Floats has two types of float tanks: Cabins and traditional style. Our cabins are larger in size with high ceilings and are a perfect option for clients who prefer not to be in a smaller space. These cabins are also equipped with light and music options, for clients who prefer to ease into the the sensory deprivation experience at their own pace.
We also have an Escape Pod Explorer Tank. This tank was created based on original design of the commercial float tank. This tank is the perfect option for clients seeking a float environment that is cocoon-like or womb-like. Many refer to this style of a float tank as a “warm hug” in the form of a float! There are no light or music options in this tank.
Benefits of float therapy
The best thing about Float Therapy is that you literally do nothing, and yet you can experience so many benefits. Over the years we have floated tens of thousands of clients, who practice sensory deprivation for various reasons.
Most clients float for relaxation, stress or anxiety relief. The Theta state provides the perfect mindset to problem solve, or better yet, let go of issues that would normally cause a stress response. It’s a wonderful state of mind to process, problem solve, and reflect. On top of that, the chemical changes that occur as a result of the relaxation response allow the floater to feel lighter in mind, body and spirit!
Another reason clients visit us is to relieve physical pain. While clients float, all the pressure is removed from their muscles and joints, circulation improves, reducing swelling, as the spine decompresses providing profound physical relief. All the while, the serotonin and dopamine that are release during the float doing great work in providing natural pain relief. Many of our clients have chronic pain conditions and find that floating is the only way they can get a break from their pain.
Floating also helps clients who struggle with sleeping, resetting their circadian rhythm. Did you know 90 mins in the float tank provides the same level of rest as 4 hours of REM sleep? It’s true!
Float therapy is also a great way to speed up athletic recovery, as your body is able to focus on healing during the float. Floating reduces the lactic acid in the body that is usually built up during a work out!
Those are just a few of the reasons clients float!
4 ways float therapy can help prevent seasonal depression
1. Improved mood
Floating is a mood booster, and therefore a great way to combat SAD. Clients who float generally express a lightness, or profound sense of well-being after their session.
2. Get healing rest
Because the lack of sunshine can cause havoc for the psyche, including messing up sleep habits, floating is a great way to catch up on rest, and reset the body’s natural clock. Healthy sleep habits are directly related to well-being and mood.
3. Decreased negative stimuli
Floating gives the depressed brain a rest from external stimuli, most importantly, the negative sensory stimuli associated with the seasonal change. This break can be a huge benefit to our mental well-being.
4. Find respite in your own creativity
In the tank, we are able to achieve a deeply meditative state, allowing the mind shift to relaxation mode. In this sensory-deprived state, the mind loves to explore new ideas. As our body finds rejuvenation in the weightlessness ( floating!), our mind waves goodbye to negative stimuli and physical discomfort, and waves hello to uncharted territories of our own creative brain.