Floating is a form of sensory deprivation and may be beneficial for those who suffer from anxiety. The practice requires relaxation, which has been shown to increase the production of serotonin, dopamine, endorphins as well as other hormones that support mood regulation and emotional balance.
Float Therapy is a type of therapy that uses the buoyancy of water to help with many different health problems. It has been used for more than 100 years and is becoming popular in recent years.
Float therapy is a new wellness fad that promises to provide several physical and mental health advantages. While various health facilities provide different forms of float therapy treatments, the majority of them include sensory deprivation and a full-body soak in Epsom salt-infused water.
We’ll look at the medical research on float treatment in this article to see whether it has any proven advantages, if it’s a waste of time and money, and if there are better options.
Review of Medical Research
Surprisingly, there are some early research on flotation treatment that have been published in medical publications.
In a 2018 study published in the PLOS ONE journal, researchers looked at whether float treatment may improve anxiety and sadness in only one hour. Because the research was supported by a non-profit, it was devoid of any financing bias.
The end outcome was outstanding. Float treatment, on average, lowered anxiety and enhanced mood while having little negative effects.
A longer-term clinical research demonstrated comparable results: in the float group, tension, sadness, and pain were greatly reduced, while overall optimism and sleep quality increased. This research took done over the period of seven weeks and involved twelve separate float sessions.
In a third trial, 25 individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder were given float treatment to see how beneficial it was (GAD). When compared to a control group, the float treatment group saw a considerable reduction in anxiety symptoms on average, with 37 percent of float therapy participants experiencing complete anxiety remission. These are very extraordinary outcomes.
The research was supported by funds from a Swedish area, and there was no financing bias.
Overall, medical evidence suggests that, at least in pilot studies, float treatment is beneficial in lowering anxiety and depression to a clinically meaningful degree.
Limitations of the Research
Because of the nature of float treatment, conducting a placebo-controlled experiment to determine its efficacy is practically difficult. A placebo is an inert drug given to one group (who are unaware whether they are getting an active or inert substance) to guarantee that any outcomes from a medical experiment aren’t psychologically produced.
It is deemed successful if the findings of a medical research reveal that the intervention is more beneficial than a placebo. One medical trial group may be given an active-ingredient pain tablet, while the other receives an inactive-ingredient pain pill. This sort of typical medical study may be properly placebo-controlled since consumers will not know which is which.
Because float treatment is a completely immersing physical experience, there’s no way to “fake” it and regulate the placebo effect, which might be driving all of the good results (since patients may be expecting the therapy to work, they may experience positive mood changes for that reason alone rather than anything about the therapy causing those mood changes). This is a small scientific flaw in float treatment that renders the therapeutic outcomes a little shaky.
We anticipate research comparing the efficacy of float treatment to pharmaceutical drugs in the future, since this data would be more reliable than the experiments mentioned above.
Is Magnesium to Blame for the Health Benefits?
Patients recline for an hour in a bath containing high volumes of Epsom salts as part of float treatment. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, which enters into the bloodstream via the skin when dissolved in a bath. This impact has been established in medical studies.
Magnesium shortage is on the rise in the industrialized world, according to medical study, and if float treatment efficiently addresses magnesium deficit, this might account for all of the therapy’s advantages.
Magnesium insufficiency has been associated to anxiety and depression (as discussed in the review mentioned above), thus treating it might lead to the same effects as the float therapy research.
This is a critical factor because, if magnesium supplementation alone is responsible for all or nearly all of the advantages, patients may get these benefits for a lot less money by taking oral magnesium supplements or bathing in Epsom salts.
A medical research comparing magnesium treatment alone to float therapy would be interesting to see the findings of.
The Price of Float Therapy
One of the disadvantages of float treatment is its high cost, which is seldom reimbursed by medical insurance. According to our study, prices vary substantially depending on region, but often range from $40 to $150 for a single session.
This implies that a single weekly float treatment session may cost more than $5,000 per year.
Because of the enormous area required, the unique sensory deprivation setup, and the floor cleaning necessary after each session, float treatment is also difficult to recreate at home.
Since of the high expense, study comparing float treatment to magnesium supplementation is even more relevant, because magnesium supplementation is generally cheap and may be reimbursed by medical insurance if a verified need exists.
Oral magnesium supplements are often available for less than $30 for a month’s supply, and Epsom salts are much less expensive.
Float therapy is a type of alternative medicine that uses the buoyancy effect of water to provide relief from physical and mental ailments. Float therapy benefits include increased blood oxygen levels, reduced inflammation, improved sleep quality, and more. Reference: float therapy benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is float therapy good for?
A: Float therapy is a type of relaxation and stress relief that involves lying on a water-filled bathtub, mattress or pontoons with your arms stretched out above your head. The weightlessness relaxes the muscles in our body and leaves us feeling refreshed.
What is a float therapy session?
A: Float therapy is a type of bodywork that uses the buoyancy of water to help you feel more relaxed and at ease. It has been used by physical therapists for over 5,000 years as one way to treat conditions such as chronic pain or anxiety.
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