The latest rage in the health world seems to be something that was invented during the hippy era and dubbed as a sensory deprivation tank, which does not sound like it has anything to do with health, in fact it rather sounds sordid more than anything else. However, as it gain reputation among certain circles, the name was eventually revised and these days the contraption created by Dr. John C Lilly about half a century ago is simply called a floatation tank, or floatation pod and the therapy is called REST an abbreviation for Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique.
Regardless of what they called it, calling it now or call it in the future, what has captured the attention of millions both end users and medical professionals is the fact that these sensory deprivation tanks have been proven to work positively on a variety of illnesses and has shown tremendous potential in bringing about medically beneficial effects that could be easily regarded as preventive solutions to medical disorders. These benefits range from stress and anxiety reduction, enhanced blood circulation, re-calibrated immune constructs; increased levels of endorphins in the system coupled with higher production of dopamine and serotonin apart from inhibiting excessive production of stress hormones and enzymes such as cortisol, epinephrine and adrenaline, better pain management and much more.
Although the initial concept of sensory deprivation was associated to unfounded reasons by John Cunningham Lilly, a physician at the University of Pennsylvania, by luck and empirical observation, the therapy’s success in enhancing the focus levels of individuals, the clarity it gave them coupled by reports from athletes who swore they performed better after sessions allowed the concept to ride the wave of doubts and find its way to where it is currently within the medical and commercial spectrum.
Based on the ceaseless positive influx of data that has been accumulated over the years by researchers for nearly half a century, floatation therapy has been acknowledged as an effective optional treatment that could potentially play a critical role in illness recovery. The therapy which subjects patients being submersed horizontally into a pod filled with a solution that is intensely concentrated with magnesium sulphate or commonly known as Epsom salt that is heated to body temperature creating an environment that is seemingly devoid of gravity is seen nothing less than a medical wonder.
The minimal 45 minute sessions take ‘floaters’ into a state of deep relaxation that would otherwise only be achieved through oral, intravenous drug applications or otherwise years of practicing meditation. In this state the cells in our bodies spring into action to rectify irregularities and chemical imbalances that cause a wide variety of defects on our physical or mental conduct.
Tested patients show increased levels of focus at work, experience better sleep cycles, have more clarity, improved immune response systems and generally have a more positive mood that in turn helps keep cortisol and adrenaline production at bay. Athletes who subject themselves to the treatment (athletes were the pioneers in advocating float tank sessions as they found that they were able to have a significantly higher level of concentration that allowed them to perform much better at athletic meets after float sessions) also showed that they healed faster from sports injuries with regular sessions.
This is basically the entire idea behind the construct or rather the mechanics of floatation therapy which simply reduces incoming stimuli that in turn eliminates the need for automatic brain responses that respond to external stimuli to be on guard and contend with sight, sound, temperature, gravity and other elements which coaxes the brain to move into a what medical professionals refer to as ‘a profound state of relaxation’. In this state of ASC or Altered State of Consciousness which causes a distinct change in both mental and emotional functions among which, the more critical are thought processes, response to emotional input and how the individual generally perceive things are significantly more positive.
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