So what is relaxation?
When you really relax, muscle tension decreases, blood pressure goes down, the mind becomes calm, and the harmful effects of prolonged stress are counteracted. You know those times when you’re at your favourite place just being there in the quiet moment and everything seems peaceful, nice isn't it.
Unfortunately, as nice as it is, it’s not really total relaxation. There a few things going on around you that you wouldn't be aware of. Firstly, there is gravity working on your body causing your mind and body to constantly work at keeping you upright, whether you’re sitting or standing. It’s nice but not the real thing. So there’s gravity and balance but there is also your in-built automatically controlled fight or flight response or sympathetic nervous system working, it’s constantly scanning your environment for threats. Not a woolly mammoth type threat, but modern day stuff, like people, weather, cars, work etc.
According to Herbert Benson, in his book “The Relaxation Response,” we evoke the fight-or-flight response all the time, but “modern society does not socially accept the fighting or running naturally associated with it.” This means that we are not appropriately using the fight-or-flight response for survival but for the everyday stresses in our lives, it wasn't designed for this. And you can’t turn it off, but you can reduce the input.
Going back to your favourite place to chill out does help, this reduces the fight or flight response and starts up the relaxation response from your parasympathetic nervous system. The relaxation response activates tranquil functions, such as lowering heart rate and blood pressure and releasing endorphins and dopamine into your body. These are the good feeling chemicals, and it’s as easy as relaxing in your chill out place.
How can floating help you relax?
Floating places you into an environment where the external information to your brain is practically reduced to zero. The only input comes from your mind and thoughts. There is no sight, no sound, no touch, no gravity pressures on your body, no balance calculations, no disturbances, and no threats. It’s still scanning the environment but the environment is now dark, quiet, with very minimal incoming information. Due to the lack of incoming information from the outside the brain scans for information from other sources. It finds information and stimulation from looking inward to your bodies systems. The resulting affect is the feeling of relaxation and well being from the release of endorphins and dopamine and a reduction in levels of cortisol, the adrenal hormone that puts your body on alert. Floating is a very unique and effective tool that provides the environment to completely relax and adjust the bodies systems affected by daily stresses. This environment allows your body to really relax. The results from one hour of floating are truly amazing. You get the all the good feeling chemicals flowing into your body and the added benefits of Magnesium intake, awareness and clarity of mind, mental alertness of a four hour sleep, relaxed muscles and decompressed spine and joints and that fantastic smile of bliss and wellbeing.