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Ultimate Stress Relief From A Special Salt Bath

By Frank Rodriguez

The flotation tank is a widely misunderstood and underutilized form of hydrotherapy that has been successfully used since the 1970s to reduce stress, relieve pain and sore muscles, improve sleep, enhance athletic performance and more. This article briefly explains what makes all of these benefits possible.

Multiple therapies are occurring when you use a isolation tank. First and most obvious is the neutralization of gravity. Deep sea divers and astronauts are the only other people who are able to enjoy this break from gravity's constant pressure. For this reason, most people are unaware of the level of physical relief that occurs when gravity is neutralized. I was recently at a seminar on spinal decompression that was hosted by a chiropractor. During his presentation, the doctor said that if we could get free of gravity, we could eliminate back pain.

I used the low gravity environment of the isolation tank to accelerate the healing process of sciatic pain caused by a pinched nerve in my lower back. Using the isolation tank, I was able to bring six years of increasingly debilitating back pain to a complete stop by using the isolation tank for several hours over a 3 day period. That was seven years ago. I still have a pinched nerve, but I no longer have the symptoms thanks to . After looking at x-rays of my back, my doctor concluded that I should still be in constant pain. In fact, he's surprised that I can stand and walk straight. He attributes my recovery to flotation therapy.

Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) is a mild muscle relaxant, which contributes to the deep relaxation experienced during a floatation session. When you're in a isolation , your brain responds to this deep relaxation by releasing endorphins. This feel-good neurochemical is very effective in relieving pain, improving mood and boosting the immune system. This effect can last for days. Of important note is the reduction of the stress hormone cortisol. Also reduced is lactic acid, which causes muscle soreness). These benefits make a powerful complement to sports training and physical therapy.

The Australian Olympic team has been using floatation tank therapy for years for this very purpose. Other elite athletes who have benefitted from using the isolation tank are the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies, Olympic gold medalists Carl Lewis and Phillips Idowu, Ironman Champion Peter Reid and British soccer star Wayne Rooney.

Of all these benefits, perhaps the one that makes floatation tank therapy most unique is the fact that during a floatation session, a person's brainwaves transition from from beta to theta. Theta is the brainstate where accelerated healing occurs and is also a state characterized by vivid imagery and enhanced creativity. It's a normal state of mind that everyone experiences while they're asleep, but only while floating can you remain awake while your brainwaves are in the theta state. Actually, there are highly trained Zen meditators who can maintain wakefulness while in the theta state, but that's a very small number.

If someone suffers chronic pain, hypertension or insomnia, they're probably not getting the benefits of theta when they're sleeping. The extended theta state experienced during a typical flotation session is the reason why many users report that 1 hour in the floatation tank feels like 4-8 hours of restful sleep.

For more informaton about floatation tank therapy, or to find a facility near you, visit

About the Author
Frank Rodriguez has been researching floatation therapy since 2001 when he had a dramatic healing experience while desperately trying to find relief from debilitating sciatic pain. He publishes his research on the health benefits of using the floatation tank at

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