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Floating For Athletes

A Must Have For Your Athletic Performance And Recovery

 

The sun is shining on the Gold Coast and sports activities are happening in full force. It's that time of year that you feel more motivated to join the local gym and get Summer fit! 

Did you know that float therapy can enhance your sports performance and aid in physical recovery? A lot of our clients that come in either have a regular physical fitness regime, or compete in a sport.  

 

Float Therapy provides an optimal zero gravity environment so your body can heal itself. The physical benefits of floating in one of our state of the art pods are unmistakable:

  •   Float Therapy reduces stiffness & tenderness in the muscles.
  •   Enhances athletic performance by speeding up muscle recovery time and eliminating fatigue with a one hour float
  •   Promoting blood circulation through the limbs.
  •   Floating also assists with boosting endorphins
  •  Reducing inflammation, stress hormones & heart rate
  •   The magnesium in the Epsom Salts assists with metabolism, transmembrane transport, muscle contraction and relaxation, hydration and even sleep
  •    Floatation Therapy alleviates chronic pain symptoms (for example arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis & migraine).

There are so many fun filled sports events happening over the coming months on the Gold Coast! 

Here's a few to get amongst:

If you're competing in any of these events BOOK yourself in a float beforehand to aid in your preparation as well as after (you'll speed up your recovery process)! Win-win!

 A DUO float pack is $138 (saving of $20). Purchase via HERE

 

Happy days filled with sunshine!

 

Asher x

 

 

Floating For Athletes

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How Floating Combats Addiction

Floating for Addiction

Addiction exists in all aspects of our lives as the mechanisms that occur in the brain and body reward us when we eat, when we are with loved ones when we are excited and entertained. It also gives us signals when we lack something that the brain believes is paramount to our ability to survive and thrive in this life. Some of us are addicted to sugar, smoking, alcohol or caffeine, while others tend to turn to more explicit substances on a regular basis because it simulates feelings we are genetically programmed to seek. To understand the ways in which floating can reduce addictive behaviour, we must first understand the primary causes. It is important to recognise that while every individual suffers from addiction for different reasons, there are physical mechanisms in the brain and body that cause addiction to occur. Whether someone is filling a void, chasing a rush or stuck in a rut of addictive consumption patterns, there are ways to treat and overcome these patterns and floating is one of them. In this article, I will be outlining 3 proven physical causes of addiction alongside the correlating benefits of floating.

Last week, I bumped into a guy called Henry, who opened up to me about his newfound discovery of floating and it absolutely warmed my heart. This is what he said:

"Hey, you may not remember me but we met when my mate bought your car. You were talking about the float tanks and I actually ended up going down to Freedom Float to give it a try and I have been quite a few times since then. You see, I used to have a heroin addiction and although now I'm completely cured, I never really knew what I was looking for in my life until I tried floating. It has really helped in my recovery and with giving me that feeling I had been looking for. I think I have been turning to substances for sedation or something and I didn't know what I was really trying to achieve before. Floating has changed my life, it is exactly what I needed". - Henry

This blog is for those who of you who are interested in facing your addictions with floating, or those who want to help their loved ones. Here is an outline of the key hormones involved in addiction and how floating can help.

SEROTONIN

Serotonin, the neurotransmitter in the brain involved in sleep, sensory experiences, and sense of well-being, plays a key role in many cases of addiction. Decreased serotonin levels have been linked to behaviours associated with:

  • Intoxication.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Poor impulse control.
  • Aggression.
  • Suicidal behaviour.

In some cases, addiction occurs when people seek substances to escape these feelings or fill a void which is often caused by a lack of serotonin production or release. Float tanks can assist in the production of serotonin because as outlined in this study, Magnesium in the Central Nervous SystemMagnesium causes serotonin production and release which reduces symptoms associated with low levels of this hormone. 

In a Study published by the US National Library of Medicine on the antidepressant effect of floatation, 50 participants who were diagnosed with anxiety and depression tried floating. The results concluded that “the float experience induced a reduction in self-reported state anxiety that was evident across all 50 participants”. That's a 100% rate of improvement after floating.

DOPAMINE

The neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for incentive, reward and motivation, and is a key neurotransmitter involved in addiction.

Drugs of abuse activate reward pathways, releasing excessive dopamine. Dopamine surges produce:

  • Euphoria.
  • Strong behavioural reinforcement.
  • Cravings or compulsions to perform certain behaviours

When floating, you are benefiting from ‘REST’ which is Restricted Environmental Stimulation Treatment. During your float, your body is placed in ideal conditions for relaxation and healing to occur. Those who are addicted to a substance due to the Dopamine rush it provides can benefit from floating as it heals the body and neurotransmitters by replenishing the supply of endorphins and dopamine in the body. For many, after a float, they will experience a healthy release of Dopamine which can prevent them from seeking other harmful substances to feel similar feelings. 

GLUTAMATE

Another neurotransmitter, glutamate, the primary excitatory brain neurotransmitter stimulating brain cells to fire, is associated with learning and memory, and has been implicated in the perpetuation of addiction.

Research has demonstrated that glutamate, operating independently and interacting with the dopaminergic system, fosters the development and maintenance of addiction through:

  • Reinforcement.
  • Conditioning (cues in one’s daily routine become associated with use).
  • Craving
  • Relapse 

The brain adjusts to surges of Glutamate by reducing dopamine production and the number of receptors that can receive signals. Dopamine depletion, along with disruption in other neurotransmitters, reduces one’s ability to experience pleasure. Dopamine depletion following major release of dopamine use may account for binges and craving.

Floating in sensory deprivation tanks can regulate Glutamate to healthy levels because rest and sleep play an important role in repairing neurotransmitters and restoring them to their optimal functionality. Many people visit float tanks because it assists the brain in falling into deep sleep faster and in some cases, a 1 hour sleep in a float tank can equate to an 8 hour sleep when it comes to repairing neurotransmitters. This is because you can fall into a deep REM sleep faster inside Sensory Deprivation Tanks. Also, for those who don’t sleep in while floating, but instead practise awareness of their addictions and focus on changing their habits, the tanks provide excellent conditions for creating new neurological pathways and positive habits. 

 

Other ways floating can help with addiction

1. Relaxation of the Mind and the Body

Addiction can often get worse when you experiencing stress, worry, or anxiety. Floatation therapy (also known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) allows people to experience a change in their state of being which is more relaxed, and at ease due to the lower cortisol (stress hormone) and increased melatonin (sleep hormone), that occurs within the tank. Floating allows the mind and body to replenish hormonal supplies in the brain and body which can reduce addictive tendencies. 

2. Shifting Biochemistry

As our biochemistry and the nervous system shift into a place of relaxation and expansion, the need for addictive substances can be lessened substantially. Since endorphins (pleasurable, happy chemicals) and dopamine are released when you float, the biochemical “need” for pleasure is satisfied, and thus reduces one’s likelihood of needing to seek out other ways of meeting this need.

3. Increased Awareness of Internal States 

Being in the float tank cuts out the need to place attention on external events, and instead shifts awareness inwards. With attention placed on one’s internal state, (i.e. awareness of how you are feeling, what you are thinking and what is going on inside you), there are no distractions from your internal state. As there are no external problems to solve, problem-solving can be turned inwards instead. Observing and monitoring the internal state can be motivating to do something about changing it. Increased consciousness of one's actions can play a significant role in overcoming addiction.

4. A Safe Alternative to Activate Pleasure

Floatation therapy is a safe and effective way of reducing stress, anxiety, depression or other challenging feelings. Since these states can trigger the desire to repeat addictive behaviours for the sake of feeling pleasure as opposed to these pain-related states, the float tank can be a wonderful tool in providing a safe space to relieve both physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal and post-withdrawal. Even long after we have quit an addictive behavioural pattern, there are circumstances that will cause us to want to return to the addiction. When we realise there is a chance that we may return to our addictive behaviour, we can simply take a float, stimulate our pleasure pathways, and avert the return to the habit. 

If someone you know is struggling with an addiction, why not suggest one of our floatation therapy packages as a safe and effective way to overcome addiction. Feel free to pop in to say hello any time. We will be more than happy to have a chat with you, show you around and hopefully brighten your day in some little way. 

Call us on 55 35 77 78 to make a booking or book online here.

Thanks for reading xx

- Skye 

How Floating Combats Addiction

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Floating For A Healthy State Of Mind

Free Your Body, Free Your Mind.. 

Most people that have floated may be well aware of all of the physical benefits of floating in 550kg of saturated epsom salt solution for an hour, the daily stressors built up in your body disappearing as you float away in the stillness of the pod environment. What many people floating for the first time don't realise is that there are a plethora of benefits for your mental state of mind too!

When the mind is in an environment where all external distractions and stimuli are removed, it can go into an extremely relaxed state, your worries dissolving one by one. As the brain goes into theta wave (a meditative state), you start to produce a higher amount of happy hormones, and natural pain-relief hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. As your heart rate slows down and you step out of flight or fight mode, your stress hormones lower and your nervous system can go into a parasympathetic state (the place where all the magic happens, different systems within your body can start go into healing mode instead of producing high levels of adrenalin that daily stressors and life brings).  So here is the game changer... These effects can last for days after! Post floaters experience for several days after feeling relaxed, euphoric yet energised and revitalised all at the same time. Yes please sign us up for a bit of those feels! Float Therapy is an incredibly effective therapy to assist with bringing your mind into a balanced, stress-free state. Regular floaters have reported reduced levels of anxiety, depression and a positive effect on the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It is estimated that over 3 million Australians are living with depression or anxiety. Worldwide, depression is the leading cause of disability and it is estimated in Australia that 45% of people will experience a mental health condition within their lifetime. In Australia, it's estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime (statistics via BeyondBlue.org - published on Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008). In current day, these statistics are on the rise, however the good news is that therapies and services are readily available in conjunction with an individual's prescribed mental health management, to assist in providing added support.  It is becoming increasingly popular to incorporate mindfulness meditation, and other stress reducing techniques to promote healthy mental health.

In recent neuroscience research scientists have analysed the human brain during practices like meditation and monitored the changes within brain activity. Research from fMRI studies show that meditating activates parts of the brain associated with attention and decreases activation in the amygdala, the part of the brain that triggers fight-or-flight response to a real or perceived threat – changes being more pronounced in expert meditators than beginners. The stance of the National Institute of Health (NIH) is that research supports meditation for lowering blood pressure, lowering stress hormones and easing symptoms of anxiety and depression (TIME magazine, 2016).

We are so elated to be able to provide a therapy that can assist in promoting a healthy mental health state! You can BOOK an appointment via our website or on (07) 5535 7778.  We have other practitioners available in-house that can help provide support with a mental health condition, or if you’re experiencing stress. Check out HERE the info for our Psychotherapist Gustavo, Clinical Hypnotherapist Kyha, as well as other complimentative therapies. 

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month for all of October in NSW. You can check out events and support services via http://mentalhealthmonth.wayahead.org.au/about-mental-health-month/

If you are a loved one are requiring urgent mental health assistance contact Emergency Services: (000) or Lifeline Australia Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention: 13 11 14

 

Floating For A Healthy State Of Mind

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Floating for Arthritis

Floating for Arthritis

“I have psoriatic arthritis and have been desperate for some relief from the constant pain and this experience is what I’ve been searching for. I’m relaxed and my body was relieved of pain during my time in the pod and even when I was finished. I’m excited to come back again. Thankyou!” - Laura 

 

Benefits:
  • Pain relief (brain)
  • Anti-gravity weightlessness for joints
  • Mitigating arthritis with Magnesium
  • Physical stress relief
  • Cortisol reduction
  • Relaxation
  • Improved immunity
  • Endorphin release
  • Boosts Serotonin and Dopamine

Float tanks, otherwise known as sensory deprivation tanks are recommended by the Arthritis foundation for for reducing symptoms related to Arthritis and for slowing down it’s progression. Some kinds, like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, are caused by inflammation. The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, occurs when the cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone. When you enter a float tank, you’re soaking in 550kg of Epsom salt, which increases your body’s buoyancy in the water so you float effortlessly on the surface while also giving you a big dose of magnesium which is absorbed through the skin. Floating relieves the body from the effects of gravity, which decreases strain and stress on joints.

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, “works wonders” on arthritis pain, notes the Arthritis Foundation, primarily because magnesium sulfate crystals can boost magnesium levels in the body, which helps relax, lubricate and protect muscles, connective tissues and nerve impulses in patients suffering from both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Floatation therapy also reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. Because stress is a known factor in arthritis complications, this is an essential benefit of floatation therapy. Our brain is affected on many levels when entering a state of deep relaxation during a float.  One way it does this is in signaling a master switch in the brain called the hypothalamus. This directs the pituitary gland to slow down the constant output of adrenaline and cortisol by the adrenal gland, thereby boosting the immune system and signaling other mood enhancing endorphins and hormones, including serotonin and dopamine.

 

Call 55 35 77 78 or book online to experience the benefits of floating.

 

Are you a regular floater? Ask about our range of packages and membership options.

 

Written by Skye Miller

 

Floating for Arthritis

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Make The Most Out Of Your Float With Meditation

 

 

 

 

“The monkey mind is strong in this one but the moments of peace and space were blissful and filled with light and laughter, thankyou.”

 

 

 

- Dale, A Happy Freedom Floater.

 

 

 

Float Therapy is an awesome practice to assist in physical recovery, as well as alleviate stress.  Whilst floating your worries away, your stress hormones lower, and your whole nervous system starts to feel relaxed.  For those that have a busy lifestyle, an hour can seem like a long time to lay still, we often get new clients asking “How on earth am I going to last an hour doing nothing but floating!?” Shout out to all of you monkey minds (we all got a bit of monkey mind within) ALOT of all of the good stuff happens for your mind and body in that hour.

 

 

 

Float Therapy is often called the training wheels for meditation. The coolest thing about float therapy is that one hour in the float tank can take you to a deep state of meditation and relaxation, fast! It is pretty rare to be in an environment where all external sensory input is removed, so your brain can go into a completely relaxed state. Meditation is such a powerful tool to reduce stress, improve concentration levels, increase your focus and memory retention, increase self awareness, and give your brain all of those energised, feel good hormones.

 

 

 

We want you to make the most of your float session, so here’s a few meditation tips to enhance your floating experience the next time you’re floating:

 

Just Breathe:

 

 

 

There is so much we can do with your breath. You’ll soon discover in the pod that all you can hear is the sound of your breath’s inhalation and exhalation reverberating through the silent sanctuary. The breath is a great focal point to begin with in meditation. Firstly pay attention to where it is originating from in your body. Are you breathing from your chest, or your throat? A lot of us aren’t even aware that we aren’t breathing to our fullest potential. If we take deep inhalations it can be of great benefit for our whole body and mind. It can start a detoxification system within your body, and lower stress levels and blood pressure. Did you know that breathing into your stomach area works with the parasympathetic nervous system, taking you out of a “fight or flight” state? If your mind is in a more relaxed state it can conserve energy which is primarily used to be in a constant stress response, instead allowing the body to go into a homeostasis state where it can put your nervous and digestive systems through a healing process, as well as increasing your natural painkiller and happy feel good hormones, decreasing your stress hormones. Try guiding your breath to your stomach area. Place your hand on your stomach and feel your abdomen moving in and out as you take a deep inhalation focusing attention on breathing into this area.  Try doing 6-8 rounds of this process, doing 3-4 breath counts each time.  After a couple rounds you will start to feel relaxed, yet invigorated all at the same time as oxygen travels to the cells within your body.

 

 

 

Body Scan:

 

 

 

The zero gravity environment of the float pod can bring awareness to areas you are holding tension within your body. We don’t often allow ourselves to slow down and consciously scan our body to observe where are stiff or holding pain and discomfort.  As you lay weightless in the pod focus on where you are holding tension in your body, is it in your neck or your lower back? Have you noticed as you are floating that there is a twinge in your right knee? We have a local chiropractor that sends his patients in after their appointment for what he calls “your second adjustment session”.  As you float you fast realise where you hold tension in your joints and muscles. For the first few minutes of your float try doing a few stretches, twisting your body from side to side, reaching your arms up over you behind your back, grab your knee and pull each one up towards your chest. Lay back and focus on where you are holding tension in your body. Breathe into that area and visualise the pain and tension releasing, dissipating into nothing. If you feel pain in different areas in your body, why not try start at your head and scan from top to toe your complaint areas, complete this process for each twinge and tension.

 

 

 

Observe Your Thoughts Coming And Going:

 

 

 

One thing you have to remember particularly in your first float is that the monkey mind may be strong within. Within this current digital paradigm we are accustomed to constant sensory input, our mind grabbing onto every shiny object that passes it by.  Don’t be disheartened after your first float experience if you feel that you couldn’t shut your thought processes down. Be kind on yo self! It takes a little bit of training to allow the mind to go to a state of stillness, and what perfect environment than the float tank to be a zen master of the monkey mind! Try giving yourself an allocated time of that first 10 minutes whilst the sound effects are playing throughout the pod to have a brainstorm. Allow yourself to process the day, problem solve, let your mind go wherever it needs to wander.  After this point, if you notice thoughts coming in and out, your to-do list for the day, that argument you had with your partner last night, what you’re going to make for dinner that night, observe that thought, acknowledge it and then come back to your breathing as a focal point. Even try counting forwards and backwards from 1-20. After some point your mind will let go of all distractions, and go into a relaxed state. And if you find you’re still having thoughts pop in and out, it’s totally okay! You’re a meditator in training, not a monk! Meditation is like strengthening and training a muscle, after some time with practice it becomes easier to drop into, hence why the quiet environment of the pod is a perfect place to start!

 

 

 

These are some simple yet powerful tools to enhance your meditation practice within the pod. When you’re next in for a float ask one of our staff what technique they find effective? There is no set path to follow with meditation and we all have a bit of medi wisdom to share! You’re always welcome to use our chill out space if it is free before your float to do a mini meditation session to prepare your for your float. After your float enjoy a tea on our lounge, or pop into the studio space, roll out a mat and explore your meditation further. Every Tuesday from 6.45-8pm Jas has a mindfulness meditation class, let her know you want to enhance your floating experience and she will give you medi tips for the tank!

 

 

 

We look forward to seeing you at the centre soon! You can BOOK via (07) 5535 7778.

 

 

 

Asher

 

xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make The Most Out Of Your Float With Meditation

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