What is Float Therapy?
The art of Float Therapy involves lying back into body-temperature water in a sound-proof, light-proof 'tank' or 'pod' filled with 1000L of pristine water and 550kgs of Epsom Salt. Float therapy is a great way to achieve deep relaxation within your body and mind. This deep relaxation is achieved by allowing your body the freedom to float weightlessly in a concentrated salt solution. The silent darkness of this bliss filled sanctuary allows your mind to remove all the white noise and sensory input of the external world, where you can easily slip into a deeply relaxed and meditative state. By freeing your mind from all outside distractions, your body can focus on repairing and rejuvenating itself.
The concentrated Epsom salt solution is extremely buoyant with high levels of magnesium sulphate, which is easily absorbed transdermally (through the skin), helping to ease muscular pain, alleviating stress and promote relaxation. Floating is both safe and simple. You firstly shower, get in the roomy floatation pod, lie down and let your mind and body release built up stress, anxiety and tension. The positive effects of floating can often last for several days.
Floating During Pregnancy
We see a common theme of pregnant clients coming out after a float session and reporting that the experience felt similar to being back in the womb (if only we could remember this!). You can only imagine the feeling of floating in the warm inviting cocoon of the float tank whilst pregnant. No other group have reported such instant positive effects from floating as much as our pregnant clients!
As with a lot of pregnant clients that enquire, you may be curious about whether it is safe to float during pregnancy? Whilst most doctors have no concern with floating in pregnancy, as with most treatments and activities it is advised to get the ok from your medical professional in the first trimester. It is a known fact that as you go through the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, gravity isn’t exactly in your favour. The lower back becomes increasingly sore, there is discomfort in your muscles and joints, and fluid is retained in your swelling feet and ankles. The zero gravity environment of the float pod offers an hour of weightlessness for a pregnant mum, with the pressure taken off all their limbs, lower back, and their abdomen area. That’s not even the best part, the positive effects of the magnesium in your system last for days after, with increased energy, fluid retention reduced and improved quality of sleep.
Whilst at this stage there haven’t been many research studies conducted specifically on just float therapy in pregnancy, there are known benefits of floating during pregnancy that stand out, and also play a key role in a healthy pregnancy.
Why you need to try Float Therapy if you are pregnant
1. Better Sleep Quality
As a pregnant mama’s belly grows and expands each week, it can become increasingly difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Many women experience disrupted sleep, which can develop into insomnia. The magnesium in the Epsom Salts can act as a muscle relaxant, as well as assisting in lowering stress hormones, therefore floating is a great natural alternative to sleep-inducing medications. The effects from floating can last for several days after, so it can help tired mums get into a relaxed, healthy sleep routine.
2. Magnesium Absorption for Prenatal Health
Magnesium is essential for many different functions in our bodies, particularly during pregnancy. Magnesium Sulfate is found in the Epsom Salts used in the float pod, this is what creates the buoyancy with the water. We can absorb a high amount of magnesium through our skin so this is a great way to ensure you’re getting the recommended intake throughout pregnancy.
3. Relief from Stress
There are many studies showing positive results with floating reducing stress levels. A lot of first-time expectant mums are nervous and stressed leading up to the birth of their baby, not to forget mum’s that already have a toddler or young child to care for! The Epsom Salts, combined with the sensory deprivation environment of the float pod allows you the opportunity to go into a theta brain wave state, where stress hormones are lowered, at the same time as your happy, feel good brain chemicals are increased (with effects lasting for days after). If your stress levels can be reduced during pregnancy, this could also help with healthy development for the baby. Meditation is a great practice to aid in stress relief, and no better environment to meditate than the float pod!
4. Physical Comfort during Pregnancy
We have to admit one of our favourite moments experienced at our beautiful centre is seeing the happy and very relaxed faces of pregnant mama’s as they walk out of their float room. We’ve even witnessed tears of gratitude and relief as they’ve described how it felt after 7+ months of pregnancy to be weightless for an hour. To feel all the added pressure release from their lower back, their tummy, and inflammation easing in their swollen ankles is a wonderfully unique experience. Most women experience aches and pains from carrying a baby (or for some more than one baby) around for months, so you can imagine that the weightless environment of the float pod can provide instantaneous relief. We have several ‘floating during pregnancy’ positions that we can recommend for maximum comfort, and will also put extra floating devices into the pod for you for extra comfort, so let our staff know when booking the appointment in or when you arrive and we will be more than happy to accommodate the most relaxed experience for the expectant mum!
5. "The Mirror Effect"
The float pod is like a womb within a womb for the little human growing inside you! This bonding experience is known in the float community as the “mirror effect”. You couldn’t get a more perfect setting to bond with your baby than in the silent, darkened environment of the float pod. A lot of our pregnant clients have reported feeling their unborn baby’s movements more, or that their baby was really relaxed (bonus for you if it is towards the end of the pregnancy to have a chilled bub).
Other services for pregnant mums
At Freedom Float and Wellness Centre, we have a range of modalities to help you in your pregnancy. This includes floating, pregnancy massage, acupuncture, kinesiology, reiki, naturopathy, hypnotherapy and counselling.
As well as these modalities we also have a range of workshops running at the moment focusing on pregnancy. This includes several 5-week Hypnobirthing courses available. We currently have two ladies running the Hypnobirthing course at Freedom Float - Kirsty (from Birth in Harmony) and Karen (from Believe, Breathe, Birth).
Hypnobirthing - The Mongan Method
The Mongan Method is a complete childbirth education program that teaches expectant couples to view birth as a normal, natural, healthy part of life rather than a medical emergency. In the absence of fear and tension, a woman’s body is uniquely and perfectly designed to birth comfortably, calmly and safely. HypnoBirthing dispels the myths and fears that lead to anxiety and negative expectations about the process of normal childbirth. Working with Kirsty, parents will learn powerful relaxation techniques that enable mothers to be as nature intended during labour and birth. You will leave the course each week feeling empowered, relaxed and informed ready for your birthing day. For more information about Hypnobirthing - The Mongan Method, please contact Karen or Kirsty :)
Pregnancy Meditation Circles
We also have a weekly pregnancy meditation circle for all women to come and share, learn and relax with their bubs, run by Nurture Birth. Nurture Birth also holds weekend workshops. The key skills being evidence and experience based birth knowledge, body/mind connection, active birth techniques, guided relaxation and more. For more information on NurtureBirth's meditation circles and workshops, visit the Nurture Birth page.
There’s no better time to take the best possible care of your mind and body than during pregnancy! After all, you’re floating for two. Feel free to phone our centre on (07) 5535 7778 to chat to one of our staff about booking a float or other service to support you in your pregnancy!