Floating Without Gravity : The Mechanics And Effects Of Floatation Tank Therapy

Many who take up floatation therapy usually describe their experience as floating with gravity, once a fringe activity, more and more we are seeing floatation pushed further into the mainstream. The method itself is simple, and was created over 60 years ago during which time multiple experiments were done. The main aim of this was to render the human body without outside stimulus, as much as entirely possible, then measure the effects it has on the mind and body.

The effects of floatation tank therapy have found positive benefits such as dramatic decreases in mental stress, improved muscular recovery, improvements for sufferers of chronic back pain, along with improvements in cognitive function such as enhanced creativity, confidence and learning ability.

Floating Without Gravity : The Mechanics And Effects Of Floatation Tank Therapy

For many years people began making their own tanks as a hobby, the method used is actually fairly simple, and the creation on a tank can be done by almost anyone with basic construction skills and knowledge of swimming pool or aquarium keeping.

First a tank has to be created, large enough so it is possible to lay down with both arms and legs extended, secondly is the tank must be sealed, and a door added to enter and exit. It also must be sound proof, to cut off the bodies stimulus from outside noise, and there must be the ability to stay in the tank without a light source operating, to remove any visual stimulus.

Once such conditions have been achieved, the entire tank must be waterproofed to handle the 500kg of Epsom salt and water that is required, the specific gravity of this water should be 1.25 and the water should be heated to the temperature of the human body, at between 34 to 37 degrees Celsius.

The water will also need to be filtered regularly, and cycled to prevent any accumulation of bacteria and fungus, this is usually achieved by a small spa style water pump and filtration system, importantly it must be able to handle highly saline conditions, as such some people prefer to use equipment built to handle extremely large salt water aquariums.

These marine pumps and filters suit the conditions perfectly, and can save money compared to specially built floatation tank systems. The main reason for such specialised filtration is the salt content of the water, if you were to use items designed for a regular pool, or a freshwater environment, a majority of these use metal parts which will rust and corrode under the conditions.

The most commonly used pumps are extremely large magnetic pumps, made up of parts safe for marine conditions, a secondary tank, which provides direct UV light is also essential to kill off bacteria, algae and fungus.

For the best water conditions, the filtration system should be able to filter as little microns in size as possible, there are filtration kits on the market which can filter down to 1 micron, far smaller than any disease causing items, however still large enough so that the Epsom salt solution will not block the filter. The majority of swimming pool filters only provide filtration of particles down to 20 to 30 microns, for the most effective filtration, the filter should be able to trap particles of between 1 and 9 microns in size.

Building the tank itself is often a simple process, however over the last 10 years, a large number of companies have started up, selling direct to the public do it yourself parts for creating your own tank, and there are a number of well known companies which sell completed floatation tanks too.

These tanks are very large, so most people keep them in their garage or basement, where they do not impact on liveable space. If space is an issue, there is always a large number of floatation tank centres in most major cities, where you can rent the use of tanks for an hour or more at a time.

Once almost forgotten since experiments ended in the 1950’s, floatation is quickly gaining popularity globally as a unique style of health treatment, a large variety of people from all walks of life are taking up floatation therapy, and modern research has once again begun to find out the positive effects from the treatment itself.

Athletes benefit from using the tanks for rest and recovery purposes, office workers and others employed in high stress environments often experience the treatment as a way to release stress and perform better both at work and in everyday life. Artists and writers are also known to benefit from floatation as a means of increasing creativity and insight, the list is almost endless and effectively everyone will find some positive benefits from the floatation therapy technique.

For more information on floatation therapy, please visit the Rest House Float Centre website.

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