PTSD is increasing at an alarming rate amongst active duty servicemen and women, veterans and non-veterans alike. In time, PTSD may lead to multiple prescribed medications, a disconnect from family and friends, and an increased rate of suicide.
Now there is an alternative treatment for these individuals that are suffering from PTSD, called Float Therapy. Float Therapy, as the name hints at, promotes relaxation through a feeling of weightlessness, achieved simply by mixing water and Epsom salt.
More and more PTSD suffers are believing in the power of float therapy. Floating tamps down anxiety in the brain in a way that rivals some prescription drugs and meditation. Commonly prescribed, Ativan, shuts down the amygdala. Post-float brain wave studies show that the amygdala shuts down post-float as efficiently as Ativan,
More commonly known as sensory deprivation, float therapy consists of clients entering a float room filled with 200 gallons of water, and 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt, allowing the body to float on top of the water without any effort. Floaters then have the ability to turn off lights, and sounds, providing them a nearly 100 percent stimuli-free environment.
It’s like a reset button for your brain. If you think of your brain as a computer, you have all these apps that are going to the hard drive, and you’re letting it all reboot.
The lack of stimuli allows the brain to confront images or memories they have previously suppressed.
When individuals with PTSD get into the float room and get to that point of relaxation, they can address the memories and trauma in a calm environment where there’s nothing else there that could hurt them. PTSD suffers feel relaxed in the tank. They feel like it’s secure, and they’re safe, and they can approach the traumatic events in more of an internal counseling session with themselves.
The float industry is seeing individuals sleep through the night after float therapy sessions and weaning themselves off of medications with the guidance of their physicians.
PTSD suffers are finding float therapy to be far superior to other traditional routes, [such as] varying types of drug regiments—one way or another they just temporarily overpower your brain and cause some form of blurred reality—and explaining your situation over and over again to multiple specialists as each one gets to know you and your situation, which caused me recurring internal anxiety and agitation. PTSD suffers find the float rooms, to be the absolute serenity and calmness is entirely therapeutic. Pains and stresses are automatically lifted away without me having to say a word to anyone… or take any new pill.
Float Therapy for PTSD suffers results in the following:
- Deep Relaxation, a loss of the immediate sense of anxiety while in the tank.
- A loss of sense and time, which in turn removes the immediate sense of depression. There are no outside influences to “worry” about while in the float room.
- A feeling of well-being, following the float, similar to relaxation effects of anti-anxiety medications.
- Reduction of “hyper-vigilance,” There is a period of acceptance and lack of paranoia, a “regular” approach to the outside stimuli
- Consistent better and easier, more restful sleep, the floats have been reported to have the ability to remove nightmares associated with PTSD symptoms. Many report that the sleep post-float is better than any drugs they have been prescribed for sleep.