3 Million Australians are living with depression according to Beyond Blue . Thats 1 in 6 females and 1 in 8 males having depression that will affect their wellbeing, personal relationships, career and productivity. This hidden illness is continuing to have a stigma attached and many people are avoiding medicinal treatment due to the multiple side effects including weight gain, nausea, loss of sexual desire, fatigue and dry mouth. Recent research has found magnesium (the mineral that your surrounded by during a float session) has been found to treat depression better than antidepressant drugs and that floatation therapy can provide significant short-term relief from symptoms of stress and anxiety!!! So, how does floating help depression?
What is Float Therapy?
Float Therapy, also known as REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) reduces sensory input to the nervous system by floating in a pool of water saturated with magnesium. The float experience is calibrated so that sensory signals from visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, thermal, tactile, vestibular, gravitational and proprioceptive channels are minimized, as is most movement and speech.
Magnesium, An Anti-Depressant
A breakthrough research study conducted at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont found that magnesium leads to an astounding reversal of depression symptoms. Magnesium also has some amazing nutritional benefits and can help prevent mineral deficiencies and chronic disease due to its positive benefits for cardiovascular health, brain health, kidney health and much more.
The most effective way of absorbing magnesium is through the largest organ in the body, the skin. Absorption through the skin allows the magnesium to bypass the digestive system eliminating potential side effects including diarrhoea.
Does Sensory Deprivation Reduce Anxiety and Stress?
In another recent study out of the US, 50 people who suffered from various forms of stress, anxiety and depression trailed had the impact of floating measured on their mental state. Following a 60min float, participants reported significant reductions in stress, muscle tension, pain, depression and negative affect. Floaters also reported an improved mood feeling more relaxed and happy. Almost 75% of the entire sample, and 82% of the severely anxious subgroupgroup, reported that they had achieved more relaxation with Floatation-REST than any of the other treatments or techniques they had tried in the past! This is an exciting prospect for those people who haven't tried floating or are looking to better manage their anxiety, stress or depression.
How Often Do I Need To Float?
The effects of floating are cumulative and the actual number of floats to maintain a healthy mind depend on your individual situation. How stressed are you? Have you got some anxiety provoking things in your life happening right now? Deadlines at work? Children testing the boundaries? Or it just might be a bad time for you. These all affect the frequency. As a guide 1 float per week is a good place to start and increase or decrease from there.