Floating Fundamentals: Flotation
This is Part Two of a three-part series exploring the basic elements that make up floating: Magnesium, Flotation, and Sensory Reduction.
The Struggles of Active Living
If you’re like me, you love to move. We run, jump, pedal, spar, throw, lift, and ski. Moving keeps us healthy and happy, but it can also beat us up. All that moving puts stress on our joints and compresses our spines. It biases specific muscle groups and can lead to imbalances. We usually don’t notice the effects of all our moving until something starts to ache. Unfortunately, pain often comes hand-in-hand with the activities we love so much.
That’s only half of the story, though. The pressure that compressed joints and muscle imbalances put on our nerves doesn’t always result in discomfort, but it can still affect our functionality and overall physical performance. Nerves that are inhibited in any way send weaker signals and therefore produce weaker contractions. Without a consistent effort meant to decompress the body, you may have untapped strength and ability waiting to take you to the next level.
How Flotation Helps
Next time you’re at the pool, wad up a t-shirt and throw it in the water. What you’ll see is that the shirt doesn’t stay wadded up. Instead, it unfolds and stretches out until its density is evenly distributed on the surface of the water. The same thing happens when we lie in a float tank. Flotation relieves the pressure that our bodies normally experience in everyday life, and we completely relax and begin to stretch out. As we learned in our last post, the magnesium in the water releases tension in the muscles, allowing our joints extra room to expand. This is one of the reasons floating has been shown to assist with chronic pain. Removing that pressure on the nerves specifically can also increase the electrical output to the muscles, resulting in faster and stronger nerve signals.