Updated: Jul 29, 2020

Floating in an antigravity environment while you cleanse of toxins and refresh yourself with essential minerals while completely relaxed. It is so good for you!

Ask Float Doctor with Elizabeth Heitzmann, LPC

DEAR FLOAT DOCTOR: A friend of mine has a membership at your place and swears by the many benefits of floating. I am a little confused about what happens. I heard that people fall asleep while floating all of the time. My friend said that because of the deep state of sleep you’re able to get into while floating, an hour sleeping in the tank is equivalent to four hours of sleep. Is that true? I am more so interested in the detoxification that is mentioned about floating. How does it detoxify? ~Curious in Sheboygan

Dear Curious: We have 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts in each of our 3 tanks at our facility. Epsom salt (MgSO4) is not the same as table salt (NaCl) and is absorbed by the largest organ of our body: the skin which has an amazing ability to filter toxins and deliver nutrients to the entire body. Absorbing magnesium via the skin while floating is said to be superior to taking oral supplements since the digestive system generally inhibits assimilation into the body’s cells and the magnesium is often flushed out. A damaged gut can also make absorbing magnesium and other minerals through food or tablets more difficult. Floating gets it directly into the cells of the body and stimulates down to the cellular level to synchronize to a restore and reset frequency called theta.

This process is initiated by absorption of Magnesium which is required in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Getting a fresh resource of supersaturated magnesium can put these chemical processes into overdrive while in a meditative state to later function better and more efficiently for more than a week beyond the float session. Magnesium is the lightest structural metal used today, some 30% lighter than aluminum. The body can repair the central nervous system our “biological wiring” and strengthen bones with this bioavailable metal dissolved in the solution.

Sulfate is a critical resource of extracellular matrix proteins, it aids in the detoxification of drugs, food additives, and toxic metals from the body. It also prevents blood from coagulating during transit through capillaries. Both of these elements are absorbed to optimum levels and are part of the natural detoxing that happens when floating.

Fun fact, float therapy is said to have the equivalent cleansing effects of a 3 day fast!

The book, “The Magnesium Miracle,” reports on a study in which cells that were deficient in magnesium were twice as likely to experience attacks from free radicals, thereby increasing wrinkles, and causing other issues like anxiety and skin conditions or exasperate digestive problems. Low levels of magnesium in the body increases production of histamines, which can cause respiratory and other symptoms in our body.

I hope that explains the detox part well enough. It is a complicated process, but seeing people have measurable swelling reduction after a single float is evidence enough for many.

As far as the deep state of relaxation question, the first ever users of these tanks reported feeling not only relaxed but had even deeper experiences including “personal discovery” and “self-actualization”. The calmness opened their psyches to connect to themselves better.

Float therapy is designed to promote calmness and tranquility, eliminate fatigue, reduce inflammation, detoxify, improve sleep, and alleviate stress and anxiety, all while energizing, rejuvenating, and revitalizing the mind and body. We love seeing our clients’ glow after their sessions.

Thank you for your question, we look forward to helping you soon!! Hopefully your contribution will help others as well in their journey to healing. Check out our website for more information. There are some great videos to help you better understand floating at: www.floatdr.net. Find yourself at Float Doctor!

Event Coming up: 2nd Year Anniversary Party: October 16, 2019 at 4:00pm. Refreshments and fun for everyone.

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Ask Float Doctor with Elizabeth Heitzmann, LPC

DEAR FLOAT DOCTOR: My brother had chronic back issues and arthritis problems for decades. I hear about how much better he feels after his floats he’s doing. While he had chiropractors, pain pills, PT, you name it all, it was after he started floating when I began to see my old brother come back. He swears by it and wants me to float especially because I have fibromyalgia. I finally tried it when I visited him in Washington. I was super nervous about feeling claustrophobic. I kept breathing as they said I should. They advised to just “let everything go” like you said in your last article. I moved around in the tank and it was much roomier than I thought. I got antsy after what felt like 10 minutes. I just kept thinking about how much time might have passed. I couldn't shut off my brain. Then it felt like I noticed my pain more. That made the thoughts go again. I have to say, it was pretty amazing in that antigravity environment, but I was so worked up I had to get out early. 30 minutes later I see my brother strolling out to the lobby grinning from ear to ear. I want to feel like that. My fibromyalgia is so debilitating and makes me miserable. I have tried everything. I cry often. I might stay in bed all day and get nothing done. Then feel worse. It is a never ending battle. I think I might want to try again since reading your article about anxiety. If I can get half of the results of my brother... I want to Ask Float Doctor if it’s worth it to try again and if there’s a difference in the equipment that can make it better for me. —Pained And Scared

DEAR PAINED: Thank you for taking the time to share your story. My heart goes out to you.

You are not alone, though your pain is uniquely yours.

In those cases, a plethora of medications can be prescribed, with their own possible side effects. I don’t need to indulge that topic here, but we all know of the addictive potential as well as the lethal results in our society from pills, patches, injections and medications that can help, but can also be dangerous. Chronic pain has a nature of its own in a person. I know of this personally as I have neuropathy and struggled tremendously before I found floating. I know that pain often has predictable patterns but can also “flare up” unexpectedly causing varying degrees of disruption in a person’s relationships, quality of life, or ability to fulfill responsibilities. This struggle creates a very high risk for depression. I definitely encourage you to consider a therapist to help you untangle the feelings and what you really want for yourself for when you start to feel better.

I can also say that floating has helped me have far less flare-ups. If I over-do-it by say, lifting too much salt to reconstitute the tanks, I just get a float in soon and I feel back to normal very quickly. Floating is an amazing all-natural tool to reset our nervous system and flush out inflammation to promote enhanced healing. Float therapy has helped me manage pain to a whole new level than I could have ever managed before. I want you to learn that. It takes several times to get the shut down to reset your system, but it is absolutely worth it. Now that you have an idea of what to expect, I truly want to inspire you to try again so you can get some much needed relief from your fibro symptoms.

Recommendations to have a more successful float:

• First, don’t have any caffeine the day you plan to float.

• Think about floating as planning to take a nap. Prepare to be tired when you arrive by getting up earlier than usual and/or going to bed later the night before so increased fatigue can get you to that relaxed “shut down” state a little easier.

• Don’t worry about the time. We have everything handled for you. Our staff wants you to have the best float possible! For that to happen, you have to fully cast any worries aside and let us completely take care of you during your scheduled time with us..

• Try “crocodile breathing”: Take a deep inhale using your abdominal muscles to expand your lungs until "full". Hold for a count of two, then exhale slowly until feeling “empty” of air. Hold for a count of two. Inhale and repeat at a pace that is comfortable and calming, (don’t get dizzy). Feel the cool air pass into your nostrils. Practice this at home so when you float, you are ready. The moment you forget about time, space, and your body is when the magic begins to happen.

-Because of your pain condition, it is common to temporarily feel like your pain is more amplified since there is no other stimulation. You can become very aware of the pain your body is experiencing. If this happens, know that you are very close to the shut down and reset. Go with that anchored calm frequency your body is changing to. Acknowledge the pain, but don’t ride those feelings like a bronco. Connect to the breathing and focus on your presence. Imagine the pain is like a cloud of smoke you can move past. Believe that you are more than the pain that is happening. Your spirit is stronger than those misfiring nerves. Allow the hydrotherapy to create a "new normal" to increase your resilience of the pain.

There are many studies on float therapy providing amazing results for most pain conditions. Studies suggest people with fibromyalgia need about 7 sessions to

start to notice real lasting benefits. We see similar results in our clients and recommend the longer session whenever you are “treating” some condition. This is why we now offer a free week of unlimited floats with every membership so our clients can learn to shut down the mind and turn off that over-stimulated system.

Conditions like yours are like living with a fire alarm on all the time and no one even burned a pizza! Let floating turn the alarms off.

While each person's pain is unique, there are 3 very basic fundamentals of any kind of pain: 

#1 Tissue Damage

#2 Activated Nerve Responses

#3 Inflammation

Initially, floating mainly helps with #2 and #3, due to reducing both the nerve response (through surrendering to the sensory deprivation) and drawing out inflammation from areas that have injury or tissue damage. With the shutdown, the body can experience enhanced healing to address #1, which has compounding effects with more float practice.

When a person achieves the full relaxed state in a float session, all sensory nerves will cease firing. Activity will increase in the brain for a short period and this is likely what caused that “antsy” feeling you had. Just breathe through it and don’t indulge it. Disengage from anything that does not feel good. Knowing this information will definitely help for next time!

Our float center has three Float Lab Hydrotherapy cabins. There are general similarities with float equipment: they’re dark, have a ton of Epsom Salts, and have some type of cleaning process. Float Lab equipment meets the highest standards of sanitation of any commercial float tank on the market and is the only brand I know that provides an all-natural experience without any added harsh halogen chemicals or hydrogen peroxide in the solution. Providing 21 floats per day has really opened my eyes to the amazing recovery that a single session can do. Our clients inspire us every day, feeling better than when they came in. Thank you for your question, we look forward to helping you soon!! Hopefully your contribution will help others as well in their journey to healing. Check out our website for more information. There are some great videos to help you better understand floating at: www.floatdr.net. Find yourself at Float Doctor!

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Updated: Jul 1, 2019

Floating Your Way To a Healthier You… Long Term Use of Anti-Anxiety or Sleep Medications Could Increase Dementia Risk over 50%

DEAR FLOAT DOCTOR: Help! I have been using sleep aids on and off for 2 years now. I’ve also been taking Xanax for anxiety for the last 12 years. I saw on BBC that long-term use could increase my potential risk to develop Alzheimer's. I also ended up seeing this on other reputable websites when I looked into it more. This makes me very concerned and kinda scared as I had two grandparents with this horrible condition.

So, I decided to stop taking them and now I can’t even count on getting 3 hours straight of sleep. I am very restless and have increased bouts of anxiety about taking anything now. I need to do something to treat my insomnia and help me manage this anxiety better. It seems to be affecting so much in my life, my work and my relationships. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I am very tempted to take the pills, but I don’t want to increase my risk of losing my mind, though I feel like I am already losing it by not taking them. Urgh… I heard floating is a natural therapy that can improve sleep and reduce anxiety symptoms. How does it work? Can it help me? --Desperate for Answers

DEAR DESPERATE: You are not alone in your struggle. Roughly 30 percent of the population battles with insomnia at some point in their life. Research reports that nearly 3 million individuals each year get help with difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Anxiety is even more common affecting 40 million people. There are medications for these issues, and they come in many different classes. What you are referencing relates primarily to benzodiazepine drugs. Long-term use is generally defined as “3 months or more,” though there are many different views on this. We highly recommend that you discuss these concerns with your prescribing physician.

Regarding your question about how floating helps, I can tell you from experience that people fall asleep all the time at the center while floating. Depending on how wound up a person is, it may take some time to decompress. There are techniques to achieve the “down shift” that comes with floating, which allows you to get the results you want, both inside of the tank and beyond.

Floating is also referred to as sensory deprivation because there is no light or sound present so that the user can get to a point of not even noticing his or her body. Upon entering the cabin, you will find that you float effortlessly in the solution, which consists of 1,000 pounds of pharmaceutical grade Epsom salts and 250 gallons of water.

Let me briefly explain what happens to the mind and body during a float therapy session:

➢ The brain turns off vestibular and proprioceptive functions which may inform you to reposition because your arm is not getting adequate circulation, or your blankets need adjustment because you feel hot or cold. These brain processes occur when you sleep and are more vigilant when you are awake.

➢Since there are no pressure points perceived while floating and the temperature is set at “skin-receptor neutral” those processes release their control while floating. This is the “reset” that occurs in the body and mind, which is akin to restarting your phone. This is the unique anti-gravity experience and sense of overall calmness to help you sleep more soundly and have reduced anxiety symptoms.

➢ A shut down of 15 minutes or more resets your inner frequency to a relaxed state so your body and mind begin to quiet. Some people achieve this the first time they try, and others may take 3 to 5 sessions, depending on their level of anxiety. Most people may shift in and out of this shut down several times. The longer a person can stay in the shutdown state, the more refreshed a person will feel afterwards and the longer the effects outside of the tank.

➢ Putting these functions “on standby” may take some practice to get the lasting benefits. With regular float practice you will teach yourself to calm naturally.

➢ The “turning back on” of the senses restores some of the default operations to reestablish functioning to a more manageable level. This will reset you to a more relaxed “normal” that can last for days.

Simply go into the treatment as if you are about to take a bath. Once you are in the cabin:

1 Take slow breaths.

2 Release thoughts that pop into your awareness.

3 Let the magic happen...

We advise you to “let everything go.” Dump anything out of your mind that does not assist in obtaining a relaxing state. In a float tank you will discover that you are so much more than the thoughts in your head and the body you move around. Connect to the real inspiration and purpose that is inside of you. Set the responsibilities and expectations free.

The reality is that we just don’t realize how jacked up we are until we get into a float chamber. We normalize our anxious state to do what we think we need to do every day. Floating is essentially a time to perform some maintenance on the mind and body similar to how we shut off the engine to refuel our car. If we don’t make time for our car needs or personal health needs, we will be forced to do so at perhaps a less convenient time with potentially more problems than if we had addressed it more regularly and proactively.

Floating truly is an amazing tool to improve overall health and inspire creativity. It is useful for chronic pain conditions, detoxifying, reducing inflammation and migraine relief. I know I can’t get into everything that floating does in this response but feel free to check out our website for more information. There are some great videos to help you better understand floating at: www.floatdr.net. Find yourself at Float Doctor!

Do you have a question about floating at Float Doctor? Send us a message on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, write us at: Float Doctor Questions, 640 South Pier Drive, Sheboygan, WI 53081; email us at doctorfloat@gmail.com, or stop over. We love sharing floating!

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