22 Jul We Review: Isolation Tanks!
image courtesy of: GARRETT.FRANDSEN/FLICKR
Have you heard of “Isolation Tanks”?
Apparently, it is the latest health hype in Ottawa! Sensory isolation in a flotation tank is a method known for inducing deep relaxation and subsequent positive health effects for patients suffering from chronic pain, stress, joint pain, post-traumatic disorders or muscle tensions pain. Because we deal in our clinic with patients suffering from pain, as chiropractors and physiotherapists, we reviewed our experience with isolation tanks to let you know what it feels like!
Let’s Talk About Stress First!
Before we get into discussing the Isolation Tanks, let’s talk about stress. We all have stress in our lives. It’s impossible to live without it. Stress – when controlled- can be a positive thing as it mobilizes the nervous system for better awareness and task accomplishment. However, when it becomes uncontrollable and chronic, stress can induce negative changes in our body. The physiological process opposite of stress is called relaxation response. The relaxation response is attainable at a state of deep relaxation, and is the opposite of the “fight-or-flight” response. Relaxation response can contribute in lowering heart rate and blood pressure, improving circulation, and slowly expanding the lungs to accommodate more oxygen. At Kent Chiro-Med Wellness Clinic, we teach our patients how to achieve relaxation response through exercises, treatments, and home care advice. Sometimes, we find it difficult to achieve it – especially with patients suffering from trauma or car accidents. So we are always looking for new ways and strategies to help them!
To achieve relaxation response, you have to reduce or eliminate sensory input (ie. limit processing your 5 senses) and orientation in space (ie. body movements). Unfortunately, a LOT of our chronic pain patients find it difficult to engage in relaxation exercises that will generate a relaxation response. One effective method to elicit such response is through relaxation in a flotation tank. We have tried it and here’s our review!
How do Isolation Tanks work?
The first thing you will do is get into the shower and rinse off any oils and hygiene products off your skin. Once done, you are asked to remove all your clothes to encourage complete contact of the entire skin with water, and minimize sensory interference from clothes. Then, you will turn off the light and slip inside the tank, closing the door behind you. Once inside, a great relaxing position is to be on your back, with your arms positioned on your side, your elbows bent, and your hands close to your head. And then all you need to do is just let it go. The water is exactly similar to your body’s temperature and is so buoyant that it will keep your body afloat effortlessly. There is no way you can drown. Lying there in the dark for 1 hour, you feel lost in space and in time. Everything is resetting for you. Everything is slowly being turned off: your thoughts race slower in your brain, your breathing gets deeper and slower, your heart calms down, your muscles dramatically relax so much that your joints start to stretch. Gravity is no longer an issue. Once done, you can get out, and have a quick rinse in the shower again. You will immediately start to feel great! We have been told the effects can last from anywhere between 3 days to 1 week!
The therapy’s benefits:
Most isolation tank contain a high concentration of Epsom salts (also called magnesium sulphate). This is the magical ingredient! Studies have shown that magnesium and sulphate can both be absorbed through the skin, making Epsom salt baths an easy and ideal way to enjoy the amazing health benefits. Magnesium may play a number of roles in the body including regulating metabolism, reducing muscle tension and cramps, eliminating headaches, alleviating premenstrual syndrome, reducing pain, boosting circulation of blood and nutrients and improving skin quality.
We truly have enjoyed this therapy. Staff and health practitioners at Kent Chiro-Med Wellness Clinic – just like you guys – also have stress and bodily aches from our day-to-day activities. After 1 hour inside the isolation tank, we felt extremely refreshed, at peace, and we got out with an excellent mental awareness. We felt lighter and more positive!
For our patients suffering from a wide arrange of health issues such as musculoskeletal pain, poor stress management, pregnancy-related pain, anxiety, depression, and the list goes on and on: why don’t you try Isolation Tank at your nearest location? Give it a try and let us know how you felt!