I’m a free runner. I don’t listen to music or podcasts. My multitasking while running is reserved for creative thinking, meditations and mantras. After a year hiatus from all things fitness, I began running 3 months ago. And two weeks later, I began regular floatation therapy. The post-float feel-goods definitely last longer than they did in the very beginning, and the benefits seem to re-saturate themselves in peace for a couple days after every hour in the pod. It seems as though the volume of my mind’s chatter is turned down. I’m able to fall asleep without much tossing or turning and wake up without calf or hamstring tightness.
Since starting floatation therapy, I’ve been able to even go on my long runs without cutting them short because of planter’s fasciitis pain. I also sleep like a baby on the days with morning runs and evening floats. Less stress and better sleep can only move the needle in the athlete’s direction, right?!
Floatation is not a short term, one time-all-your-problems sort of experience, but it’s definitely one of many tools that can be a valuable addition to any person’s healthy-living toolbox. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to float multiple times a week, especially during these first few months back in the fitness game.
Did you ever play sports or ride horses during your adolescent years? I certainly did. I opted for contacts in the 4th grade because my sweaty little face would cause my glasses to fall while riding my horse, Cracker Jack. I loved jumping, trail riding, and essentially all things that could be done on the back of the horse; and like any form of physical activity, riding made my muscles sore. My mom would fill the bathtub up with a cup or two of Epsom Salt and lavender essential oil after my lessons. I’d soak until the water became tepid and noticed a huge difference in my rides the following day. If I didn’t soak for an hour after my time with Cracker Jack, I would feel exponentially sorer during my next ride. And that was soaking for an hour in an open bathtub with a mere 2 cups (at most) of Epsom Salt! Now, imagine a pod carefully monitored to keep water at the surface temperature of the skin which is 94.2 degrees. Also imagine a whopping 1,100lbs of Epsom Salt in that pod that becomes completely dark with the tap of a button. That’s 3.5lbs of salt per every 1 gallon of water! If 2 cups significantly improves muscle inflammation, imagine what 1,100lbs will do!
Remember, floatation therapy doesn’t only benefit runners and horseback riders, it offers an array of gains for any person who participates in physical exercise. Since John Lilly began studying the effects of floatation and sensory deprivation tanks in the 1950s, an array of research continues to reap extremely positive results. Athletes have been enjoying the benefits of Epsom Salt baths for a long time, so adding isolation, sensory deprivation and a literal half ton plus of salt, floatation therapy has become an integral part of many athlete’s training. Find some benefits of Epsom Salt below.
-Speeds recovery from injuries, sore joints and muscles
-Reduces lactic acid build up
-Rapidly eliminates fatigue
-Helps reduce pain and inflammation
-Reduces cortisol levels
-Relaxes and focuses the mind
-Aids visualization and self-hypnosis
-Improves oxygen circulation