epsom salt

7 Ways Floating Lowers Blood Pressure

Blog Post by Cayla Zahn, A Better Me Spa, July 18, 2016

High Blood Pressure affects over 70 million adults in the U.S. In Wisconsin, high blood pressure affects over 33% of the population (a little more than 1,895,662 people).  Although it causes no symptoms, high blood pressure boosts the risks of leading killers such as heart attack and stroke, as well as aneurysms, cognitive decline, and kidney failure.

While medication can lower blood pressure, it may cause side effects such as leg cramps, dizziness, and insomnia. Fortunately, floatation therapy has been found to reliably reduce blood pressure to healthy levels without the use of medicines or invasive medical treatments.

Here’s 7 ways that floating lowers blood pressure naturally:

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1. Unlike laying on a bed, when you float your entire body is relieved of all contact pressure. With nothing pressing against your body, this allows your blood vessels to fully dilate (vasodilation), instantly reducing blood pressure and maximizing blood flow, oxygen, and red blood cells to your entire body.

2. Each float room is filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate). The Epsom Salts helps to relax your muscles and detox your body – getting you into the deepest relaxation of your life.  The lowered muscular tension ensures better blood flow.  When you float, the Epsom Salts are absorbed through your skin and encourage increased dopamine production. Dopamine is the “feel good” reward hormone naturally produced in our brains. Blood pressure drops when we feel good, so naturally stimulating increased dopamine production is a great way to manage high blood pressure. Magnesium also eliminates the stress hormone ACTH and helps produce Serotonin, which helps you relax and get a better night’s sleep.

3. When you float, you reach a state of equilibrium.  It is marked by deep stillness, and at times you may find yourself barely breathing.  Not only are you physically not doing anything, but there’s no sensory input to process either, so you enter into a state of minimal energy output.  Your body uses less oxygen, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, and your blood pressure is lowered.

4. Be aware of your breathing. Slow and controlled breathing not only keeps the mind and body functioning at their best, it also is a huge contributor in lowering your blood pressure, promoting feelings of calm/relaxation and helping us de-stress. The idea in breath awareness is to distract the mind from thoughts, words and/or images by focusing all of your attention to the natural rhythms of the body. To practice breath awareness in the float room, simply breathe in as deep as possible through the nose, pause a few seconds (not holding the breath but allowing it to flow through the body before exhaling) and then fully exhale all the while focusing your attention on the process. When thoughts inevitably arise, don’t resist them. Simply let them pass like a cloud moving through the sky and gently return your awareness to your breathing.

5. The conditions of the float room, combined with your relaxed internal state, enforce the feeling that the float room is a very safe and comfortable environment.  There is no external stimuli to process, which alone can cause stress, anxiety, and activate your sympathetic nervous system. The usually dominant left hemisphere of the brain is slowed down and the right hemisphere enters a state of increased activity. This allows both hemispheres to synchronize and achieve a state of harmony and balance.

6. The right tunes can also help you get low blood pressure. Stepping into the float room, you first hear the soft relaxation music that helps you enter a state of calm. 

“In a study reported at the 2008 meeting of the American Society of Hypertension, researchers at the University of Florence in Italy discovered that patients with high blood pressure who listened to music for 30 minutes a day — specifically, classical, Celtic or Indian music — experienced a decrease in blood pressure.”

7. Floating is also great for making internal changes that can help in lowering blood pressure, including weight loss and smoking cessation. Check this video with Dr. Peter Suedfield on how Floating helps create long term changes in behavior.  

CONCLUSION

Hundreds of studies with floating have shown dramatic decreases in stress, heart rate, blood pressure, including hormonal and biochemical changes, and increases in physical health and mental wellbeing.  One of the more prominent studies found that

“Results indicate that the flotation condition significantly reduced blood pressure and increased subjective relaxation…the patients systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly more than subjects who only did guided relaxation tapes…It is suggested that floating may be used to treat essential hypertension.”       (Jacobs, Heilbronner, Stanley, 1984)

If you or someone you know is having trouble balancing their blood pressure, floatation therapy is a great way to do so! The benefits of floating last for months once you start regular sessions and it gives your body the chance to become accustomed to regular periods of deep relaxation.

Float away PMS!

Ok gentlemen you can tune this out, this blog is for the ladies! Unless, you want to make the lady in your life smile because you are thinking of her and that trepidatious time of the month when you tiptoe around on egg shells to keep her happy. ;)

This blog is inspired by the changes I have observed in my body with regular floating. This is MY TESTIMONIAL! Over the past 2 months, I have been able to float 2 to 3 times a week and I have noticed some interesting changes in my menstrual cycle. Mostly importantly, I have found relief from my PMS! GASP! What?!? NOOO WAAAYY!!!  

As I have progressed through my 20s and into my 30s, I have noticed my PMS symptoms getting worse.  I spend more time feeling bloated, more time being sore and more time being grumpy! :(
Last month, I noticed that I didn't suffer from the same level of moodiness, bloating and overall achiness. This month, when my Aunt Flow arrived, I was in disbelief.  I didn't have ANY of my pre-period symptoms! NO headache, NO swollen boobs, NO belly bloating, NO low back pain, no desire to eat a pound of salty sweet chocolate covered pretzles and none of the usual misery that I have experienced for the past DECADE!  The only thing different about my life right now is FLOATING! My diet has not changed. I am probably under more stress than ever, getting less sleep and exercise then usual.

I have started to read the book, Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., ODM, DM (P)  and I am learning just how critical Magnesium is for every cell in our body. I also learned that there is a scientific explanation for what happened to my PMS!

"Magnesium plays a critical role in a wide range of essential activities including many functions relevant to premenstrual changes experienced by some women. Magnesium is classed as "nature's tranquilizer" and is so vital in those aspects of the Pre-Menstrual symptoms that relate to anxiety, tension, etc. Women with PMS have been found to have lower levels of red blood cell magnesium than women who don't have symptoms and the supplementation of magnesium has been found to be extremely useful in alleviating many of the PMS symptoms and even more effective when with taken with vitamin B6 at the same time. A Mg deficiency can cause blood vessels to go into spasms, so if you suffer from menstrual migraine Mg can be useful in preventing these spasms. Magnesium is necessary for serotonin symbiosis, which in turn is critical in mood regulation. Mg also appears to promote proper fluid balance, helping to ease the uncomfortable build up of excess fluid experienced by women prior to menstruation. Inadequate magnesium levels have also been found in women who experience premenstrual cravings and appetite changes."

WHOA! Magical Magnesium! 

I realize that most women don't own float centers and that floating 2-3 times a week is not practical or possible for everyone.  Don't worry, you can still get your body the magnesium it needs by simply soaking your feet in an epsom salt foot bath for 20 minutes. Epsom salt is available at grocery stores and pharmacies everywhere.  We also keep 50 pound bags on hand and will gladly sell you a bag upon request.

Any other ladies out there who have experienced similar relief from Transdermal Magnesium Therapy? Tell us about it!  We want to hear your story! Haven't tried Floating or Epsom Salt soaks?  What is stopping you? 

Float Center Construction Part 1...

Let me start this blog with the disclaimer that I am not a professional contractor, nor am I some wildly experienced float center guru. However, my husband and I have spent the last 7 months imagining, planning, designing and building Anicca Float Club from the ground up. We have poured our hearts and souls into learning as much as we can and doing everything we can to get this business off the ground. We have tripped, triumphed, fallen flat on our faces and picked ourselves back up all in the name of Anicca Float Club. It is safe to say, we know more than 99% of the population about float center construction.

So, where shall I begin....I am sure most people have heard the travel adage. "Take half of the stuff out of your bags and take double the money." Well that has some relevancy when it comes to Float Center construction: Add 30% more to your budget, double the time you expect it to be finished, "unpack" some of your splurge items and ditch your extraordinarily high expectations at the float room door. :)

Most of the people I have met entering this industry right now are the pioneers. We are the people with a personal connection and a passion for floating. We are the people scrounging together our savings, asking friends, family and crowd sourcing to help us fund these Float Businesses. Major investors may be making their way into the industry but they are not the dominant force and bank loans are tricky to acquire when the vast majority of the public has never heard of floating.

So, fellow passionate hard working bootstrappers I have a few questions for you:

1) Do you have a full time job?

2) Is your life/work schedule INCREDIBLY flexible?

3) Are you afraid to change furnace filters, change door knobs, screw in light bulbs and use a paint brush?

4) Can you communicate with carpenters, plumbers, electricians to tell them what you want, compare bids and NEGOTIATE?

If funds are limited and you are pretty handy with a power drill, sawzall, floor scraper etc., etc.... then being your own general contractor is a great way to learn heaps and make sure construction is going as you desire.  NO ONE is going to care as much about your business as YOU, NO ONE is going to know as much about floating and the specifics of float center design and NO ONE is going to make sure things are done exactly as you want. We are all human, people misread plans and plans change. Speaking from experience, you are not going to have your architect modify and reprint your master drawings every time a fixture gets moved or the exact location of a floor drain changes. I honestly cannot tell you the number of times we have made last minute decisions that deviate slightly from our original drawings or caught little errors and miscommunications as we have moved through each phase of our construction. Be vigilant and flexible!

A few lessons from the beginning:

1) DO NOT USE FRIENDS- Using a contractor friend sounds great at first, but if you value someone as a friend then I would suggest not hiring them as a contractor.   Misunderstandings, miscommunications an are inevitable.

2) BE SPECIFIC - If you want something you must tell the contractor and WRITE IT DOWN.

3)REFERRALS - Try to find contractors who friends and family have given glowing reviews! This is tricky, because many excellent home contractors do not touch commercial construction. When you reach the commercial level there are companies of all different shapes, sizes, capabilities, union and non-union. Finding the right contractor for size and scope of your job is tricky.   Ask around other small local business owners who have recently opened and see if they have any leads. If you find one great contractor ask him (or her) if he has people he likes to work with.

3) CONTRACT TERMINATION - Consider time clauses and grounds for dismissal on any contractor hired. How quickly do you expect a job to be finished?  Ask the contractor what is a reasonable time frame and then add extra time to buffer and account for unexpected challenges. If the person you hired doesn't show up for 3 days, doesn't call and you want to hire someone  else to complete the work make sure it is written in the contract! A lazy contractor may try to be awarded full compensation for an incomplete job. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest and hardworking

4) DO NOT EXPECT EVERYTHING TO BE ROSY: trucks break down, children get sick,  custom ordered items get lost, sewer mains will not be where they are expected to be, inspectors will show up at the wrong time, there will inevitably be a blizzard and maybe even a few power outages all along the way. It seems like we make plans so that the universe can throw wrenches in them. 

The best plans are flexible! Happy Float Club Owners will recognize the impermanence (ANICCA) of float center construction and take it all with a grain of Epsom salt.