Float Therapy For Those Suffering from PTSD and Trauma
For those who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, there is hope. Exposure and cognitive therapies are helping individuals effectively manage PTSD symptoms; furthermore, research has shown the benefits of float therapy can help further alleviate the condition’s effects on patients’ lives. Also known as REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy), this method requires individuals to spend time in sensory deprivation tanks filled with water heated to body temperature and containing Epsom salts for maximum buoyancy, which helps provide relaxation and stress relief benefits.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a profoundly complex mental health condition that can be triggered by exposure to severe trauma. Those living with PTSD may experience flashbacks and nightmares, powerful emotional reactions, difficulty managing emotions, and avoiding reminders of the traumatic event. Although the symptoms of PTSD vary from person to person, they typically lead to disrupted daily functioning, including impaired ability to perform regular duties at work or school.
Perhaps most tragically, many individuals with PTSD struggle with interpersonal relationships and feelings of isolation or guilt. The general public and healthcare providers alike need to have an understanding of how trauma impacts those living with PTSD so that people can receive the best available treatment for their individual needs.
Who Suffers From PTSD?
Trauma is a longstanding and universally acknowledged consequence of war and abusive childhoods. Estimates suggest that up to 20 percent of American veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan and up to 30 percent of Vietnam combat troops endure post-traumatic stress disorder at least once in their lifetimes. These alarming numbers remind us how paramount it is for all those affected by trauma to receive the care they need during this challenging period.
Symptoms of PTSD
Although there are many signs and symptoms of PTSD and anxiety disorders, they can be broken down into four categories: intrusive memories, avoidance of trauma reminders, changes in emotional reactions, and negative thinking.
- Common intrusive memories associated with PTSD include flashbacks, intrusive or overwhelming thoughts, and nightmares.
- Common avoidance responses to trauma triggers can include avoidance of specific people or places and dissociative states such as feeling detached or having difficulty remembering aspects of the experience.
- Changes in emotional reactions experienced with PTSD may include difficulty controlling emotions, irritability, exaggerated jumpiness (hypervigilance), and distorted feelings of guilt.
- Lastly, negative thinking often seen in those with PTSD includes a sense of diminished self-worth, persistent negative beliefs about oneself, and expectations that those around them will cause harm.
Floating and PTSD
1. Stress Relief
Those living with PTSD know all too well the damaging effects of stress. Fortunately, float therapy for PTSD and trauma has proven to provide tremendous relief in just one or two hours inside a float tank – leaving you feeling relaxed and refreshed, less affected by negative symptoms.
2. Alleviates Comorbid Disorders
People who have PTSD often experience an array of associated problems, such as depression and problematic substance use. Thankfully, a healing modality is available that offers immediate relief from these comorbid disorders – floating. It has proven to eliminate chronic pain sustained through physical traumas or combat-related wounds, allowing for sounder sleep while reducing the impulse towards unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking. In turn, this improved sense of well-being enables those struggling with PTSD to confront their trauma more effectively than before.
3. Enhances Meditation
Recent studies have revealed the potential of an intriguing combination therapy for PTSD: meditation plus one simple enhancement – floating. This form of treatment has proven to be highly effective in reducing symptoms. Research demonstrates that its calming and restorative qualities further enhance it within a float tank environment.
Floatation Therapy Sessions Backed by Scientific Studies
Float therapy has been around for years as an effective alternative medicine. In 2013, a study came out in the Open Journal of Medical Psychology of a woman who was experiencing PTSD along with other severe anxiety disorders and ADHD. This woman received float therapy sessions and experienced significant relief from her nervousness, racing thoughts, and fears. She stated that she felt more energized and confident to face life.
Dr. Justin Feinstein is a neuropsychologist who has done much research studying float therapy’s effects on PTSD patients. He strongly supports floatation therapy because he’s dedicated a complete laboratory to the study. He has stated that float therapy reduces mental illness’s effects and increases mental wellness.
There is also an array of personal accounts on the effectiveness of float therapy and PTSD. One such case is Michael Harding, an Australian soldier who suffered from PTSD from his traumatic experiences of being under siege and seeing much death. After being discharged from the hospital, he experienced nightmares, sleep issues, emotional distress, and anxiety. While medication and talk therapy proved unhelpful, he felt his hyper-vigilance and anxiety subside after just three sessions in float therapy. Three months of float therapy helped him mellow out and feel confident and comfortable once again.
Floatation therapy is an evidence-based and beneficial treatment option for individuals suffering from PTSD and trauma. Individuals can approach this therapy without fear since it has proven to provide many positive results in a relatively short time with minimal risks.
Floatation can be a viable mental health tool for those seeking relief from traditional modalities such as psychotherapy or medication. Its increased use allows therapists to continue thinking critically about other wellness initiatives that could make it even more successful in treating PTSD, trauma, and related disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and OCD.
As this treatment gains traction among the mental health community, more studies may lead to discovering further avenues of comfort and healing for those struggling with psychological afflictions. Floatation therapy is a promising breakthrough in the field of both physical and mental health care.
If you or a loved one are struggling with the debilitating effects of PTSD, it’s time to take action and try Float Therapy at Utah Therapeutic Massage & Bodyworks in Pleasant Grove. Float Therapy could be the answer you’ve been looking for, with its proven ability to reduce stress and anxiety, ease physical pain, and promote a sense of overall well-being.
Don’t let PTSD control your life any longer. Take the first step towards healing and book your Float Therapy session today. You deserve to experience the transformative benefits that Float Therapy can offer. Let us help you feel like yourself again.