I’m going to be the first to admit that I am not the best at making time for “me time.” It is incredibly hard for me to switch out of “mom mode” and into just “Wendy mode.” It’s not because I don’t still have a self that is separate from motherhood, but more because my husband works long, crazy hours and getting some time away is actually just hard to schedule. Recently, my husband had some time off work so I finally treated myself to something I’ve been wanting to try for about a year: flotation therapy.
I first learned about flotation therapy when I was searching late at night about postpartum depression. I haven’t been shy about the fact that I have had severe postpartum depression following the birth of my second child. I was really surprised in my research when I found that one symptom can be sensory overload. Sensory overload is something I struggled with in my younger years, but it came raging back in a HUGE way after my second birth. If you’re not familiar with it sensory overload happens when you’re getting more input from all of your senses than your brain can process. It can cause you to be incredibly irritable, unable to rest even after you’ve gone to a quiet place, anxiety, high levels of sensitivity to textures, fabrics, anything that rubs your skin, and it can make being touched incredibly hard. When I started learning more about postpartum sensory overload I saw that one case I was reading about used flotation therapy to help with it, and I was intrigued.
Flotation therapy, also known as sensory deprivation therapy, is used for REST(restricted environmental stimulation therapy). The flotation tank has about a foot of body temperature water that is saturated in epsom salt. The tanks are soundproof, and some are completely dark while others have the option for a little light. The idea is that while you are floating you are essentially cut off from any outside stimulation such as sound, gravity, and sight. It allows the mind to go into a deep state of relaxation. Some of the health benefits of floatation therapy are:
- Improved concentration and focus
- Improved athletic performance
- Treatment of anxiety and depression
- Enhanced creativity
- Chronic pain relief
- Back and joint pain relief
- Reduces stress
Where I went to float there were two different types of flotation tanks. Here is the link to a short video from the float spa I went to about the difference in the float tanks they have Chamber tank vs cave tank. I used the tile cave tank when I went. It is completely sound proof, and they also provided ear plugs. There was an option to have a small amount of light on, or to float in complete darkness, in this tank. My float was to be 90 minutes. You start by showering first, and then you enter the tank. There was a small pool noodle if you needed it to go under your neck. I started with a little light and the pool noodle, but after fifteen minutes I got rid of the noodle, and turned the light off. Once it was just me floating in complete darkness, with nothing but the water touching me, and complete silence I was finally able to get my mind to turn off. I did not fall asleep, but I definitely fell into some sort of deeeeeep relaxation. It was the first time in years my mind was just off, and I wasn’t worrying about anything, I wasn’t thinking about a to do list, my mind was just asleep. For me this is HUGE. I also noticed that all the aches and pains I have from giving birth twice, and carrying around two toddlers everyday were gone. That was amazing!
I decided to do my float in the morning because I read for some people that floating gave them the sensation of a really long nap, and then they were wide awake. That was definitely the case for me. I left feeling like I had the best nights sleep and was ready to conquer the day. If you’re a mom you know that your brain doesn’t get to shut off very often. I think even when we are sleeping we are still worrying about things for the next day so it was a complete refresh to just have that 90 minutes of no thinking. I’ve only done it once so I can’t speak on long term benefits, but I can say that just one float improved my mood, improved my aches, and reset my senses being on overdrive. I definitely plan to make this a monthly, possibly bi-monthly routine.
If you live in the Atlanta area you can check out Flo2s here. I highly recommend them! You can also check them out on Instagram at @flo2s.
Here is a great article about flotation therapy: information about flotation therapy.
Here is a wonderful article explaining sensory overload: Sensory overload.
Thanks for stopping by!