How Can Floating improve the performance of a bodybuilder
How Can Floating improve the performance of a bodybuilder
How can floating improve the performance of a bodybuilder?
We have all heard Epsom salts are great for bathing and proven to speed up recovery of aching muscles for everyone, not just athletes.
Well, what if you took it just one stage further? We mentioned in the Log Lift article that Jon V Williams used the Salt Lake spas in Iceland as a major part of his World’s Strongest Man training schedule. But now, this is available to us all, and the complete relaxation and recovery we can experience is an unbelievable way to escape the everyday stresses of training and life.
Myself and world-renowned athlete Tom Coleman tried floating out to see the effects it would have on us and how 1 hour out of our busy stressful daily routines would benefit from this treatment.
You may have tried bath salts already, but this is totally different. Why? Because these pods are totally silent and contain perfectly heated Epsom salt-dense water which allows even the biggest of guys to float. You simply just lay back, shut your eyes and float, allowing your senses merely to be able to hear your heart beat- and nothing else.
It is proven that when we shut off all outside influences from our senses, such as noise light, smell etc, the brain focuses on recovery and healing the body from all the stress we have placed on our minds and muscles. If you are looking to recover faster, this should be a crucial part of your schedule.
Here are some questions we asked to understand how we could benefit from floating.
How can floating help with muscle recovery?
Floatation therapy combats muscular tension and improves circulation. The magnesium bump also improves muscle and nerve function, as well combating migraines and inflammation.
Floating loosens tight muscles to prevent injury during performance. Floating also releases endorphins that allow athletes to react more quickly to improve performance and prevent injury. Epsom salt provides added relaxation, plus it builds protein in joints. The combination of these things results in less tension afterwards.
Many athletes float after every performance. Floaters note an increased awareness of every body part while floating. This heightened awareness allows athletes to address previously unnoticed tension in their body and alert their physician before it becomes serious.
Floating removes all body weight from the skeletal system and muscles to encourage a high state of physical relaxation. The addition of Epsom salt further reduces the impact on sore muscles and strained joints. Oxygen intake and blood pressure are reduced, while blood flow increases.
This process removes cortisol, adrenaline, and lactate that may build up during performance. All of these effects are beneficial to athletes, expediting recovery time. Floatation therapy creates an ideal situation for recovery far exceeding standard bed rest.
CrossFIT athletes, MMA fighters and long-distance runners have all been utilising floatation therapy for some time. Several major league football teams are incorporating it into their standard practices too. Whether you’re a professional athlete, or play a sport for exercise or hobby, you can benefit from floating.
I struggle to have a good night’s sleep, will floating help?
Float therapy helps you mentally de-stress. This makes it easier for the brain to downshift from alpha waves into theta waves. ... While prolonged sleep may not be possible in a float tank, regular float sessions help regulate sleep patterns, allowing you to sleep better during the night.
The anti-gravity effect the tank produces is physically refreshing. Many sufferers of insomnia find it difficult to relax their muscles at night. Floatation removes the effects of gravity on the body and allows muscles to reach deep levels of relaxation. This is particularly useful for those suffering from back and neck pain. Just one float session can break a long pattern of bad sleep, because one good night’s sleep will lead to another. Give it a try, you may be surprised how good it feels.
How does floating help my cortisol levels?
Floating can dramatically reduce cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is an adrenal hormone that releases when the body experiences stress. Anything disrupting the body’s equilibrium causes cortisol release.
This may be due to a poor diet, excessive exercise, work-related stress, or other everyday situations that upset the body’s balance.
Cortisol causes the body to enter a “high alert” state and should only be released for a short time. Stress hormones are naturally produced as a defence mechanism. This is sometimes referred to as a “fight or flight” reflex: the body prepares us for taking self-preservation measures when we encounter an external threat. This shouldn’t happen very often in our modern world, but stressful facets of daily life can unfortunately encourage cortisol production. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can be regulated with herbal supplements, relaxation techniques and adjustments to your daily life and habits. However, floatation therapy is one of the most effective treatments for reducing the body’s cortisol levels. Floatation also does this without disrupting the body’s natural chemistry by introducing more foreign substances.
How does floating help my mood?
While floating, the body enters a deeply relaxed state and those stress hormones are suppressed while the body’s natural painkillers and “feel-good” hormones, such as dopamine, are released. This allows an individual to balance his or her body chemistry and combat depression without medication.
Blood Pressure/Stress Levels
I suffer with high blood pressure, can floating help?
Stress is one of the biggest factors contributing to high blood pressure. We experience several types of stress every day. A near miss in any aspect can scare a person and trigger stress hormones, such as cortisol, to be released.
The stress we experience throughout the day or on any consistent basis causes stress hormones to release into the body, known as the “fight or flight” reflex. Our body reacts to negative stimuli by bracing us to handle it. However, consistently high levels of stress hormones are very unhealthy. Floatation therapy offers a completely natural remedy for stress.
When you float, your body can regulate its natural chemistry without the influence of external stimuli. The Epsom salts in the floatation tank water also contain magnesium, which is absorbed through the skin and encourages 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.
Lasting Benefits of Floatation
If you’re trying to reduce your blood pressure, floatation therapy is a fantastic way to do so and the benefits last much longer than you might expect. The magnesium in the Epsom salts allows blood vessels to relax as your whole body relaxes. Magnesium is an important substance for regulating several bodily functions, including sleep, but many people are deficient in magnesium and do not realise it.
The benefits of floatation therapy last for months once you start regular sessions, and it gives your body the chance to become accustomed to regular periods of deep relaxation.
pH of the Skin
I am training for a big competition and looking to start tanning soon, does floating effect the pH levels on skin?
Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) are generally neutral and therefore do not affect soil pH, making it either more acidic or more basic. They are a rich source of magnesium, which plants need to remain healthy. They also contribute sulfur, which plants also require. Although acid soil types tend to result in magnesium deficiencies, adding Epsom salt does not relieve the symptoms of imbalanced soil; it only adds the compounds it contains. While sulfur on its own can make soil more acidic, the sulfur in Epsom salt does not.
A skin test to see whether the pH of the skin is affected by the Epsom salt is available.
No Effect on Body Weight
Does the level of Salt mean I absorb more weight when I float?
Floatation Pods use Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulphate) to create a buoyant floating environment much like the Dead Sea. Not to be confused with table salt when it comes to water retention, floating allows the body to absorb magnesium. Magnesium is a very important mineral. In fact, it is involved in more than 300
enzymatic reactions that keep the body functioning. Moreover, increasing your magnesium intake has been linked to helping to reduce water retention.
Salt - Fluid Retention
Will my body increase or decrease its fluid retention while floating?
During floating, there is no noticeable effect on your body weight, however, increased magnesium absorption can be linked with reducing water retention and therefore reducing body weight.
I have suffered with PTSD from life experiences, how can floating help me?
When you start to float comfortably in the float tank, your spine decompresses. It allows the nervous system to relax more. Your muscles and joints remain loose and at complete rest. Floaters feel weightless, which helps to relieve stress from the pressure points and joints.
The temperature of the water matches the outside sensory touch of the skin. It results in losing the sense of water within a few minutes, and you can be touch free. The lack of stimuli allows your brain to confront suppressed images or memories with less traumatic effects.
The level of relaxation achieved in a float tank is similar to that achieved with anti-anxiety drugs or meditation. Many war veterans who suffered from PTSD were encouraged to try a sensory deprivation tank. After using it for three months, it was noted that people experienced less anxiety, hyper-vigilance, and nightmares.
Depression & Anxiety
When athletes get injured or compete, sometimes the isolation causes anxiety and often feel depression, would floating help?
Scientific information on the Anxiety: LIBR in the USA Depression
A depressed brain is a brain that simply isn’t working properly on a chemical level. When you slip into a float tank however, you take the first step towards a more synchronised brain. Flotation can help your brain to slow down and re-synchronise its two halves. This slowed down brain, which may begin releasing theta waves, acts like a brain in deep meditation, calming your body and mind and bringing about relaxation. This meditative state can be very powerful in calming and de-stressing patients who suffer from chronic depression.
Another reason flotation therapy is helpful in fighting depression is because it causes the brain to release a flood of endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain fighters – opioids made specially by your body and they are also good for lifting your spirits. You might also release endorphins when eating a bar of chocolate, or doing something else pleasurable. These feel good hormones produced while relaxing in a floatation tank can help correct a brain deficient in these chemicals.
Along with the positive feelings caused by endorphins, it is not uncommon for those who engage with flotation therapy to feel very peaceful, or even joyful or euphoric. Flotation can result in very clear and creative thoughts, very different from the often cloudy thinking of the depressed brain.
Anxiety is often the bedfellow of depression, and flotation therapy has also been shown to help with this condition. One reason flotation therapy is so helpful for anxiety is because it slows down the more analytical side of your brain, turning off parts of your brain that might keep you worrying or make you suffer from racing thoughts. A slowed down brain is a less anxious brain.
While flotation therapy is not a standalone treatment for depression and anxiety, it can be an integral part of a comprehensive care plan. This natural relaxation process can help change your brain so dramatically that it will change your life.
The Float Tank Today
In recent years, float tanks have experienced a new burst of popularity. An increasing number of people have discovered the wide-ranging benefits of floating and have begun to make the practice a part of their daily lives. Some of the most popular perks of current floatation therapy include the following:
Mental focusing for athletes
Treatment for many health conditions, including fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, rheumatism, depression, and insomnia
***The above taken from http://northwestfloatcenter.com/short-history-evolution-float-tanks/***
10 Celebrities who use floatation therapy
Joe Rogan - Podcaster, Comedian and UFC Commentator Joe Rogan is perhaps the most vocal advocate of the benefits of floatation therapy. ...
John Lennon - Iconic Singer/Songwriter
Carl Lewis- Track Athlete
Jeff Bridges - Actor. Was a close friend of the inventor of the sensory deprivation tank or ‘float tank’ Dr John C Lilly. Lilly used Bridges as an early test subject in his initial experiments with the isolation tanks in the 1970’s making him an early float tank pioneer.
Kristen Wiig - comedian and actress
Elle Macpherson- Australian model.
Tim Ferriss - Entrepreneur and Author of the New York Times Best Seller ‘The 4-hour work week’
Wayne Rooney - English Footballer
Willie Mason - NRL legend
Lisa & Homer Simpson - :)
Stephen Curry - Basketball
Rachel Hunter - Supermodel
Adam Gemili - British Sprinter
Russell Brand - Actor
Tom Watson - UFC Fighter
Phillips Idowu - Silver Olympics medalist - Triple Jump
Wayne Rooney, owner of a float tank, spent up to 10 hours a week to help recover from injuries and went back to training weeks ahead of
Joe Rogan owns his own float tank and talks about the effects of floating on his popular Podcasts.
Phillips Idowu used floatation therapy weekly for a back injury.