Floating for anxiety and panic disorders

Jun 23, 2024float team

Contents at a glance


1 Introduction
2. What types of anxiety disorders are there?
3. Floating in science
4. How does floating help with anxiety and panic disorders?
5. How often should I float?
Sources


If you suffer from severe anxiety or panic disorders, we recommend that you consult a doctor or seek psychological counseling beforehand. We will be happy to support you in adhering to an existing therapy plan in consultation with your doctor.

For therapists or those interested in science, we refer you to our page"Floating in Science" and the Float Research Collective . There you will find current study results and further research on the mechanisms of floating.

1 Introduction

Fear protects our body from potential dangers. It helps us to react quickly in threatening situations and ensure our survival. But what happens when this fear becomes disproportionately strong? When it becomes a constant companion in everyday life and affects our daily actions?

When excessive fears occur in objectively non-threatening situations , we speak of an anxiety disorder. They are often accompanied by rapid heartbeat, dizziness, sweating or the feeling of losing control.

While common treatment methods exist, such as taking medication or psychological therapy, another form of therapy for anxiety and panic attacks is becoming increasingly popular: floating .

Weightless in salt water, in a protected environment and without visual, tactile or auditory stimuli. A unique environment for our body and brain that is increasingly the focus of science.

In this article, we talk about the types of anxiety disorders and how floating can help you live a life free of anxiety and panic.

2. What types of anxiety disorders are there?

Anxiety disorders can often be divided into three main types, which are similar in their symptoms but usually have different triggers:

phobia

Phobias are caused by specific triggers such as crowds, animals or certain objects. Those affected are often familiar with the triggers and avoid situations that confront them with a trigger.

Panic disorder

Panic disorders are characterized by sudden panic attacks without any identifiable trigger. They typically subside within a few minutes. Panic disorders can, for example, be accompanied by agoraphobia, the fear of places where it is difficult to escape.

Generalized anxiety disorder

In generalized anxiety disorder, sufferers suffer from constant, vague worry about possible misfortunes. This leads to permanent inner tension and various physical symptoms.

3. Floating in science

Floating has its origins in space research. The first aim was to investigate how the human body behaves in weightlessness and in the absence of external stimuli. It was soon apparent that the low-stimulus floating environment has a refreshing reset effect on our heads - and it does so in a completely natural and more profound way than traditional forms of relaxation.

The low-stimulation floatation environment does not require any medication and does not require you to share personal secrets with a stranger. It is just you and the water. It couldn't be easier.

Dr. Justin Feinstein | Director LIBR Float Clinic & Research Center

In clinical research, floating is now referred to as Floatation-REST ( Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) is increasingly being researched.


Effect of floating on anxiety levels ( Feinstein, JS, et al. 2018). All 50 people reported significantly lower anxiety levels after floating.

To gain an insight into current research results on floating for anxiety and panic disorders, we recommend the following lecture:

W e recommend the following lecture on the topic "Floating against fear"

4. How does floating help with anxiety and panic disorders?

Floating is now increasingly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. For example , soldiers with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders use the low-stimulus float environment to find their way back to everyday life.

Floating has the advantage of not requiring any prior knowledge and leading to a noticeable increase in serenity after the first session . The reduction in anxiety leads to a feeling of calm and relaxation that lasts between 48 and 120 hours - a great clinical success.

In the long term , regular floating can permanently reduce the body's tension levels , making it a valuable tool in both therapy and the prevention of anxiety.

How floating helps you:

  1. Stress reduction: Previous research has shown that regular floating reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol . This reduces stress levels and thus also the susceptibility to anxiety and panic disorders .

  2. Mental relaxation: The low-stimulus and protected environment promotes the formation of theta waves in the brain . These are responsible for deep relaxation and help the body to regulate tension and worries.

  3. Physiological relaxation: In the protected float environment , the breathing rate slows down, blood pressure drops and heart rate variability increases – physiological signs that our parasympathetic system is activated and we relax.

  4. Improved sleep: Many people who suffer from anxiety and panic disorders report sleep disorders. Floating puts our body into a state of deep relaxation that promotes inner peace and clarity . Many affected people report significantly better sleep quality after floating in clinical results.



In severely restricted patients, floating leads to a significant reduction in muscle tension and anxiety (red bars) and a simultaneous increase in calmness and relaxation (blue bars). A unique combination with which floating actively treats and at the same time acts as a comprehensive form of mental wellness .

5. How often should I float?

Studies show that regular sessions at short intervals (days to weeks) produce the best results . For therapeutic purposes, we therefore recommend doing 2-3 sessions to begin with . With each session, the environment becomes more familiar, allowing the full potential of floating to be exploited. Consultation with a therapist is recommended to ensure optimal support.


    Cope with anxiety and panic attacks – make floating your routine

    It is annoying and limits your quality of life: excessive fear. Floating can be a promising method for dealing with anxiety and panic disorders. What is special about it is that floating is 100% natural and does not require any artificial supplements. If you suffer from severe anxiety and panic disorders, we recommend that you seek medical help. Feel free to talk to your doctor about floating and do not hesitate to deal openly with your fear.

    Book your relaxation now

    Sources

    Feinstein, JS, Khalsa, SS, Yeh, HW, Wohlrab, C., Simmons, WK, Stein, MB, & Paulus, MP (2018). Examining the short-term anxiolytic and antidepressant effect of Floatation-REST. PloS one , 13 (2), e0190292. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190292

    More articles