floating for ptsd
floating for ptsd
Floatation therapy provides a rare opportunity to unplug from the routine and chaos of daily life. Many people dealing with stress or anxiety can find relief in the float tank, but perhaps no group needs that relief more than individuals suffering from PTSD
Part of our ongoing mission here at Float Fremantle is to make floating accessible to the people who need it most. Every day of the year, we offer a $10 off discount for all active and retired military personnel, law enforcement, WA Fire & Rescue, St John Ambulance Service WA and RSL Australia.
Furthermore, for every 10-pack we sell, we donate a float to those suffering from PTSD. If you think you qualify for one of these floats, please email us at [email protected]
We would love the opportunity to introduce any individual suffering from PTSD to the nurturing physical and emotional relief that can be found in the float tank. If you’re new to the idea of floating, please take a look at our FAQs, and then feel free to contact us with any remaining questions you might have.
Australian soldier Michael Harding, featured in Time’s 2015 article on floatation therapy, developed PTSD after spending hours under siege and witnessing the death of his second-in-command. After his medical discharge, he suffered from anxiety, sleep problems, nightmares, and emotional distress. Talk therapy, medication, and alcohol didn’t help, so when Harding’s wife found mention of floating in online forums, he tried it. As Time describes:
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a tragic and sometimes debilitating disorder that can develop after an individual survives a trauma. Feeling fear and panic during a dangerous situation is normal (essentially, that is our fight-or-flight response), but PTSD develops when those agitated feelings and symptoms linger long after the trauma has passed.
Symptoms of PTSD can be incredibly debilitating, although they can vary depending on the person affected. Symptoms include(1);
While combat veterans are perhaps the most well-known segment of the population that experiences PTSD, the disorder can also occur when an individual survives a disaster, car accident, physical or sexual assault, or even witnesses a family member or loved one experience danger, harm, or death. Estimates from the Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder suggest that between 5 to 10 per cent of people will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives. However military veterans, especially those who served in combat situations, and members of search and rescue teams are much more likely than the general population to suffer from PTSD.
Living with PTSD is not easy, but treatment options are available—and as a complement to traditional methods of treatment such as cognitive and exposure therapy. Fortunately, floatation therapy is a natural therapy that can help alleviate PTSD symptoms and nurture physical and psychological healing.
Floating Relieves PTSD-Related Stress. First and foremost, floating has a proven track record of reducing stress. Especially for PTSD sufferers who experience ongoing anxiety and tenseness, an hour of complete quiet and calmness in a float tank can be an incredible relief.
Floating Alleviates Comorbid Disorders & Symptoms. A person suffering from PTSD often develops one or more related disorders (clinically known as “comorbid disorders”), such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse(2). Floating can provide immense and immediate relief to many of these related disorders, as well as relief from the chronic pain that many survivors of combat wounds or physical traumas may carry with them years after the initial event.
While treating these symptoms is not precisely the same as treating PTSD, an individual who feels less pain, gets a good night of sleep, and is able to curb unhealthy smoking or drinking habits is very likely to feel better overall—and be better equipped to confront and deal with the trauma behind their PTSD.
Floating Enhances Meditation, a Complementary PTSD Therapy. Finally, floating can enhance one of the most promising alternative treatments for PTSD: meditation. Multiple studies(3,4) have shown that meditation practice combined with traditional therapy can improve the severity of PTSD symptoms—and there is a growing body of research that indicates time in the float tank makes meditation more accessible and effective for its practitioners.
Many people suffering with PTSD have reported finding great relief in the float tank. Here are just a few of their powerful testimonies:
Chief Master Sgt. Michael A. Roberts described his float experience. Roberts, who suffers from PTSD as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), said the practice of seeing multiple different medical specialists over and over exacerbated his stress stemming from the incident that caused his injuries.
“Float therapy is far superior to other traditional routes, [such as] varying types of drug regiments—one way or another they just temporarily overpower your brain and cause some form of blurred reality—and explaining your situation over and over again to multiple specialists as each one gets to know you and your situation, which caused me recurring internal anxiety and agitation,” he said. “I’ve tried them all. When I’m in the float pod the absolute serenity and calmness is entirely therapeutic.”
Roberts said the peace he achieves is entirely internal and self-perpetuated. “My pains and stresses are automatically lifted away without me having to say a word to anyone… or take any new pill”
immerse yourself in resources
immerse yourself in resources
Float research holds exciting news for anxiety & PTSD. Time magazine takes a look into the the Float Clinic and Research Center at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Surf therapy is being used to help mend broken soldiers returning from war zones with crippling PTSD as well as children suffering conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism. Clinical neuro-psychologsist Justin Feinstein is attempting to reverse the symptoms of crippling anxiety disorders based on this theory, using only a sensory deprivation — or floating — tank.
Learn how the Navy SEALs are using float tanks for recovery, improved sleep, to rewire the brain, accelerate learning, and treat concussions.