Floatation therapy offers new way to ease pain, reduce stress

Floatation therapy offers new way to ease pain, reduce stress

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MMA fighter says therapy provides relief

A new twist on an ancient therapy, floatation therapy, is attracting people who want to ease pain and reduce stress. The therapy relies on huge amounts of a simple ingredient.

Greg Fischer, who makes a living giving and learning how to take hits, said he doesn’t feel great at the end of the day.

“Sore and tired, but I come back the next day because I love it,” Fischer said.

The mixed martial arts fighter recently added an element to his training program that takes him out of the ring, and into a 4-by-8-foot tub.

“When you’re in the float tank, it’s complete relaxation. No one’s bothering you. You calm down. Your breathing slows, your heart rate slows,” Fischer said.

Flotation therapy takes place in a dark, quiet tank packed with Epsom salts.

“It’s only 10 inches of water. That 10 inches of water is heated to skin temperature, and it’s about 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts. It’s more buoyant than the Dead Sea,” Eddie Abney said.

Abney added the Mind, Body & Soul Float Spa to his gym to help fighters like Fischer cope with chronic pain.

“(It provides) joint pain relief, neck pain, back pain, overall recovery like what’s required of professional athletes,” Abney said.

Athletes aren’t the only fans of float tanks. The owner of Mind, Body & Soul Float said his clients range from people who just want to relax to clients with autoimmune disorders and even a veteran with PTSD who said floating relieves his symptoms.

Dr. John-Paul Rue of Mercy Medical Center said the dark, relaxing environment encourages meditation while Epsom salts ease pressure on the body.

“If you can unload or take the stress off a joint or muscle that’s having pain or discomfort, you can relieve some of the problem in that joint,” Rue said.

The orthopedic surgeon believes that floatation therapy may ease pain.

“I think it has a very good role for people with arthritis, people with muscle strains,” Rue said.

But he sees it as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, not a magic bullet.

Fischer said he floats to soothe his body and align his mind.

“I’m in there, no one’s bothering me. I’m just left with my thoughts. I visualize my fight, what I’m going to do, what I’m going to do the next day. It just gives me time to think,” Fischer said.

It also allows time to tune out all the noise in the ring, Fischer said.

Floatation therapy typically costs between $45 and $60 an hour.

via: WBALTV 11

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