There are many benefits to float therapy, but it is most famous for providing sensory deprivation during pregnancy. Many pregnant women find that floating helps them deal with the discomforts of pregnancy and even provides relief from pain caused by conditions like sciatica. Research has shown float therapy can also help reduce anxiety, stress, depression and blood pressure in pregnant women.
What Is Float Therapy?
Float therapy, also known as sensory deprivation tank therapy, or REST (restricted environmental stimulation therapy), is a method of relaxation that involves lying in warm water inside a float pod/tank. The idea behind floatation therapy comes from the observation that when you put your body under stress by depriving it of light and sound stimulation, the brain produces endorphins to reduce pain and help induce a meditative state. In other words, floating can make you feel great!
Is Float Therapy Safe for Pregnant Women?
While floatation therapy during pregnancy has not been studied in depth, there is no evidence to suggest it would be harmful. Some studies even show that float therapy may help reduce anxiety and depression during pregnancy! However, you should always consult your doctor before trying any new type of treatment while pregnant.
What Are Float Pods or Tanks Like?
Floatation tanks vary in size and shape but usually feature a watertight body filled with roughly ten inches of warm saltwater. The person floating then lies on the surface of this dense fluid, which allows your entire body to float effortlessly without feeling any gravitational pull! This means you can swim in mid-air without having to support your head or neck at all. Your ears will be below the surface, so it’s crucial to equalize them by pushing up when going underwater (some float centers also provide earplugs). People who float say they feel weightless and describe their experience as similar to being suspended in space.
Does Health Insurance Cover Float Therapy?
Unfortunately, floatation tanks are typically not covered by most medical plans. However, some float centers offer discounts to those with chronic conditions like back pain or anxiety disorder who could benefit from daily float sessions. Float centers require you to get their doctor’s approval before signing up for floatation treatment. This ensures they’ll be able to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments (e.g., changing the time of day you float) to maximize results!
What Are the Benefits of Float Therapy for Expectant Mothers?
Float therapy is known to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and slow heart rate. This can help expectant mothers deal with the physical discomforts of pregnancy while also reducing feelings of depression that are sometimes associated with being pregnant.
Some studies have shown that float therapy can relieve chronic back pain, including sciatica, which affects many women during their pregnancies! One study found floatation to have a positive effect on patients suffering from severe chronic low back pain.
Floatation is an effective relaxation method. It suppresses stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones cause feelings of anxiety or sadness. Float centers also offer floatation sessions targeted specifically for people with PTSD, which can be very helpful if you’re suffering from any postpartum mental health issue.
Floatation is known to induce a state comparable to REM sleep. This means that floating can help pregnant women establish a nighttime routine by mimicking how it feels to fall asleep naturally! Your float center may offer special sessions for expectant mothers who experience difficulty sleeping at night (insomnia).
Floating has been shown to reduce excess saliva production, so many float centers will provide your first session with or without mouthwash depending on what they’ve found works best for most customers. Excess saliva during pregnancy can cause some people to feel nauseous. Throwing up is one way our bodies remove toxic substances like heavy metals. If you float daily, you’ll reduce your exposure to heavy metals and other environmental pollutants, which can help ease your morning sickness symptoms.
Engaging in float therapy during pregnancy is a good idea. The myriad of benefits that come with sensory deprivation therapy for both mother and baby should not be overlooked. Furthermore, floatation therapy is a great way to relax during pregnancy, whether you’re dealing with back pain, experiencing general body aches or having difficulty sleeping at night.
Related Content: Spotting in Early Pregnancy
There are many changes that happen to the body during a normal pregnancy. A first time experience with something like spotting or light bleeding during pregnancy can wreak havoc on the expectant mother’s nerves. Spotting in early pregnancy is a good example of something that can be entirely normal as part of pregnancy in the first stages. Yet, spotting can also be a sign of a problem. It is important to understand when everything is likely fine, when a doctor should be called or when an emergency is in progress.