How Floating Can Reduce Chronic Pain

By Art of the Float

Chronic pain is a silent epidemic. A persistent pain lasting longer than six months, it’s an affliction that often draws devastating consequences for its sufferers. If left untreated, this disease can cause patients to isolate themselves, struggle professionally, and cause difficulty focusing.

How chronic pain progresses 

Evoking both physical and psychological elements of pain, the issue can swiftly turn into a cycle. The body’s neural and hormonal response to extreme pain can induce a continuous stress reaction in the body, which, in turn, bolsters and prolongs the pain. 1 in 5 people are going experiencing this chronic cycle of pain.

A quick look at chronic pain symptoms

  • Joint pain.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Burning pain.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sleep issues.
  • Loss of stamina and flexibility due to decreased activity.
  • Mood problems, including depression, anxiety, and irritability.

This is not an exhaustive symptoms list. Chronic pain can stem from numerous illnesses, autoimmune diseases, disorders, and other ailments, making its exact parameters hard to pin down. In short, what constitutes chronic pain can vary from person to person. However, we do have an understanding regarding which illnesses and diseases are most likely to be the root of chronic pain.

  • Ailments associated with chronic pain
  • Arthritis.
  • Repetitive stress injuries.
  • Headaches.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Lyme disease,
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Post-trauma pain.
  • Postsurgical pain.

Can chronic pain be treated or cured? 

Unfortunately, there is no catch-all cure for chronic pain. As a comorbid ailment, there’s no fixed target for medical professionals to aim for. However, if the cause/s can be ascertained, several treatments can be applied. Pharmacological therapy, physiotherapy, and psychotherapy, just to name a few. To that end, a mixture of medication, surgery, rehabilitation, and physical therapy is often administered to chronic pain patients.

A look at other possible treatments 

A global chronic pain community has formed in recent years, largely thanks to the internet. While primarily concerned with advocacy, education, and fund-raising, there is an off-shoot of those who’re unsatisfied or disillusioned with modern medicine’s approach to chronic pain.  

This uncertainty surrounding chronic pain has moved many in the chronic illness community to look towards alternative treatments. There’s a keen focus on mindfulness, yoga, stress control, and other similar remedies. However, since chronic pain is hard to define or contextualize, such alternative treatments have also piqued the interest of researchers and medical professionals. Often, they’re willing to delve into any possibility in the hopes of solving the seemingly unsolvable.

Could the Answer be as Easy as Doing Nothing?

Floatation Therapy uses sensory deprivation for healing purposes. It’s believed that without the distraction of external stimuli, the mind is sharpened and alleviated of worries/anxious thoughts. 

To achieve an environment conducive to sensory deprivation, tanks are filled with salt-saturated body temperature water. Thus, upon entering the floatation tank, the subject should be wholly buoyant and at ease. The lid to the tank can be closed, allowing no light to enter, and all noise is blocked out. 

Flotation tank therapy is becoming mainstream

In recent years, floatation tanks have seen a rise in popularity, particularly among wellbeing and lifestyle-focused communities. The most commonly held belief is that sensory deprivation allows the mind to slow down and reset, potentially remedying psychological conditions but not curing them. Interestingly, while research on the topic is still in its infancy, so far, the consensus is that there’s some truth to these claims. 

Does research lend credence to Float-REST’s ability to combat chronic pain?

Going further still, claims have been made to substantiate the physical benefits of Floatation Therapy. Considering what we know about the psycho-somatic connection, such a hypothesis could be viewed as the intuitive next step. Researchers at Hannover Medical School, Germany, decided to take the leap and conducted a randomized trial focusing on the use of Floatation Therapy for chronic pain. For their trial, they used a 99 patient sample of men and women aged 18 to 75 years who had been diagnosed with chronic pain disorder with psychological and somatic factors.

The test consisted of 5 treatment sessions lasting 60 to 90 minutes, with each session separated by four days. Overall, the results showed the group had experienced short-term effects in terms of pain relief, improved quality of sleep, lower stress levels, and reduction of anxiety. We can conclude that float-REST as a therapy for chronic pain looks promising.

We invite you to experience floating for yourself and those you love who have to deal with chronic pain on a daily basis. 

Floating Away Back Pain

By Art of the float

What do stress, aging, and disturbed sleep have in common? They can all lead to back pain and decreased quality of life. Back pain is debilitating for many, often limiting mobility and preventing people from maintaining a productive and active lifestyle. Nowadays, chronic back pain has risen to epidemic proportions. This has been attributed to busier schedules and a decrease in time reserved for exercise and relaxation.

In search of alternative solutions

Pain professionals are now seeking alternative methods to manage chronic pain, especially for back pain. After extensive research and many studies, they have come up with a solution that provides long-term relief – and one that doesn’t depend on expensive and addictive drugs that could harm your health. If you’re in this situation (i.e. experiencing back pain) and not getting long-term relief, here are the ways in which floatation may help you in getting rid of your back pain:

  • During floatation, you relax, floating on body-temperature warm water with no pressure points on your back on any other part of your body. The lack of gravity in the floatation tank helps your spine find its natural curve gradually, causing decompression in the vertebra of your spine. This process relaxes your muscles and eases your back pain.
  • Relaxation through the weightlessness of floating creates a deep relaxation state that causes a decrease in the production of the cortisol hormone. High levels of cortisol can over-activate the nervous system. Consequently, when there is less cortisol, the nervous system can calm down allowing a decrease in the feelings of pain. Ultimately this can result in noticeable relief from back pain.
  • Floating speeds up the production of endorphins. Endorphins are the “happy chemicals” released by the brain. When you suffer from back pain, it impacts and limits your daily life routine, which oftentimes impacts mood. Floating encourages the production of endorphins which promotes a sense of well-being. Endorphins are also known to dull pain response.
  • Spending some time without the weight of gravity helps your back and shoulders enjoy healthier and comfortable positions. After some sessions, you may carry over these healthier positions into your day-to-day activities, easing pain in your back. During weightlessness, your joints and bones will be relieved from the pressure of gravity, allowing you to rest and recover.
  • Floatation tanks contain several hundred pounds of Epsom salt which contain large amounts of Magnesium. Magnesium acts as an anti-inflammatory agent when absorbed in high levels. As a result, floating and by extension the absorption of magnesium can relieve back pain caused by the inflammation of muscle tissues, decreasing pain throughout the body.

There are a couple of studies by renowned experts confirming the effectiveness of floating in the management of back pain. A study conducted by Anette Kjellgren (Karlstads Universitet), Ulf Sundequist, Torsten Norlander (Karolinska Institutet), and Trevor Archer (Sapienza University of Rome) conclude flotation “may offer an effective method of alleviating low to moderately severe pain induced by muscle tension.”

If you are experiencing back pain, it’s the right time to book an appointment and see how floating can help you!

Call us to reserve your float: 514-271-7515

To learn more about float therapy at Ovarium, click here.


Kjellgren, Anette & Sundequist, Ulf & Norlander, Torsten & Archer, Trevor. (2001). Effects of Flotation-REST on Muscle Tension Pain. Pain research & management : the journal of the Canadian Pain Society = journal de la société canadienne pour le traitement de la douleur. 6. 181-9. 10.1155/2001/768501.

Turner, J. W., Jr, & Fine, T. H. (1991). Restricting environmental stimulation influences levels and variability of plasma cortisol. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 70(5), 2010–2013.

Falling asleep in a float tank

Trouble falling asleep?

By Art of the Float

The benefits of 7-8 hours of sleep are well known, and much has been written in recent years explaining how it can affect a whole range of physical and emotional processes. After a long day most of us are looking forward to a good, restorative night of sleep, but we’ve all experienced restless nights spent tossing and turning. The following day often results in looking forward eagerly to sleep and then staring at the ceiling when it’s finally time to rest again. What can we do if we already follow all the recommended sleep hygiene tips? Can floating help us to more easily access that deep level of relaxation needed for restful sleep? Read more

Floating Can Help Reduce Stress

Float therapy has been proven to reduce stress and really clear your mind, man.

Posté par The Huffington Post sur 17 février 2016

Huffington Post Video on Floating

A Huffington Post video on the benefits of the float tank

Les nouveaux convertis aux Bains-Blottants


Dans un article du New York Times publié le 2 décembre 2015, la journaliste Courntey Rubins parle des « nouveaux convertis aux bains-flottants ». Elle fait mention de Gina Antioca qui décide de quitter son emploi comme directrice de banque pour ouvrir son propre centre de bains flottants à Brooklyn. Elle remarque une baisse substantielle de son niveau d’anxiété et une grande amélioration de la qualité de son sommeil à la suite d’une première séance. C’est au printemps 2015 que Mme Antioco et son associé ouvrent le centre « Lift/next level floats » offrant trois bains flottants à 99 USD par heure de flotte.

L’actrice Jessica Pimentel de la télésérie « Orange is the New Black » est une cliente régulière du centre Lift. Elle parle des bienfaits des bains-flottants sur sa santé physique et convertit ses amis, son frère, sa belle-sœur ainsi que Joe Caputo qui est aussi acteur dans « Orange is the New Black ». Dans l’article, on compare les bains-flottants à l’acuponcture et au yoga.

La compagnie « True Rest », fondée par Nick Janicki, va s’associer à une grande chaine de centre de conditionnement physique en mai prochain. Ils planifient installer trois bains-flottants en fibre de verre dans les trois prochains centres à ouvrir et de rapidement augmenter à 20 autres. Comme Gina Antioca, M. Janicki a aussi quitté son emploi pour se dévouer à la cause après une seule séance de flotte.

Les bains-flottants gagnent en popularité chez les athlètes élites, spécialement chez les joueurs de football et les combattants d’arts martiaux mixtes. Tom Brady le quart-arrière des Patriots de la Nouvelle-Angleterre est propriétaire d’un bain flottant provenant d’une compagnie dont les tarifs commencent à 22,500 USD.

Les Centres de bains-flottants aiment mettre l’accent sur les bienfaits que la thérapie apporte à la créativité. Dans les lounges post-flotte de décompression du centre Lift, les visiteurs peuvent écrire dans des journaux leur expérience ou jouer avec deux kaléidoscopes ainsi qu’un bol chantant de l’Inde.

Selon une biographie de John Lennon publiée en 1988, le chanteur aurait réussi à se débarrasser des sa dépendance à l’héroïne en 1979 avec l’aide de 90 minutes de flotte à l’intérieur d’une boîte en bois de cèdre. La crise du SIDA a mis un frein à l’enthousiasme que les bains flottants généraient dans les années 80. Même à ce jour, les centres de flotte se font une priorité de faire part de la propreté et du haut degré de filtration des eaux pour sécuriser les clients qui craignent la transmission de maladies.

Pour une somme de 34 USD, on peut maintenant se procurer des plans pour bâtir son propre bain-flottant sur le site avec des matériaux moyennant un coût de 2750 USD. La compagnie « Zen Float » dit offrir le bain-flottant « tent-tank » le plus abordable jamais fait pour une somme de 1800 USD. La compagnie a atteint son objectif de 90 000 USD, sur « Kickstarter » en moins d’une semaine en avril 2014 et on vendu 186 unités avant que leur période d’un mois de « funding » se termine.

On voit de plus en plus d’adeptes qui repoussent les limites de la flotte à des niveaux de marathoniens avec des sessions d’une durée moyenne de 3 à 6 heures. Le centre « Float On » a des clients qui sont dans les bains pour 12 heures et un cas qui fait des sessions de 24 heures avec des pauses pour aller aux toilettes.



Article original “Sensory Deprivation Tanks Find New Converts ” de COURTNEY RUBIN publié le 2 décembre 2015 dans le New-York Times traduit et résumé par Philippe Lepailleur pour le Spa Ovarium.