Information and reviews of standard and holistic treatments, survivor stories, and available resources concerning mental health and trauma.
Please be advised that the content found here is not medical or professional advice, we are purely trying to share our experiences and knowledge we have acquired as we too navigate the complexities of trauma.
months I have been researching salt floats/sensory deprivation tanks for a holistic and natural treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I finally got the courage
to book an appointment at a semi-local facility, (Hiler Chiropractic and
neurology in Naples, Florida http://www.feelamazing.com/ ) to try it out for myself.
Salt floats have been boasted
to reduce stress levels, lower anxiety, depression, chronic pain and enhance
the effects and experience of meditation. Recently anecdotal evidence has been
collected for the benefits of floating for Veterans with PTSD sprouting several
Veteran focused programs at individual facilities. So I wondered does it work
for PTSD from different traumas too? The more I dug through the internet for
information the more I realized I needed to try it out for myself I couldn't
find any published articles relating to PTSD and Sensory deprivation that
didn't focus on veterans alone.
Going into my first floating session I
tried to keep an open mind. I didn't want to come into this experience with too
high of expectations just to be let down. The thought of finding relief from
the sometimes overwhelming anxiety that comes with hypervigilance or pain
relief from my sore muscles from having flashbacks was so appealing that even a
small improvement would make this experiment a success.
After filling out our intake paper work we
watched the following video to prep us on what to expect.
We then walked into the ocean float room it looked like a spa suite. In the entry way was a sit down area where you could
decompress after your float. The next room housed a large walk in shower where
you rinsed off before stepping inside of the "tank. In this case the float
area was behind a recessed looking door that opened up to a room/ large
bathtub. The tank/tub ( different style than shown in video) was 8 feet long by 4 feet wide and filled with about 2
feet deep of water. The water was mixed with 1,000 pounds of Epson salt which
is the element that would make you float effortlessly.
My husband was the first to try. As I
waited I prepped by trying to center myself and listen to guided meditation
videos on YouTube. Once Greg was done I was mentally ready to step into the
tank. After a quick rinse off I stepped into the tank with earplugs in. The
tank had several different light features for anyone who didn’t want to lay in
the dark including a light up constellation above you a blue lights to light up
the water. I particularly liked this style of tank because the ceiling was high
(7 feet verses some pods that close only a few feet from your face when you lie
I chose to leave on the stars
as I adjusted to weightless floating. At first I had trouble allowing myself to
float without trying to hold my neck up but soon I realized I could relax every
muscle in my body and the Epson salt would handle the rest. I closed my eyes
and let my body melt into the water which was the same as resting body temperature.
The lack of temperature difference gives
you the illusion that you are one with the water, almost like you are floating
in space or having an out of body experience. The pain in my knees, back and shoulders
began to disappear. Then the pain in my neck became dull, at this moment the dull
pain was all I could focus on because I couldn't feel, see or hear anything
else to preoccupy my thoughts. But quickly this dull pain subsided too. Once
all my senses were deprived I was left with nothing but my thoughts. I lost
track of time and couldn't decipher whether I had been floating for 5 minutes
or two hours. I embraced the lack of restraint and let my mind clear itself.
When I meditate I try to picture a white dot that slowly grows. I visualized
this white dot at the center of my body as it expanded it felt like my body was
glowing in a way an aura would appear. I don't know how long it took before I
was able to completely clear my mind and replace it with white space but it
felt like I was in a sleeping/ dream state while being aware of the euphoria.
Out of nowhere my leg twitches and I am brought back for a second but almost
immediately fall back into nothingness. My leg twitches again it happens almost
5 times I think it was my brain trying to verify I was still connected to my
body. At this moment I had a wave of nausea and sweating that lasted maybe 2
minutes. We were warned that nausea could be a sign of detoxing...it must have
been because I felt great after! I spent the rest of my time picturing tranquil
When my time was up I spent the last few
minutes enjoying the water by pushing myself from top to bottom of the tank
like I have seen my children do as babies/toddlers in the bathtub... laying on
their back pushing with their feet and then catching the other side with their
hands. I let myself do a couple twirls in the water like a seal and came to terms
that it was time for me to get out as my 60 minutes had ended.
I exited my cave and my senses heightened. As I acclimated to life outside the
tank I showered off the salt then exchanged stories with my husband about his
It has now been 6 hours since I completed
my first salt float session for PTSD and here are my take aways:
left with a sense of overall calm
had melted down to a easy to handle level
left feeling happy
first hour I felt a little dazed
soreness in my knees did come back (may be from the rain we are currently experiencing)
the pains in my neck, shoulders, and back are still gone
skin is dry...definitely need to moisturize after but I thought I didn't need
the provided lotion, lesson learned
not touch your face while in the tank or you can get salt in your eyes! Next
time I will keep them closed cause I am incapable of not touching my face.
finally there definitely will be a next time! I can't wait to go back (from
what I read first float can help reduce symptoms temporarily but the float
effects last longer the more treatments you attend.
Is this something you would like to try? I highly recommenced looking for groupons in your area I was able to buy this session at almost a 70% discount! with a coupon code it was $26 for an hour session usually priced at $85 at this facility!