It’s true: people love to travel. There’s just something deep inside many of us that gives us an undeniable wanderlust. Whether it’s the drive to experience new things, a desire to return someplace you’ve loved, or just the whim to pick a direction and see what’s out there, most people feel that pull sooner or later.
Still, while travel can be an amazing adventure, it sometimes carries stress along with it. One of the most insidious and dreaded forms is the phenomenon known as “jet lag.” Or, the fatigue that comes from experiencing a significant shift in time zones. But even if you’re flying straight north or south without needing to reset your watch, tiredness from travel can be a real bear to deal with.
Let’s start with the time zone pickle. Domestically, the effects of traditional jet lag can be noticeable, but mild. If it’s noon in Los Angeles, it’s only 3 p.m. in New York. Usually, a quick coffee is all you really need in that case.
But what about international travel? That same noon in LA is 8 p.m. in London. 11 p.m. in Moscow. And in Tokyo and Sydney, it’s already tomorrow. So, whether traveling for business or leisure, adjusting to a completely different schedule can really cramp your traveling style.
Even staying within the same time zone is no guarantee you won’t de-plane pretty wrung out. It takes just as much time to fly from Miami to Toronto as it does to jet from Chicago to Las Vegas. So even though you’re not necessarily messing with your perception of the hour when you land, it can still be a pretty exhausting day of travel.
There are a lot of theories as to why travel tension happens, and how to alleviate it. Some health experts have suggested that extended time spent at elevated altitudes may be partially to blame. There’s even a school of thought gaining momentum that says strolling around barefoot in the local earth may help literally ground us, and “reset” certain electrical charges in the body.
Thankfully, there’s a significant range of evidence that indicates floating can be very effective in re-orienting your internal clock to promote improved restfulness. Since some studies suggest that an hour in a float tank can be equivalent to a 5-7 hours of sleep, many travelers report some success with using floatation therapy to “reboot” their topsy-turvy sleep schedules.
So…how does it work?
Sleep may be something we all do every night, but the science of how and why we sleep still holds many mysteries. However, one thing science does seem to agree on is that we all have a personal, interior set of sleep-regulating patterns referred to as “circadian rhythms.”
These rhythms are a complex set of deep-seated brain-wave patterns that govern when we sleep and how deeply. They can be affected by many things. Stress, diet, work schedules, habits, and – of course – travel all factor in to the maintenance (and/or disruption) of the circadian cycle.
And when this happens, many jet-setters swear by floating as a means of helping to “nudge” their sleep cycles back into a workable state.
Supermodel Elle MacPherson reportedly cites floating as the ideal way to keep herself in top runway-strutting shape no matter where she travels in the world. So does her friend and fellow model Jessica Hart, who touts tank time as a means of “resetting” her baseline sleep cycle, saying, “afterwards you feel super chilled and rejuvenated.”
Actress Naomie Harris agrees, having recently told Balance Magazine, ”I’ve discovered that the only way to combat the effects of traveling is to immerse myself in a dark pod, filled with salt water and float for an hour. It’s all about sensory deprivation and works a treat. I go straight there from the airport, but my dream is to have my own tank at home.”
Still not convinced? Health coach and wellness blogger Jenny Sansouci points to floating as the best way to beat the jet lag blahs, saying that “one of the most celebrated benefits of the float tank is getting deep, deep rest.”
“When I take a long international flight, I have a little jet lag trick that I use as often as possible: I book a session in a float tank immediately when I land at my destination. If I do a 60-90 minute float upon arrival, it always makes my body feel rested and rejuvenated from the long day (or days) of travel, and significantly reduces the recovery time I need to feel like myself again.”
Still need more? CNN recently listed floating as an effective jet lag therapy, alongside melatonin supplements, and Japanese water massage. They write:
“New treatments such as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST), also known as isolation tanks or flotation therapy, could also provide some perks for frequent travelers due to its ability to recalibrate your internal clock. In Europe, REST flotation tanks have been a popular practice since the 1980s. They are used for relaxation, encouraging creativity, and treating problems such as anxiety, swelling, insomnia and jet lag.”
Of course, none of this is to suggest that you NEED to have traveled recently in order to stop in to Float Milwaukee. Still trying to catch up on lost holiday sleep? Burning some midnight oil hours to make up for time off of work? Or are you still having a tough time adjusting to Daylight Saving Time messing with your schedule? Hey, we’ve got you covered. Just book a tank trip, and get the rest you need on a schedule.
And even if you’re headed out somewhere (as opposed to back home), we’d still suggest you find a float center upon arrival – especially if you’re traveling internationally. There are countless float centers around the world that would be more than happy to help you get your rest cycle back into shape, so you can better enjoy your trip.
And of course, the next time you step off a red-eye back home feeling a little bent up from dealing with cramped bathrooms, tight seats, and a stiff neck from fitful naps against the window, we’ll be happy to help you take a load off, and get back on your feet…fast.
Pregnancy can be a magical time, to be sure. There’s just something extraordinary about growing a whole new human. Charting the progress, counting the days, preparing space in your home and your life…there’s nothing else quite like it.
Of course, it’s not all pastels and baby showers. It’s also swollen feet, aching backs, sore joints, and intense fatigue. Expectant moms are in for a lot of intense physical changes that can really take a toll on their body in the run-up to their bouncing bundle of joy’s arrival. To make matters worse, most OB/GYNs advise against pain relievers – even aspirin – during a pregnancy.
So, what’s a soon-to-be new mom to do?
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that Float Milwaukee has a really good suggestion!
“Can I float while pregnant?” is easily one of the top three questions we get asked. And the answer isn’t just that you CAN float while expecting, but that you really SHOULD.*
Here are five big reasons why:
1.) Floating is completely natural relief.
The list of things your care team (and other moms) say you aren’t supposed to do while pregnant is pretty daunting. Don’t eat sushi. Don’t paint. Don’t change the litter box. Don’t expose yourself to secondhand smoke. Don’t wear heels. Don’t drink coffee.
Well, what CAN I do?!?
You absolutely can float. Floating is a drug-free, no-side-effect, all-natural way to relax, de-stress and relieve pain and pressure on your body and mind. Most floaters report an increased sense of calm, improved well-being, and better sleep – all things that can be tough for expectant moms to come by sometimes.
(And sure, a lot of doctors will tell you to avoid hot tubs or saunas while baby is still busy getting ready. But because our tanks are kept at a neutral body temperature, those warnings don’t apply here.)
2.) Floating is sanitary.
A lot of the recommended pregnancy “don’ts” have been passed down out of concern for cleanliness. Concerns about coming into contact with any sort of impurities in the air, water, or environment turns a lot of moms-to-be into virtual hermits. Many doctors recommend you even avoid coloring your hair because of the chemical agents present in some methods!
But floating is completely safe for you, your body, and your baby.
Reason being, all the water in the tank is purified via a variety of redundant methods. Every drop is treated with UV light, and a hydrogen peroxide solution. Additionally, there are 900 pounds of dissolved Epsom salts in each tank. So the high salinization of the water inhibits most impurities and the peroxide and UV light takes care of the rest.
In a world of finger-wagging “don’t do thats” from well-meaning people, floating is one pregnancy indulgence you can permit yourself without worry.
3.) Floating negates gravity.
Gravity affects us all. But we never feel it more than when we’re literally carrying around a whole extra body in addition to our own.
The gradual, inevitable weight gain that accompanies pregnancy can really do a number on your spine, joints, and muscles. By the third trimester, even getting out of bed can be an effort.
Thankfully, floating can make all of that go away.
Floating is the one therapy that can completely eliminate the effects of gravity. The water is warmed to a level that matches your natural body temperature, and is heavily salinated…so by simply leaning back and letting go, your body is held in something close to suspended animation. You’re held up by a substance specifically designed not to be felt at all. In fact, many floaters describe the experience as being like “drifting in outer space.”
Just imagine – nothing pulling you down. No strain, no compression…only a feeling of stimulus-free calm as your entire body is supported by an invisible, undetectable cushion.
As with many essential nutrients and minerals your body needs, magnesium levels can drop during pregnancy.
This is especially worrying since magnesium is one of the most crucial minerals needed for optimal gestation. Key medical studies have shown that supplying the body with extra magnesium during pregnancy can help prevent low birth weight, and preeclampsia.
Additionally, transdermal absorption has been shown to provide your body with greater levels of more easily usable magnesium than oral ingestion.
Which is all just a fancy technical way of saying that the half-ton of dissolved magnesium citrate Epsom salts in each of our float tanks can do more to help your baby’s health than taking a pill with your morning water.
(Oh, and if you’ve ever taken an Epsom soak before, you know how amazing your skin feels afterward. That’s really just an added bonus.)
5.) Floating promotes prenatal bonding via the “Mirror Effect.”
Your baby is floating in total darkness, surrounded by a soft, temperature-neutral bath. All he or she hears is a heartbeat. All they know is calmness and peace.
Why not join them?
Every floater’s experience is different. Still, many moms-to-be talk about how floating helps them experience the same sort of quiet sensory neutrality their baby is. This can form an even stronger bond between moms and their little ones by simulating a shared experience.
Not to mention that because baby is sharing the same biological ecosystem as Mom, any serotonin, oxytocin, and/or endorphins floating may produce for her only result beneficial effects for everyone.
Certainly, we recommend floating for anyone experiencing stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and/or a whole host of issues. But clinical studies and customer experiences alike have more than demonstrated to us that pregnancy in particular is an ideal time to float.
*We’d also be remiss in not advising you to always speak with your doctor when entering into any new activity during pregnancy therapeutic or otherwise, and follow the advice of your care team.
So when you’re ready to shut off the pre-birth effects of pain, gravity, and unrest, feel free to drop by. Our friendly, helpful staff is always happy to offer tours, and answer any questions you may have.
See you (and your tiny passenger) soon!
– Your friends at Float
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