Floatation Therapy or floating is one of the most accessible and relaxing pain relieving therapies available today. Floating, for the majority of those who first try it, is a wonderful, safe and effective tool for navigating our modern society. But for a few, the float experience can evoke a temporary sense of motion sickness or nausea, which can limit its relaxing feeling and other potential benefits.Read More
Float therapy mitigates the pain, inflammation and lack of mobility associated with arthritis. From anti-inflammatory action, to stress reduction, to improvements in sleep, immunity and mood, floatation is safe, effective and accessible.Read More
Floatation therapy is proving to be a viable alternative and adjunct to managing chronic pain. Opioid managed chronic pain may respond well to floatation therapy. A new case study on chronic pain, opiate usage and floatation provides a window into the benefits of this mind and body therapy.Read More
Pain. It can be consuming, frustrating, debilitating, distracting, yet always subjective to the individual experiencing it. Chronic pain is of epidemic proportions and is a major cause of disability. Until recently, pain was treated like a fifth vital sign. Blood pressure, pulse, respiration, temperature, and…pain?
Floatation therapy is emerging as a valid, effective and adjunctive means for managing chronic pain.Read More
All of us have experienced the consequences of a sleepless night. Everything the next day requires more effort. You lack energy and motivation. You feel groggy and irritable. Try floating. It might help you sleep.
Sleep has been of significant interest to the floatation therapy industry as evidenced by thousands of anecdotal instances of improved sleep after floating. While floating, like sleep, you are essentially "offline". with minimal to no external stimuli. Both floating and sleep require sensory disconnection as an essential requirement. Many floaters actually do fall asleep during part or all of their float. Most are somewhere in between sleeping and wakefulness.Read More
This intentional gift from Todd sparked a desire to interact with and to display the visions and interpretations of community artists within the context and interplay of how floating inspires and brings new love and new insights.
"Where Floating Meets Art" at The Float Zone, featuring the works of avid floater and renowned artist, Todd Hale's works are featured from Feb - April 2018. Come float and enjoy some mind opening art displays!Read More
Chronic back pain is of epidemic proportions. Medical professionals are seeking complementary ways to manage pain. Floatation therapy is showing promise and proof through case studies such as those being conducted at The Float Zone in Richmond, VA.Read More
This traumatic brain injury and floatation therapy study features an individual who has not found any treatment or combinations of treatment that have been remarkably helpful. The case study examines the effect of floatation therapy upon various physical, emotional, neurological and psychological aspects. The results of this case study contains encouraging examples that floating both by itself or in combination with other therapies and lifestyle modifications, can improve the quality of life and functional capability for those with TBI and concussions.Read More
As a pain management specialist for over two decades, I have seen how pain can change and manipulate a person’s brain, behavior and being. Despite my best efforts to practice what I preached, my own chronic pain was a distraction and the source of significant physical and emotional disability. Chronic pain was a primary catalyst for the eventual expression of my multiple sclerosis. The combination of these issues played games with my brain and my body.
Coincidentally at this time, I discovered floatation therapy which lightened both my physical and emotional burden. One of the most remarkable benefits of floating is how effortlessly it allows for a state of internal reflection and focus. It’s like meditation on steroids. I’ve spent numerous hours floating atop 10” of super salty skin temperature water, visualizing the reduction and elimination of both pain and lesions in my brain and spinal cord. During this time of deep inner reflection to heal myself, it brought me to some realizations about myself, my surroundings, my emotional health, my relationships with others, gaining clarity on my purpose, my goals, future and direction.
One such result is that floating encouraged my transition towards retirement from clinical chiropractic and acupuncture to that of helping others through providing floatation therapy services to others in need.
In July 2017, the week of my retirement, I was visiting the United Network For Organ Sharing, here in Richmond, VA. Within this beautiful modern, life saving facility are artistic displays from local artists. As part of the exhibit, there was a ceramic sculpture hanging on the wall, entitled “Internal Focus”. It spoke to me. And in one moment, it captured years of thoughts and visualizations and emotions - tears, pain, joy, excitement, and hope. It reminded me of my relationship and journey with the float tank. I immediately purchased the sculpture with the intention of displaying it at The Float Zone.
Internal Focus, by Lee Hazelgrove, now hangs in the entry of The Float Zone as a dedication to all who come to float with the hope they too will find relief, calm, focus, direction, awareness, and the healthy state that naturally follows.
Beginning in February, 2018, The Float Zone will be featuring the work of local artists that too have been inspired by floating.
-Dr. David Berv, Chief Experience Officer, The Float Zone
Traumatic brain injury is a hot topic thanks to professional athletes who are finally speaking out about the dangers and long term effects. Many with TBI are mismanaged and lost in a system that has no consensus on treatment. Floatation therapy has been shown to help those with TBI and should be considered in the mix. Case studies at The Float Zone in Richmond, VA have shown promise in the TBI arena.Read More
Here, the Rough Riders taking a knee in support of their injured and only kicker. They had to play without him and go for 2 point conversions instead of field goals. Floating helped the team with injuries this season.Read More
Floatation for Golf Performance?
With Sergio Garcia winning the Masters (and a snazzy green jacket) and the best golf season just ahead, it’s never too early to think about the best ways to improve your golf performance. The road to lower scores and better golf may not lie in your biggest Bertha, but more in the way you address the game both metaphorically and practically through your posture. The key can be found within a creative new method to improve your golf-specific muscle memory which involves a gravity defying technique.
Since the beginning of the Tiger era, those in the industry knew there was an edge by focusing on the physical side of golf and by 2010 golf fitness became a household term. Embracing the physical side of golf is crucial, especially if golf is your passion and playing well is important. Demonstrating poor posture anywhere from address to finish can have a greater impact on your game than your high dollar clubs or fancy golf ball and can be responsible for almost any swing fault. Common examples of poor golf postures are roundedness in the shoulders with a hunched mid and upper back, a protruding chin/head, or excessive spinal curves as seen from the profile view.
Proper posture for a golfer requires one to have the ability to maintain static postures, as well as through a range of motion, called dynamic posture. Attaining and maintaining these proper golf postures requires a balanced approach of stretching tight muscles and strengthening weak muscles, which is beyond the scope of this blog. However, muscular re-education, which is often the hardest concept to grasp, may be facilitated within something called a float pod.
A float pod or float tank is a fiberglass, 9’x5’ eggshell shaped tub, with a hinged lid. Inside the pod is 175 gallons of skin temperature water (94 degrees) in which a half ton of epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is dissolved. The effect is that you are effortlessly buoyant. It is called floatation therapy, floating, or R.E.S.T. (restricted environmental stimulus technique). Golfers can use floating to leverage their game by working on postural subtleties, while floating face up for an hour - defying gravity. Why not? If professional athletes and Olympians are floating for performance, it must be doing some good.
The pod itself is located in a private room with a shower. You shower, then climb in and make your way onto your back, face up. To enhance the experience of weightlessness and to play with additional sensory input, you can choose to close the pod lid or to keep it cracked, turn off the pod light or leave it on, listen to ambient music or float in silence. The combination of the skin temperature water and the salt saturation literally makes you feel like you are in a cloud.
Without any physical pressures related to gravity as when standing, sitting, or lying, floating affords a unique place to experiment with positions and postures that are hard to find when gravity is involved. This type of sport-specific posture practice makes it much easier to find these same postural adaptations in your daily routine and on the golf course.
Here’s what you want to do while floating for golf performance: First, while in the face up floating position, begin to draw your breastbone or sternum toward the roof of the pod. Your shoulders automatically depress. Experiment with subtleties of this action and how your muscles adapt to that position. Explore how it feels to consciously control your shoulder blade without gravity. Now, experiment with your hands by your sides and slowly begin turn your palms toward the sides of the pod and back toward your body and feel the lower shoulder blade muscles engage. Next, tuck your chin slightly. This will give the feeling of an elongated spine. Any and all of these movements should also free up your ribcage and your ability to breathe easier.
Enjoy the novelty of being able to find these golf performance positions while in the anti-gravity state of floating. Chest up and out, shoulders back and hands pull down towards floor, chin tuck. Sounds almost like a golf lesson for those who embrace golf fitness…
Importantly, before getting out of the pod, visualize your perfect golf posture. Then after your float and once dressed, take a minute and try to repeat those same chest, shoulder, arm and chin actions while sitting, standing, driving and eventually while holding a golf club through static and dynamic postural movements. Try stepping outside the box this season and float your way to better golf performance.
Dr. David Berv is a certified chiropractic sports physician, retired golf teaching professional and owner of The Float Zone, a floatation center in Richmond, VA.
For more on golf performance and floating, contact Dr. David Berv : firstname.lastname@example.org
Read This If You Have Lost Your Mind (or have a brain injury)
Floatation therapy shows promise for brain injury. Brain research is a rapidly developing field, but there remains much that we do not understand about how the brain operates. Traumatic brain injury and concussion are significant disabilities involving a large age range. Identification and treatment for traumatic brain injury ("TBI") and concussion is currently in a state of development and awareness, largely influenced by growing scrutiny in the National Football League and the U.S. military.
Seth MacFarlane brilliantly uses humor in a recent Family Guy episode - "Stewie gets a concussion" - to demonstrate how lingering side effects ( disorientation, mood disorders and various sensory disturbances) essentially become an individual's “new normal.”
A Richmond, VA individual who is currently suffering from a TBI lifestyle, echoes the sentiments of Family Guy’s concussion episode, when she recently stated, “I already knew the world doesn't like talking about matters of the brain - things like brain injury, recovery, rehab, mental health, addiction, suicide, trauma, sensory disorders, cognitive function, etc”… This brings home the sentiment of MacFarlane’s poking at the way in which the big, political business of professional sports, as well as our own military has played a key role in furthering this hidden epidemic from mainstream consciousness.
Regardless of the increasing awareness of TBI, we are just beginning to understand the depths of the brain and how to repair it. Further, because of the extent, quantity and quality of symptoms that vary from person to person, there is no consensus on the best method in which to treat TBI induced migraine, visual and auditory hallucinations, mood disorders, executive functioning, sleep disorder, and much more with a tried and true treatment - especially when many who suffer a TBI don’t even realize they have a TBI for many months after their original trauma. Misdiagnosis happens. Some with TBI think they are just depressed. Anxious. Forgetful. Some get lost in the “system” and emerge without a concrete therapeutic direction.
Unfortunately, TBI not only affect those with the brain injury, but their family and friends. It takes a unique understanding, compassion and patience from loved ones. It can be incredibly frustrating for both parties and the affects of friendships and family can be catastrophic.
As a sports chiropractor having studied the brain and central nervous system, as well as learning concussion, return to play (and work) protocols, I have long understood the devastating impact that concussive forces can have on the brain and its control of both the body and mind. I have worked with professional athletes and seen how concussions can interrupt a career.
Being a float center owner with a neuro-musculo-skeletal lens, it has opened up a window in my mind as to a whole new world of possibility for those suffering with the effects of mild TBI and TBI. In my time in the sports medicine world, there were often days and months when particular conditions such as fibromyalgia, disc herniations or a complicated pain referral pattern would pervade the schedule. It made me pay extra attention and often gave pause for reflection on making sure to consider other tandem treatment options that may leverage the healing process. In my growing expertise in the floatation therapy world, I am noticing that many are seeking out floatation as a way to leverage their healing process. Some float in combination with physical therapy. Some float in combination with counseling, massage, energy work, medications, functional medical approaches, exercise therapy, acupuncture, and much more. Floating appears to assist any TBI therapeutic mind/body approach. But floating, like the brain is still not well-known.
Floatation or restricted environmental stimulus therapy ( R.E.S.T. ), involves effortlessly floating face up in a private room, in an oversized fiberglass tub that is filled with 10” of skin temperature (93-94 degree) water and saturated with 1000 pounds of Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate). The premise is to remove routine environmental and physical stimulation, such as light, sound, and gravity. You can choose to modify the level of sensory restriction by leaving the lid of the pod open or closed, being in complete darkness or leaving the light on, complete silence or listening to ambient music. Regardless, you are floating effortlessly and your brain likes it. Our brains spend a lot of time processing our orientation in space, as well as sights, sounds, walking, driving, digital imagery and more. We never unplug. R.E.S.T. gives the brain a chance to rest. Through the peculiar sense of brain rest and rejuvenation that occurs with floating, it would stand to reason that what Norman Doidge, MD discusses in his bestselling books on neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to rewire itself, could apply directly to floating. And this may be key in unlocking some of the secrets of the brain and how to heal itself.
Case studies are currently being done at The Float Zone in Richmond, VA which take into account physical, emotional, neurological and psychological aspects of individuals currently coping with traumatic brain injury of various duration and disability. In one such case study, the subject is a 39 year-old female dentist with a moderate-severe traumatic brain injury following a major motor vehicle accident 14 months prior. Symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, confusion, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, headaches and other, directly related to her brain injury. She has not found any treatment or combinations of treatment that have been remarkably helpful. The case study observes effects of floatation therapy upon various physical, emotional, neurological and psychological aspects. The results are encouraging. Click here to read the abstract (coming soon). For the full case study, contact Dr. David Berv ( see below).
The rapidly emerging industry of Floatation Therapy, along with the growing interest and awareness of concussion and TBI is bound for a positive collision course, for the greater good of the brain injury community. Floatation and R.E.S.T. may help to pave the way for an improved integration, cooperation and communication between medical and alternative medical treatment services. If you or someone you know has a TBI, floatation should seriously be considered. If you or someone you know is a mind/body healthcare provider of any type, R.E.S.T. should be on the radar.
For more on floating and concussion/TBI, contact Dr. David Berv at The Float Zone: email@example.com www.myfloatzone.com
As our physical activity patterns change seasonally, the beginning of spring inspires a myriad of movements dormant during the winter. Akin to spring training in sports, we all have our own ways of warming up our muscles and minds for our favorite outdoor activity. For most, this includes more walking, running, and cycling at various combinations of speeds, grades, and directions. Tennis anyone?
Rarely, does anyone think about evaluating their sense of foot stability and balance prior to beginning a season of (sport-specific) activity. It is precisely this oversight that can lead to issues like plantar fascitis, shin splints, achilles tendonitis and a variety of collateral muscular and skeletal issues.
A lack of proper 1-legged balance implicates the entire rest of the body from a structural standpoint. Especially during walking and running, there is a transfer of movement up the body, from the ankle to the shin, knee, leg, pelvis and spine, including the neck. This gives way to compensations in multiple ways, including stability, mobility and muscular balance far distant from the lower legs and feet - including those with both flat feet and high arches. Yes, your headaches and shoulder pain could be coming from your feet.
Improving your sense of 1- legged balance is the simplest and most effective exercise you can do to improve your gait and overall functional body mechanics. Proper pedal balance is also the keystone to athletic performance. It is the best way to reduce injury and may likely prevent that next ankle sprain.
Test your balance by simply standing on one leg with your eyes straight ahead and lift the other leg so the thigh is parallel to the ground. How long can you stand without faltering and/or falling? (Be near something solid to hold if needed). If you still think you have a good sense of balance, try each leg as above, with eyes closed. It will be very obvious which side needs some help.
The corrective exercise only takes seconds per day and is exactly like the test. Simply stand on one leg while lifting the other and looking straight ahead - not at the floor. It is harder without shoes. You can even do this discreetly at the water cooler or grocery store line by simply shifting most of your weight to one side and barely making floor contact with the other foot. Try variations of this with eyes open and closed (use caution with eyes closed).
If you have or are currently suffering with foot problems or regional body pain caused by faulty foot mechanics, floatation therapy can help. Floating involves a 9'x5' fiberglass pod with a hinged lid, that sits in a private room with a shower. It is filled with 10" of skin temperature water (160 gallons) and saturated with 1000 pounds of medical grade epsom salt. You effortlessly float face up (like a cork), for an hour and emerge feeling different in body and mind. When you are in the anti-gravity state of floating, it is very easy to move your feet, knees, hips and shoulders through ranges of motion that you can't while weight-bearing. Further, you absorb Magnesium through the high concentration of Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate). This is soothing for the muscles and assists many other body systems. Floating affects regions of the brain that promote rest and repair as well as the areas that process the perception of pain.
Floatation therapy is excellent for providing a strong mental balance to combat stress, anxiety and sleep-deprivation. So, as you begin your athletic endeavors this season, take a moment and work on your sense of balance to improve and protect your overall musculoskeletal health. And take comfort in knowing that floating and foot mechanics are friends.
For more on foot mechanics and floating, contact Dr. David Berv at The Float Zone: firstname.lastname@example.org
BREATHING AND FLOATING?
Most of us are not aware of it. It goes on even while we sleep. We often hold it. But we can’t live without doing it constantly. When was the last time you paid attention to your breathing?
Most of us unconsciously take short, shallow breaths during our waking and sleeping hours. This tends to gather tension in your neck and shoulders. Shallow chest breathing has been associated with TMJ issues, poor digestion, low back pain and even decreased athletic performance.
Many health and wellness practices such as meditation, martial arts and yoga use breathing as a keystone. Professional athletes like tennis players and golfers use their breath to harness power through a purposeful exhale at impact.
Health practitioners such as acupuncturists encourage their patients to belly breathe while receiving treatment, which helps the flow of internal energy. Many have learned how to use their breath in this way, to diffuse pain.
Have ever tried to consciously pay attention to your breathing for any length of time? Challenging. Have you ever gone snorkeling and heard your breath under water? And then you realize you don’t hear it anymore. Then it comes back. And you realize, that once you are aware of it, you can control it. You can slow it down. Keep it quiet, rhythmic. This is actually a familiar sensation to those who have floated - you might know it as floatation, float therapy or restricted environmental stimulus therapy.
While floating, it is easy to become aware of your breath and use it as a meditative or pain distracting focus. You can easily transform short, shallow breaths to become deep and expansive. Your breath can help you to enter the dream-like state that many experience while floating. It is both common, easy and helpful to experiment and manipulate your breathing patterns. Slow, relaxed inhales and exhales. Floating is the perfect place to practice and learn how to harness your breath, then apply it to your day to day routine to manage stress, focus and pain. After all, when you are effortlessly floating face up in an oversized fiberglass tub filled with 10” of skin temperature water and saturated with 1000 pounds of Epsom salts, you breathe distinctively different then when sitting, standing or lying down on a surface.
Floating makes you a better breather. And this leads to a better float experience.
A better float experience will enhance your life in many ways. Breathing is a good thing.
For more on breathing and floating, contact Dr. David Berv:
If winter sports cause concussion, floating may help
Winter sports are fun and fast. Skiing down fluffy mountain moguls, or skating on shiny and perfectly flat ice while making sharp turns and stopping on a dime is exciting. Sledding or tubing after a big snowfall is a great way to spend a cold winter day. But all too often, a sudden slip, fall or collision can abruptly end the fun.
January is traumatic brain injury awareness month. And it is for real. Several years ago, before the “discovery” that professional football players were routinely being concussed and not properly evaluated and managed, nobody really gave it a second thought. Strangely enough, as concussion and traumatic brain injury news has been more in the public eye, it seems more people are suffering them. Or maybe it has been there the whole time. It’s amazing how awareness can shape perception.
It happens in an instant. The jello-like brain slams against the skull with such incredible force. Sometimes the skull cracks as the head hits the ice, a tree or the pole sticking up at the bottom of the sledding hill. Sometimes it doesn't fracture, it just internally bleeds or inflames without external signs and symptoms. Often, the effects of a concussion are not apparent for weeks or months, after the broken arm, bruised ribs or headache goes away. This is where winter fun is no laughing matter.
When you endure a head injury, it always affects the brain. Period. Seeking medical counsel immediately upon injury is crucial. However, sometimes there is a delay in signs or symptoms. Concussion and traumatic brain injury is often associated with headaches, vision and hearing changes or sensitivities, nausea, sleep disturbance, inability to focus on tasks or concentrate. Concussion can also affect emotions and behavior and can lead to unexplained anxiety, fatigue, depression or memory issues.
In the spring, long after your concussion and when the birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming, its easy to forget to tell your doctor you smacked your head 3 months ago, when you are in the office seeking treatment for what may appear like something totally irrelevant.
Current literature indicates that there is an ill-defined consensus regarding treatment strategies related to concussion. As time passes, traumatic brain injury can become disguised and creatively intermingled with other behavioral, neurological and musculoskeletal dysfunction. This is why building a support team and an integrated medical approach to assist TBI recovery is crucial.
In addition to your general practitioner or a neurologist, those with TBI may find help and relief with different forms of bodywork or energy work such as massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, craniosacral, myofascial release, or reiki. Further, psychological counseling, dietary modification, yoga or various exercise training can help.
Floating or floatation therapy is emerging to be a valuable adjunct to any therapy being considered for TBI. Floatation therapy, otherwise known as R.E.S.T. or restricted environmental stimulus technique, involves a 5’ x 8’ fiberglass tank filled with 150-180 gallons of skin temperature water ( 93.5 degree) saturated with 1000 pounds of epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate salt. You effortlessly float face up, like a cork, for an hour in a private room. You have a choice of darkness and silence, or lights on and ambient music. Either way the effects of gravity are removed, which is a huge source of stimuli and mental distraction for the brain. It has been scientifically demonstrated that floatation affects regions of the brain that respond similarly to deep meditation, restfulness and anti-anxiety. There is further indication that the brain is very receptive to rest and repair during and after a float session. Existing and current case studies at The Float Zone in Richmond, VA are shedding light on the positive possibilities of recovery from concussion and TBI both by itself and in synergy with other therapies and considerations.
This January and throughout the year, if you or someone you know is suffering from the effects of concussion or TBI, please tell them to consider floatation therapy. Because floating is good for the brain.
For more information on floating and concussion, contact The Float Zone at 804-551-1413 or www.myfloatzone.com.
RICHMOND CHEFS FIND INSPIRATION THROUGH FLOATATION
A symbiotic relationship has always existed between any culture and its food that makes culinary artists such an important subset of any community. A local example of this is the varied and talented gastronomists of Richmond, Virginia that continually carve local culture. Over the past several years, Richmond has transformed into a foodie culture. There are an impressive number of rising and talented local chefs whose creations are only limited by their own inspiration. However, the work of a chef is much more than just the planning, purchase, prep, staff instruction and execution of the meal. Administrative duties, equipment maintenance, marketing and other intricacies of the kitchen often hinder proper sleep patterns, which affect the very inspiration needed to keep producing new and different gastronomical masterpieces. This is why chefs like to float - and many Richmond chefs have floated at The Float Zone.
Floating or floatation involves a sleek 8’ by 5’ fiberglass “pod”. It is filled with 10” of skin temperature water and saturated with 1000 pounds of Epsom salt. There are light and music controls within the pod for which you can float in the light or dark and listen to music or silence. The pod can be left open or closed, while you float face up effortlessly like a cork, for an hour. By removing gravity and other sensations such as light, sound or the sensation of water temperature, the brain enters a very restful, restorative and left/right brain synchronized state. Further, the magnesium salts have a powerful muscle relaxing and pain relieving effect. The result is that one feels both physically and mentally refreshed.
A pleasant side effect of this sleep-promoting, stress-reducing therapy is that it seems to inspire creativity. Sometimes that new idea comes in the middle of a float. Sometimes it happens on the ride home afterwards or through a float inspired dream that night. But when you feel calmer for the next few days, less reactive and brighter in mind and body, you’ll appreciate the benefit of the float experience.
The month of July is culinary arts appreciation month. We appreciate great gastronomical efforts and thank all RVA chefs along with their support staff, for all the culinary inspiration that you bring to our city!