Controlled Breathing Leverages Floating

Deep breathing makes for better floating

Deep breathing makes for better 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 the author, Dr. David Berv: