Floatation Shows Promise for Brain Injury Awareness

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: david@myfloatzone.com   www.myfloatzone.com

 

Typical Float pod in private room with shower

Typical Float pod in private room with shower

Water and Floating

WATER AND FLOATING

    One of Four Float Rooms at the Float ZOne in Richmond, Virginia

    One of Four Float Rooms at the Float ZOne in Richmond, Virginia

It takes up most of the planet and makes up most of our body.  We feel good being in it, on it or around it.  We often don’t get enough of it.  When was your last glass of water.

A shortage of potable water has become a major issue in some parts of the country.   In many parts of the world, water supplies are contaminated. Sometimes, evening the pursuit of clean drinking water, our hopes are dashed with hidden contaminants or harmful plastics.

A glass of water first thing in the morning can go a long way towards a healthy body.  Drinking coffee, tea, juices, colas and energy drinks can be dehydrating.  And dehydration can lead to many other problems, such as headaches or the persistence of pain. Instead of popping that aspirin, consider a glass of good old H2O. How much water in ounces, does one need each day? Take your body weight, and divide it in half.

It may seem strange, but there are benefits to adding salt to your daily water consumption. Celtic or Himalayan sea salts, although located half a world apart, contain the most mineralized, beneficial salts on the planet.  Adding a pinch of either type of salt to your water is like drinking the healthiest Gatorade or electrolyte replacement drink. 

You can also benefit from water by floating in it. Float pods or floatation, is becoming a very popular recreational and personal wellness activity.  Floatation involves a fiberglass enclosed large tub filled with 10” of skin temperature water, which is saturated with 1000 pounds of Epsom salt. Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate salt, has a ton of health benefits.  Also, when you proportionally add that much of it, you are able to float face up effortlessly.  It’s a strange, but relaxing and rejuvenating experience when you remove gravity from the equation. What a difference it can make in both mind and body.

There is nothing like a tall, cool, pure glass of water.  There is also nothing like floating.  Both are good for you, but not at the same time.  Make sure not to drink too much water before your float so you and your bladder can enjoy it.  Then drink plenty of water afterwards, to leave hydrated and happy.

Come float in the pristine crystal clear water in any of the four float rooms at The Float Zone!

Acupuncture and Floatation Therapy


Acupuncture has been around for centuries. Long before the advent of penicillin or aspirin, acupuncture was successful in addressing a wide range of ailments and disorders.  It takes years of study and practice to become a proficient practitioner in this healing art.

 While only a few points are typically chosen for your treatment, over 360 acupuncture points are available to restore balance to your body’s energy systems. Like the old school telephone switchboard operators that plug and connect phone lines, needles purposefully placed in points and patterns on the skin, communicate with your inner rivers of energy.

 Regardless of your reasons for receiving it, acupuncture is a surprisingly relaxing experience.  During an acupuncture session, many experience a sense of “drifting off” and lucid dreaming, similar to the experience of floatation therapy.

 Floatation therapy and acupuncture complement each other. Many partake in both, as part of a personal wellness strategy to combat the effects and pressures of modern day society.  For this reason, many acupuncturists recommend floatation therapy to their patients.

Floating is like an instant mind and muscle relaxer.  It is like meditating without having ever practiced meditation, like receiving the effects of a full body massage without being touched, like getting the most restful sleep without really sleeping, all in one hour.

Imagine a fiberglass molded “pod” which contains 10” of skin temperature water (93.5-94.5 degrees) and 1000 pounds of Epsom, or magnesium salts.  You are in a private room.  You shower, insert earplugs, climb into this pod, lie on your back, turn off the light (from inside the pod) and float effortlessly for an hour like a cork. Your brain gets a chance to rest, to recharge and to refresh being relieved of “normal” stimuli, like gravity. Your body soaks up the healthy magnesium salts.  You emerge feeling distinctively different. And it lasts for days. The more you float, the better you feel.

 Acupuncture and floating work well together.  Come float at “The Float Zone” in Richmond, Virginia. 

Chiropractic and Floatation Therapy


It is likely that you or someone you know has probably experienced back pain, neck pain or headaches and saw a Chiropractic Physician as part of the treatment plan.   Since the 19th century, Doctors of Chiropractic have been musculoskeletal specialists who use their hands rather than pills, to manually repair a wide range of injuries and disorders.

Schooled like a medical or osteopathic doctor, but with a heavier emphasis on radiology, anatomy, neurology, rehabilitative exercise, and nutrition, a chiropractor is a good choice for managing pain from head to toe.  Whether it is a bum knee causing back stress or a weak muscle group creating imbalance, a chiropractor can help identify and treat it, or refer you to the right specialist who can.

Most who seek chiropractic care for pain or injury realize that there are also preventative and wellness benefits to regular (spinal) check-ups, similar to that of a teeth cleaning at the dentist. And while the benefits are broad and valuable, there are also limitations of this healing art, especially as it relates to modern day pressures and lifestyles. 

Chiropractors and health care practitioners alike, easily recognize that stress, anxiety and depression that plagues our modern world, can sabotage treatment benefits and cause collateral health issues. Chiropractic care is well suited to work in conjunction with other therapies that address stress reduction and muscle relaxation. This is why chiropractors often recommend floatation therapy to their patients.

Floating, or floatation therapy is like an instant mind and muscle relaxer.  It is like meditating without having ever practiced meditation, like receiving the effects of a full body massage without being touched, like getting the most restful sleep without really sleeping, all in one hour.

Imagine a fiberglass molded “pod” which contains 10” of skin temperature water (93.5-94.5 degrees) and 1000 pounds of Epsom, or magnesium salts.  You are in a private room.  You shower, insert earplugs, climb into this pod, lie on your back, turn off the light (from inside the pod) and float effortlessly for an hour like a cork. Your brain gets a chance to rest, to recharge and to refresh being relieved of “normal” stimuli, like gravity. Your body soaks up the healthy magnesium salts.  You emerge feeling distinctively different. And it lasts for days. The more you float, the better you feel.

 Floatation therapy in combination with chiropractic therapy can have profound benefit.  Come float at “The Float Zone” in Richmond, Virginia.