Flotation-REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) may help to improve cardiovascular wellness. While we often
think of floating as a passive activity, research shows that Flotation-REST could offer big benefits for heart health that could
rival anything offered by intense workouts. In a 2022 paper exploring the acute cardiovascular effects of Flotation-REST,
researchers noted the way that the central nervous system (CNS) exerts a strong regulatory influence over the
cardiovascular system in response to environmental demands. Anyone familiar with floating knows that this is an
intervention that reduces stimulation from the surrounding environment like almost nothing else in the world.
New Research on the Benefits of Floating for Cardiovascular Health May Hold the Key to Improved Wellness
While investigating floating’s impact on cardiovascular health, researchers measured acute cardiovascular changes during
Floatation-REST using wireless and waterproof equipment that allowed for concurrent measurement of heart rate, heart rate
variability (HRV), breathing rate, and blood pressure. They found that Floatation-REST created significant decreases in
diastolic blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, breathing rate, and certain HRV metrics. This research is significant
because its findings suggest that Floatation-REST results in “a physical shift to higher vagal modulation through decreased
sympathetic arousal.” It also highlights the way that floating may help to promote wellness by tapping into the body-brain
Research has made it clear that floating provides benefits for focus, creativity, and mood. What’s more, studies focused on
looking at the preventative healthcare benefits of floatation therapy have found that people who utilize floating experience
decreases in stress, depression, anxiety, and pain. They also gain improvements in sleep quality and optimism levels. The
drastic reduction in stress levels that occurs almost immediately with floating therapy is likely linked with newly discovered
Stress is extremely damaging to cardiovascular health. According to the American Heart Association, chronic stress is
associated with increased cardiovascular events. What’s more, the American Heart Association shares that imaging work
done on parts of the brain involved with stress and fear reveals links between stress and cardiovascular disease episodes.
The truth is that it’s very hard to come down from a state of chronic stress without some type of mindfulness intervention.
However, most people are unable to break free of the stress state due to the fact that they are constantly inundated with
noises, distractions, and ongoing stressors. A floating session helps to break the cycle of stress by transporting a person to
a completely isolated, distraction-free environment. The role of sensory deprivation in decreasing stress cannot be
overstated. Unlike meditation exercises, yoga sessions, and mantras, floating sessions offer an environment that induces
deep relaxation without any effort.
What Do Floating’s Implications for Cardiovascular Health Mean for the Average Person?
The pace of everyday life leaves many people with a stress hormone called cortisol running through the veins on a nearly
continual basis. Unfortunately, it’s known that high levels of cortisol from long-term stress can increase blood cholesterol,
triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure to leave us vulnerable to cardiovascular illnesses. Floating may be a way to
break the cycle to escape a stress-induced cortisol firestorm that leaves us both physically and emotionally depleted. While
floating should not be viewed as an alternative to diet and exercise when it comes to promoting cardiovascular health, it may
be an important piece of the puzzle that taps into the mind-body connection to promote wellness and longevity. Of course,
the best part of all is that people who utilize float therapy can enjoy all of the known benefits for mood and productivity as
they support their cardiovascular systems.
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