Gravity can get you down
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be an astronaut: suspended, weightless in the peace of space, looking down on the blue-green earth like a jewel hundreds of miles below?
We all know that gravity exists, but we don’t take much notice of it most of the time. But then again, we’ve all had those days where our body feels heavy. I’ve even noticed some days that the car mirror is correct at the beginning of the day, but needs adjusting by the end, my posture has slumped so much!
Our upright posture places downward pressures and stresses on the spine in particular, but also on our feet, knees, and hip joints. These stresses and strains can lead to bad posture and chronic muscular tension, which can lead to pain. We constantly make countless tiny adjustments to take gravity into account, with a significant proportion of our energies being devoted to unconscious balance and co-ordination. Even just holding up the head takes continuous effort.
Even bed can be uncomfortable
In bed we may get a certain relief from gravity, but it is not a total escape. Weight still bears onto parts of the body, and muscles still have to work. Maybe you struggle to sleep on your back due to lower back problems, or your shoulders get crushed when lying on your side… we can still feel discomfort from pressures in bed, which can impact on the quality of our rest.
At those times the thought of being an astronaut floating weightless in space can have extra appeal! But you don’t have to go to space to escape the pull of gravity.
Floating can help you feel weightless
The float environment is the only place on the planet where your body can feel free of gravity’s effects.
Floatation doesn’t remove gravity entirely, of course. But in the float environment you feel weightless. When you are lying buoyant in the warm salty water it means that the weight of your body is distributed evenly over the largest possible area, removing all these pressures for a wonderfully restorative period of respite. Circulation improves and blood pressure is reduced. When we don’t have to work against gravity, we are free to become more aware of tensions, and to really relax our muscles. The neck and shoulders are common areas of chronic tension. Being able to truly let go and relax your neck in the float tank can be a huge relief.
Floating in the Epsom salt solution frees up the resources usually used by the body just to fight gravity, and these resources become available for other things. This allows your body to heal and recover, whether from an injury or from sports training, and opens up a whole world of possibilities.