“Shoulder injury relief through floating”, by Marc

I felt compelled to write this short blog post based on a recent floatation tank experience.

To set the scene, let me rewind a little…

3 months ago, I fell whilst snowboarding in Bulgaria – something I did a lot of (falling, not so much the snowboarding).  Whilst this didn’t typically cause more than a few bruises (ego included), the particular fall I’m referring to was at about 30mph and over compacted ice and rock.  I was pretty lucky to escape with nothing broken.

Hobbling around Bankso (the resort) I soon realised that one of my shoulders had taken a pretty severe hammering in the fall.  On returning to the UK, it took little time to medically verify the extent of the injury: the dreaded ‘rotator cuff’.

Having had a similar injury some years back, I knew what I was in for.  Months of discomfort and severe pain if I lifted anything awkwardly with said arm.  The advice from a doctor was to adhere to a pattern of ‘RICE’ (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) for the joint.  It should be back to normal within 3 to 6 months I was told.

Now, back to floating…

Completely independently of the accident, I had planned to take a float at the Floatworks in Vauxhall, London.  I’d not floated in the last 10 years or so, and had fond memories of it.  Considering it nothing more than a relaxing indulgence, I’d put it off until very recently.

I have to say though, I was entirely blown away by the impact it had on my shoulder.  After an hour’s float, I walked out feeling strangely light and relaxed.  I’m pretty sure I’d fallen asleep in there – it felt like just 5 to 10 minutes of floating time!

But then suddenly, it hit me.  My shoulder no longer ached, not even slightly!

I was convinced this was just a short-term relief (albeit far more powerful pain relief than even the strongest painkillers I’d found to tackle the last 3 months of pain).  But no, I spent the rest of the day, and night, completely pain-free!  Amazing.

I can’t claim to have been miraculously cured by the experience.  The ache and pain has returned, although somewhat reduced, after a few days of blissful absence.  But wow, what a joyous respite from the pain that was.  So much so, I’ll be back again in the next few weeks.  If it’s able to relieve the pain entirely for even just a few days, it must surely be doing the shoulder joint some good.

I urge anyone with a similar injury to try the experience.  Many sports injuries take months to properly heal, and the value of even just a few days of pain-free relief is immense.

So, what did I learn from the experience?  Next time I’m snowboarding, I’ll make sure to save a small percentage of the holiday budget for a session of floats when I’m back.  If you’re as bad at snowboarding as me, you should seriously consider it too.

Marc

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