You likely don’t remember the sensation of floating in your mother’s belly, suspended in warm, amniotic fluid. But this idyllic feeling of weightlessness allows for very little stress or pressure on your growing body. Once born, we are immediately exposed to the forces of gravity, which of course is necessary to build strength and be in this world. However, the daily stress of gravity on our bodies, emotional stressors, and the constant stimulation we receive from our environment can lead to an overworked nervous system and tired, achy joints and backs. Recently I’ve discovered float tank therapy as .
This large, shallow, enclosed pool of salt water (800 + lbs of magnesium salt) is kept at a perfect body temperature and offers sensory deprivation benefits. The tank is not airtight, but it does take away much of the stimulation with which our senses are constantly bombarded. You will float effortlessly due to the high concentration of salt in the water.
As a 27 weeks along pregnant woman, even just saying “I’m going to float” brings a sense of relief! The prospect of getting to feel weightless and buoyant is a beautiful contrast to feeling the strong effects of the body changes that pregnancy brings. Many women, including myself, experience some level of an increased amount of back pain, round ligament pain, and general feelings of discomfort as the body grows and stretches. Add to that the extra weight that tends to throw off your sense of balance and puts more pressure on your joints than you are used to. Many mamas also experience trouble breathing and sleeping. Don’t get me wrong, pregnancy is a beautiful process! But, that doesn’t mean it’s not without some serious discomforts that can be pretty darn tricky to relieve!
I was aware of the benefits of floating such as:
- reduced stress and anxiety
- enhanced creativity
- muscle and joint pain relief
- reduced inflammation
- promotes improved sleep
- a lovely sense of well being and calm
However, what I didn’t expect were the specific benefits that come about particularly when pregnant, such as feeling a deeper connection to my pregnancy and my baby, and dare I say my own experience of being in my mother’s womb so long ago.
This is because of the environment the float tank provides. It’s dark and mostly soundless. The temperature of the water is so close to your own body’s temperature that you have the sensation of not even having a body. What remains is your awareness/consciousness, and your ability to breathe. The main noise that stands out when floating is your own heartbeat. There’s something very soothing about hearing your own heartbeat, it’s a constant confirmation that you are present, alive, and witness to the human experience.
Floating offers a unique respite from an often over stimulating world. It can have immense benefits for anyone who wishes to find a little more peace and space for connection with themselves. I also believe it offers us a unique chance to connect back with the womb like environment that was our introduction to life. If pregnant, it also has the added benefit of relief from many common pregnancy discomforts, as well as the opportunity to tune into the experience of your unborn child in a very visceral way. When we can relax enough to let ourselves be held, we learn the art of receiving support. We also learn the art of surrendering to forces beyond our control. Plus, it just feels really good to our bodies!
When the weight of the world seems to be too much, I know floating is one way I can slow down, lighten up, and realign.
Call to schedule a float session or register online – you and your baby will both benefit!