Floatation therapy helps with most things related to anxiety and stress – extending not only to general stress factors, such as exams or raising a family, but also to one of the cornerstones of our society: emergency services, be they medical, law enforcement or the fire department.
While helping those in need is the greatest reward for people working in a first responder role, the selflessness can come at a steep price to one’s self and health. To sustain the efficiency and skill needed to perform their role, the body of a first responder suffers an incredible amount of stress and often also sleep deprivation. To maintain the necessitated high level of focus, some use copious amounts of coffee while others just push through, resulting in feeling drained and irritable when not hard at work.
Being on call can be even worse, as the mind never truly gives the body a chance to recuperate and heal in true relaxation. This is because the potential need for it to be suddenly awake, active, and at the top of its game means that you might be at home watching tv, but your mind and body are still hard at work.
The scale of trauma endured by emergency service workers can lead to anxiety and even depression or PTSD.
Beyond Blue highlights the extent of the problem across the country:
One in three police or emergency service workers will suffer high or very high psychological distress. Almost one in two will be diagnosed with a mental health condition. And officers who have worked for more than a decade in the field, are six times more likely to suffer symptoms of PTSD.
While it is noble to be a part of these services, it isn’t good to think about everyone else, and to forget yourself.
How floatation provides a space to recover for first responders
It is hard to think of a more stressful role than those of emergency workers and their related roles. Being the backbone of society is a hard weight to bear, and just as the patients in a hospital are told by their doctors the time it will take to heal, so too should you with your body. The longer a period goes without the stress being addressed, the worse it gets.
It is times like these that floating is a wonderful tool. One float alone can wash away many layers of stress for a time, and make long nights and shifts end in bliss rather than in irritation. It can grant you an hour of complete silence, and draw you into a place where the troubles of work feel so far away. Repeated floats on a regular schedule take these benefits to the next level.
The pod contains its own unique environment to give you a reprieve from the world. This silent cocoon just for yourself provides a chance for you to recover from a tough week, find some peace and reconnect with yourself. Repeated float sessions are a way to safeguard yourself against the ongoing work-related stress.
The physical benefits are noteworthy: As a member of the emergency services, it can be absolutely essential to be in peak physical condition so as to ensure that your job is performed with the excellence and accuracy required.
Our float tanks contain over 550kg of Epsom salts, which are a Magnesium Sulphate compound (essentially a muscle relaxant which will ease muscle and joint pain as well).
When floating in the zero gravity environment of our float pods, this will fully decompress your spine, sapping away back aches and joint pains. It also gives a healthy dose of magnesium to relax your muscles and assist in the healing processes that follow physical exertions.
Benefits of floatation therapy for paramedics, police officers, firemen and more:
- Gives your muscles a proper chance to recover from stress and overworking
- Drains away fatigue rapidly, improving with each float
- Energises you, helping to get through the long weeks and get over long nights/shifts
- Reduces muscular tension and assist in recovery
- Eases joint pain
- Balances out sleeping patterns thrown off by being on-call or working through the night
- Gives a period of silence and peace
- One hour floating is equivalent to the effect of 4-8 hours of deep sleep
- You will have incredible sleep after your float, waking up fresh the next day rather than tired or worn
When to use float therapy in this line of work?
The very best time to use a float tank to help you lessen stress and fatigue is actually to pre-empt times of stress (so if you are going on to night shift, float beforehand!).
Floating after a period of stress is highly recommended if floating beforehand is not possible. Coming in after a tough shift, the float can bestow immense relief and give you the rest you crave.
Floatation therapy before the end of a period of leave, or before you begin what looks to be a big week, is a great way to make transitions in your responsibilities a smooth one. Pretty much any time you face a period of fluctuating routines, or inordinate/unexpected stress, floating beforehand will safeguard you as you move into it, providing you a peace-of-mind barrier to the anxiety that plagues times like those.
Floating once a week or fortnightly is recommended to reap the maximum benefit and ensure that you stay on top of caring for yourself.
Integrating floating into your schedule, even as busy as it may be, and making it into a habit will help. For example, make it a habit to swing by The Float Space after work on your way home; or in the morning after you finish a night shift, float, and then go home to rest. The payoff of taking some time to tend to yourself is so, so worth it.
The gym can be a common therapy to those in this line of work. Having a float immediately afterwards can not just continue that therapeutic experience, but also assist in muscular healing that is needed to attain the best results from working out.
Sometimes it can be hard to even realise that you need a break, or let alone that you deserve one! Integrating floating into your routine can make prioritising you part of your schedule, and thus make time out for self care part of your life, and who can say that that’s ever the wrong choice?
My daughter and I had a 1 hour float at West End Float Space recently. It was awesome. I didn’t think I would be able to last a whole hour and was shocked when the time was up. It was invigorating. I walked out feeling like a new person. The staff were very friendly and informative. Highly recommend having a float here.
~ Julie Kincaid – 5-Star Review on Google
If you’re not using floatation therapy to give you the much needed break you deserve, why not give it a try?