For a variety of individuals in today’s modern world, stress and anxiety reduction are top priorities. The hustle and bustle of daily live can create significant amounts of stress, and we naturally look to a number of potential methods to help relieve it, one of which is float therapy, which has shown significant positive results when it comes to reduction of stressors and anxiety.
At Body Balance Massage and Float, we offer a wide range of float therapy services to provide a variety of long-term and short-term benefits, including anxiety reduction. In particular, float therapy will have an impact on what are known as the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems within the body – what are these systems, how do they impact our responses to stress, and how does float therapy help? Here’s everything you need to know.
Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Systems
As their names suggest, the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are two opposite parts of the body’s autonomic nervous system. They control basic functions you perform thousands of times daily, from breathing and blood pressure to body temperature, digestion and numerous other areas. More importantly for this article, they also regulate our responses to stress, threats and similar perceptions.
When an imminent threat or major stressor comes about, the body’s sympathetic system activates and floods you with hormones. These raise your heart rate, shoot glucose into your bloodstream for energy and dilate your pupils – this is the “fight-or-flight” response present in virtually all mammals. When the threat or stressor is gone, however, the parasympathetic system takes over to calm the body back down, lowering its breathing, heart rate and hormone flow.
Overuse of Sympathetic System
The sympathetic nervous system serves important purposes, but it should not be activated too often. Over time, modern human bodies don’t separate true safety threats from things like work and daily life stress, and many of us have far too much activity taking place within the sympathetic system as a result. This leads to issues with everything from anxiety and sleep to digestion and even overall physical health.
How Float Therapy Helps
Luckily, float therapy is one technique known to help refocus the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. It allows for homeostasis, or an equilibrium within the body and mind, by allowing us to escape the daily grind and be relaxed. The mind has the opportunity to clear itself and move further toward homeostasis from either direction, whether it was previously too stressed or, more rarely, too relaxed.
For more on the differences between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and how float therapy can help even these out, or to learn about any of our massage therapy or other spa services, speak to the staff at Body Balance Massage and Float today.