There are numerous mental health-related areas where float therapy has shown real positive impact for many people, and one such area is various eating disorders. Many major eating disorders have a direct connection with mental health areas like anxiety, OCD and related concerns, and because float therapy is often able to dig into these areas and provide assistance, it’s shown real benefits to many with eating disorders as well.
At Body Balance Massage and Float, we’re proud to offer a wide range of float therapy tank services for a variety of clients with differing needs. Here are some of the basics on the connection between float therapy and assistance with eating disorders, including the research that’s out there and how this area might benefit you if you’re struggling with such a concern.
Anxiety and Eating Disorders
As we noted above, many eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and others have shown significant connections in research to mental health conditions. Individuals may begin to experience severe anxiety related to their appearance, obsessing over improving it even when this involves taking extremely unhealthy steps like severely restricting food, ridiculous amounts of exercise or other similar themes.
In fact, mental health professionals will tell you that eating disorder commonly co-occur with anxiety disorders. This may make symptoms worse and could make it tougher to recover, which is why addressing the underlying mental health areas is so important.
How Float Therapy Helps
Floatation therapy is one of several treatment methods that’s shown significant benefit to those with various mental health disorders, including those underlying many eating disorder cases. Through a state known as interoceptive awareness, those who participate in float therapy are able to heighten their internal sensory intake, helping ground the mind in a more realistic place moving forward.
For those with major body image issues, the potential impact here is large. The ability to change one’s personal body image and be more realistic about appearance can go huge lengths toward limiting or even preventing eating disorders from forming or continuing.
In fact, there’s research data to back this up. In a recent study, participants suffering from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa were first asked to describe their own body using an image outline corresponding to very thin, average or overweight figures – they were asked both how they currently look and how they wished they looked based on these templates. From here, they were put through several float therapy treatments, then asked the same questions after each treatment.
The results were clear: All participants involved selected a less exaggerated version of themselves after at least one float therapy session compared to their initial opinion given before the trial. While more research is needed, other studies have also reached similar conclusions.
For more on how float therapy benefits those with eating disorders, or to learn about any of our massage therapy or float therapy services, speak to the staff at Body Balance Massage and Float today.