don elginPictured: Australian Paralympian, Don Elgin
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Floating is not the first thing we think about when we mention the word stress. Throughout Floatober, Water Temple has focused on mental and emotional stress. Physical stress has an effect on the hormones and how we feel.

The stress and strain from muscular workout or injury from sports or trauma, affects the very base level of cellular health.

When our cells are stressed because they are not properly hydrated, or the cells don’t have the right nutritional balance of our core minerals, we require minerals so we can absorb the vitamins from food.

There are 16 essential minerals that the body stores and needs including:

  • magnesium,
  • chloride,
  • sulphur,
  • phosphorus,
  • sodium,
  • copper,
  • iron,
  • zinc,
  • potassium,
  • iodine,
  • calcium,
  • selenium

All play a vital role in keeping our cells happy and healthy.

Magnesium is needed for between 500-800 enzymatic functions in the body, from the electric impulses in the brain (neuron transmitters), the heartbeat, to the electric charge generated each time we engage in muscle activity.

Magnesium helps with cellular hydration, so if you are going to the toilet straight after drinking a glass of water, perhaps you don’t have enough magnesium in your diet.

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Shoshana Leibner who spent 30 years of her life as a professional ballet dancer; this was basically training and performing 7 days a week 8 hrs a day. To maintain this level of physical health discipline and prevent injury, Shoshana would float for an hour every day.

It was Shoshana’s parents, together with Dr Lily that created the first Floatation tank for personal and public use; this was the Samadhi tank.

While living in Italy for a decade, she made sure she had access to a float tank. She is also the person credited with introducing floatation therapy to Italy, Europe and Russia, and in fact, Shoshana was the person that help set up some of the first float centres.

Steph Curry is a poster boy for the float industry. Curry plays professional basketball for the Golden State Warriors in the USA, and uses REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) not only after a game, for recovery, releasing the lactic acid build up in the muscles, stopping all the adrenaline running through his system that is used to play a game. Below is the commercial he made -Curry dominates the court and his mind with floating’.

It also helps to shut out all the noise and opinions of people. He uses the silence to visualise how he wants to play a shot and improve his muscle memory.

Don Elgin, the high achieving Australian Paralympian, has just started floating at Water Temple and says, ‘he feels whole for the first time in his life when he floats’. See video of Don talking about his first float experience.

There has also been research on what the best environment is in order to gain most benefit from visualisation. Mediation is very much part of professional athletes’ training. I know tennis players float during the Australian Tennis Open in January as Water Temple has hosted a few.

The Australian institute of Sports uses floatation therapy and does its own research on the benefits both for physical and mental stress.

Floatation Therapy really has all the bases covered; it is not a bucket list or fad, but a therapy that will lead us into a new era of wellbeing.

By Dr Mychelle Whitewood (TCM)

Learn more about-Floatober