Benefits Of Using Floatation Therapy During Pregnancy

Benefits Of Using Floatation Therapy During Pregnancy 5.00/5 (100.00%) 4 votes

Floatation therapy is a wonderful alternative technique to help you achieve deep relaxation. It involves lying in a lightproof, sound-insulated tank containing a shallow (ten inch deep) pool of warm water in which 700 lb of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) are dissolved.

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This forms a supersaturated solution of saline, which is kept at a constant skin temperature of 93.5 °F (34.5 °C). The floater is suspended on this bed of minerals, which, as it is more buoyant than the Dead Sea, neutralizes many of the effects of gravity.

This is important in helping you achieve relaxation as it is estimated that 90 per cent of all brain activity is concerned with the effects of gravitational pull on the body (e.g. correcting posture, main­taining balance, etc.).

The tank screens out light and sound so your brain is cut off from virtually all external stimulation. This induces a profoundly relaxed state in which you generate the special brainwaves—theta waves—associated with medi­tation, creative thought and feelings of serenity. Studies show that you also continue to produce large amounts of theta waves for up to three weeks after a float.

Floatation therapy is beneficial throughout pregnancy, and specially during the last few months when it is the only time in which you can comfortably lie on your back! Many of the beneficial effects of floatation therapy are due to a significant fall in blood levels of stress hormones—a fall that is main­tained for up to five days after treatment has stopped.

Floatation has been shown to lower high blood pressure even after a single float lasting 45 minutes. This effect continues gradually across repeated sessions, and the lower blood pressure is main­tained after floatation therapy stops.

Control studies using sub­jects reclining in dimly lit, quiet rooms do not show the same effects, so it is not merely the process of relaxation inducing the measured changes.

Floatation therapy also increases secretion of endorphins, which are opiates, or morphine-like substances, that are the brain’s natural painkillers. This reduces chronic pain, produces feelings of euphoria and also improves the quality of sleep.

Floatation therapy has, in addition, been found to reduce secretion of antidiuretic hormone so that excess retained fluid is lost by the production of larger quanti­ties of urine shortly after a float.


Floatation therapy has been described as a return to the womb as you are floating in a warm salt solution in an enclosed, dark yet safe place from which you will eventually have to emerge into the world.

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The increased secretion of endorphins also mimics that which occurs in pregnancy when the levels are up to eight times higher than normal. The baby is exposed during pregnancy to these higher levels which have a soothing stress-reducing effect. This soothing effect may be reproduced as a ‘womb-memory’ that helps to sooth adults during floatation, too.


Floatation can help to reduce several pregnancy-associated problems such as headache, high blood pressure, back pain and fatigue. It is also helpful for those who have given up smoking and still experience some nicotine cravings.


During floatation, you can also learn to focus in on your own body—a technique known as biofeedback. Some people learn to regulate body functions that are not usually under voluntary control such as speeding or slowing the heart rate at will and reducing a raised blood pressure. During pregnancy, focusing inwards will also help you to bond and communicate with your baby.


Most people prefer to float naked, but you can wear a bathing costume if you wish. You will be given earplugs to wear to protect your ears from the very salty solution, and should also apply Vaseline to cuts as the solution will sting if it comes into contact with open skin wounds.

Take great care not to drip any of the saline into your eyes as this will sting greatly. It is important to have professional supervision during floating when you are pregnant or if you are susceptible to claustrophobia. Floatation is not usually advised for those with a history of psychosis or epilepsy.


For best results, try a course of five weekly floats. You can obtain a similar deep relaxation in your own bathroom using mineral salts from the Dead Sea (available from larger health food stores and pharmacies). After soaking for 20 minutes, lie down in a warm, darkened, quiet room to fall asleep.