Improved quality of life for people with fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that causes widespread chronic pain, muscle pain & tenderness, increased sensitivity, disordered sleep, memory impairment and emotional distress.
The Fibromyalgia Support Network of Western Australia (http://www.fibronetwork.org.au/fibromyalgia/treatments.html) recognises that non-drug treatment options are quite often of greater benefit to people with fibromyalgia than medications, and floatation therapy is emerging as an effective non-drug treatment. The Fibromyalgia Flotation Project (http://fibromyalgiaflotationproject.com/) documents research and case studies that demonstrate the evidence that floatation can significantly improve the lives of people with fibromyalgia, recognising that the major symptoms of fibromyalgia are matched by the benefits of floatation therapy.
Fibromyalgia is characterised by chronic widespread pain without apparent cause, so pain relief is a major area of focus for treatment plans. One hour of floatation has been found to significantly reduce pain.
People with fibromyalgia report symptoms of insomnia, restless leg syndrome and non-refreshing sleep. In addition to this, fatigue intensifies the other symptoms of the condition. Floatation is commonly used to promote better sleep and encourage deeper sleep over the day following each float session.
Impaired memory and concentration are among the main symptoms of fibromyalgia. Floatation enhances brain functionality and creativity through increased blood flow and an increase in theta waves.
Sensitivities & skin sensations
People living with fibromyalgia are sensitive to bright light, loud sounds, strong smells, touch may feel uncomfortable and they commonly report difficulty getting warm. Floatation tanks provide a unique opportunity for sensory relief being soundproof, light proof and heated to body temperature (36.5°).
Cramping and Muscle Spasms
Fibromyalgia is associated with muscle pain and stiffness. Floatation has been shown to significantly reduce pain and discomfort due to muscle tightness as the body absorbs magnesium.
A high percentage of people living with fibromyalgia suffer emotional distress, depression and anxiety. At the same time, negative thoughts and stress exacerbate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Floatation has been shown to assist in alleviating stress by reducing cortisol levels and blood pressure. The deep relaxation achieved during floatation is beneficial in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety. Furthermore, decreased pain improves mood, and while the relief is temporary, case studies have shown the effects on mood and longer lasting because the individual learns that relief is possible and this optimism is associated with more successful treatment all round.