The float pod is the best stress buster I know. If you have stress or even anxiety (and who doesn’t?), float pod can relax you. It can even help to put your troubles in perspective. But did you know it can help with specific medical conditions, too? Take fibromyalgia. Can float pod be a help for fibromyalgia? The answer is yes.
Web health and fitness guru Dr. Gabe Mirkin says that a diagnosis of fibromyalgia “just means that there is no explanation for your pain and no specific treatment.” That sounds pretty harsh, but he’s just using plain language for a habit the medical community prefers to disguise. Doctors don’t like to admit they can’t come up with a diagnosis and don’t have a treatment.
A Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
The National Institutes of Health says pretty much the same thing about fibromyalgia in different words. “One problem is that there isn’t a specific test for it. And the main symptoms, pain and fatigue, are common in many other conditions. Health care providers have to rule out other causes of the symptoms before making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. This is called making a differential diagnosis.” So “fibromyalgia” is simply what’s left after you’ve ruled out any explainable cause for the condition.
The Arthritis Foundation offers the best explanation of fibromyalgia I could find. “Fibromyalgia’s cause is not clear. Researchers think that people with certain genes are affected by a trigger (e.g., physical or emotional stress or an illness). Then, the pain signals sent through their central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) get turned up too high. That’s why people with fibromyalgia react more strongly to pressure, heat, sound or light than people without the condition.” The Arthritis Foundation studies fibromyalgia because rheumatoid arthritis sometimes seems to lead to it.
Caring for Fibromyalgia
No repeatable, objective tests can diagnose fibromyalgia. So fibromyalgia sufferers must take an active role in their own care. And caring for fibromyalgia means managing the symptoms.
Many sufferers are just looking for pain relief. That’s where float pod comes in. I have written before about float pod’s ability to calm pain, including specific posts on back pain, migraine, and muscle tension pain. A float pod session dramatically reduces sensations. The pressure, heat, sound, and light that can so distress fibromyalgia sufferers fade away. With so little incoming stimuli, you readily lose awareness of your body. You feel like a disembodied consciousness. And it is the most profound relaxation I have ever experienced. The relaxation alone can help to break the tension-pain cycle.
Float Pod for Fibromyalgia
That’s my commonsense approach to float pod for fibromyalgia. As I have noted in previous posts, a great deal of clinical research documents the pain relief provided by float pod. But I want to make note of a particular research project. This study was presented (PDF) in 2012 at the Float Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden. Float centers in five countries recruited 81 sufferers of fibromyalgia. The centers provided them each with three float sessions. Participants completed questionnaires on their experience, particularly pain levels before and after. The researchers reported, “Participants experienced reduced pain, how much they were bothered by pain, muscle tension, stress sadness and anxiety after each floatation experience. In addition, they experienced increased ease of movement, energy, feeling of well-being and relaxation from the intervention.”
The researchers suggested that the experience of floating may “reset” the increased pain sensitivity that accompanies fibromyalgia. This is similar to the findings of other research projects.
Science is still struggling to explain what fibromyalgia is and what causes it. But if you suffer from it, my advice is not to wait for science. Book three float pod sessions at Peak Recovery & Health Center. See if they give you the same relief as the 81 sufferers in five countries who were discussed at the Float Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden.