Last week, I wrote about the importance of self-care and how Peak Recovery & Health Center can help with your self-care needs. It got me thinking about self-care during a special phase of life: pregnancy. There are many sites on the web that can advise you on self-care for pregnancy. They all offer the same broad guidelines: sleep well, eat well, engage in low-impact exercise, and avoid stress. None of these sites advises you to take regular float pod sessions. But I advise it, provided your doctor agrees. Because it is one of the best ways to reduce and manage stress, float pod can be good for your pregnancy.
The Joy of Floating
Here’s what it’s like when you show up for a float pod appointment at Peak. One of our staff members brings you to the float room and gives you a quick rundown on the device: how the lid operates (you can keep it open or closed) as well as the various buttons to play music, turn up the lights, or summon help (which you never really need). The staff member gives you a towel and a set of pliable ear plugs (to keep water out of your ears) and makes sure you know how to lock the door to the float room.
Once you’re alone, you shower, decide whether you want to wear anything during the session (naked is best, but suit yourself), and put in the ear plugs. The water in the float pod is 10 inches deep. It is freshly filtered and contains 1,000 pounds of epsom salt. It is set to the same temperature as your skin (93.5° F). You step into the pod and lie on the water facing upward. You cannot sink. If you want the best sensory deprivation experience, you pull the lid closed to keep out ambient light. As you float in the darkness, you don’t even feel the pull of gravity on your body. You begin to lose your awareness of where you end and the rest of the world begins. The resulting state of mental and physical relaxation is far beyond what most people experience in a lifetime.
Float Pod for Pregnancy
How does this experience benefit your pregnancy? Four ways:
- Comfort. Without the pull of gravity, you can recline for 45 minutes without moving and without even wanting to move. It is the complete elimination of discomfort.
- Stress Reduction. Sensory deprivation reduces the activity of the amygdala (the part of the brain governing the “fight-or-flight” response). And a study at the Float Clinic and Research Center at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma found that the reduced activity of the amygdala persists even after the float session is over.
- Better Sleep. As I reported in this post, a recent research project found people who floated began to fall asleep more quickly at bedtime, and the speed with which they fell asleep continued to increase even 12 weeks after the floating sessions.
- Understanding. Floating in an environment of reduced stimulation recreates the world of your baby. The experience helps you get a better perspective on what you are achieving in your pregnancy.
Ask Your Doctor
Check with your obstetrician before trying the float pod. I’ve never heard of one objecting to it. Some even say the epsom salts can help top up your prenatal magnesium level. But it’s important to get your doctor’s blessing for anything you want to do during pregnancy, if only for your own peace of mind and confidence in the activity itself.
Then book a float pod session at Peak Recovery & Health Center. It will be a beautiful experience, for both you and your baby.