In this blog, I have proposed using float pod to manage fibromyalgia, generalized pain, insomnia, stress, anxiety, back pain, depression, and blood pressure. You can be forgiven for thinking it sounds too good to be true. But every one of my posts cites clinical research. Even I have been surprised, however, at how quickly it has taken off in the case of PTSD. I originally reported on float pod for PTSD in January 2019, and at that time, the evidence was still a little sparse, even vague.
A Police Department Adopts Float Pod
Just nine months after my original posting, the BBC reported on Hampshire Constabulary’s use of float pod for PTSD. “Ten Hampshire Police officers who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder have been taking part in a pilot project and the Hampshire Police Federation say the results have been so impressive they are going to continue offering sessions.”
Common sense would tell you float pod can provide immediate relief. PTSD attacks tend to occur as a result of some sort of trigger in the sufferer’s environment. It could be bright, flashing lights, explosive sounds, the sound of a particular song, or even an odor. In fact, one of the four types of symptoms of PTSD is avoidance of such triggers. There may be no better place to practice avoidance than float pod, which attempts to dramatically reduce environmental stimulation.
From Immediate to Long Term
Of course, those who treat PTSD want the sufferer to overcome avoidance rather than practice it. But if you need immediate relief from PTSD, float pod is an excellent place to get it.
Can it help in the long-term as well? I believe so. I believe PTSD involves what Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence) calls the amygdala hijack. The amygdala is the part of the brain that processes primal emotional reactions. It processes stimuli faster than the rational part of the brain does. As a result, it can incite behavior before the rest of the brain has a chance to analyze the stimulus. And it causes the fight/flight response.
Recent research shows that sensory deprivation, such as you experience in the float pod, reduces the activity of the amygdala. And a study at the Float Clinic and Research Center at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research found that the reduced activity of the amygdala persists after the float session is over. That means once you’ve floated, life continues to be less stressful even after you’ve showered away the epson salts. The reduced activity of the amygdala should give someone the margin needed to get control of the emotional reaction at the center of the PTSD experience.
Float Pod for PTSD
The National Center for PTSD offers a database of treatments that have been clinically studied. The Center considers talk therapy the most effective. Medications also help, at least supplementally. But there is also a category of “Complementary and Integrative Health Interventions.” When I looked over the list of those, I was struck by how many of them emphasize relaxation in one way or another. So relaxation is recognized as a PTSD management technique. Float pod is not listed among the complementary and integrative interventions, but float pod is nothing if not relaxing.
The complementary and integrative health interventions are not primary therapies. They are techniques for helping you stay on track with your formal treatment. That is where float pod belongs in your PTSD management — a supplement to your treatment administered by a doctor or qualified therapist.
If you’re one of the three percent of Americans experiencing PTSD right now, get treatment. And ask your doctor or therapist if floating can benefit you. Then prepare to work on getting better by learning to relax more thoroughly than you ever have before. Book a float pod session today.