Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (R.E.S.T), or float therapy, reduces the outside sensations of smell, sight, taste, sound, and spacial awareness so our body can relax and let go from the outside stimulus of everyday life. Floating can be incredibly beneficial for people with PTSD, anxiety or depression, and Carla, owner of The Zaniya Center in Chippewa Falls is enthused to tell us why.
What brought you to Float therapy?
I’ve been a massage therapist for almost four years. I focus on the brain-to-body balance which is especially crucial with clients with PTSD/anxiety/depression. I’m always exploring, and adding new services, so float therapy fell in my lap. The more I researched the benefits of R.E.S.T., the more it made sense to add that to The Zaniya Center. Since I wanted to serve clients with PTSD, I opted for the open tub concept.
How can float therapy help veterans with PTSD?
I offer TRE® (Trauma/Tension Release Exercise) to help with the body’s response to physical or emotional trauma. People with PTSD tend to live in the past for fear of the future, and float brings the person to the present, reconnecting the brain/body balance. By taking away sensory input, our nervous system is able to calm down while our brain shifts focus to basic functions such as heartbeats and blood flow. Basically, it helps transition the brain from fight or flight to rest and digest.
Floating elicits a sense of peace and calm not only during the float session but for 24-48 hours after. There is also a yin/yang effect, i.e. when we reduce anxiety and depression, we also increase serenity and joy, which has a direct effect on the physical body.
What's one thing you would tell someone who is considering float therapy?
Give it three consecutive sessions. The first session is about trusting the process. Figuring out how to do nothing and just be is really difficult. Letting go both physically and mentally isn’t going to happen when the lights go out, but it will happen with practice. The goal is you will eventually trust that you are ok and that this moment is ok. This is why we offer an intro to float package: buy two get one free.
So, if you or your loved one are looking to explore treatment options for PTSD, anxiety, and depression, be sure to check out The Zaniya Center.