Whether you’re recovering from a car accident or feeling the effects of years of contact sports, concussion symptoms can be long-lasting and painful. Medical treatment is always the first line of defense for concussions, but even then, there’s not always a good fix for the chronic pain, migraines, and other unpleasant effects that linger afterward.
Paired with traditional medicine, floatation tank therapy can offer holistic, drug-free relief for some of these symptoms. Healing concussions is complex, but the deep relaxation of a float tank could help reduce the severity of your pain.
In this guide, we’ll break down what concussions are and how floating can help with pain management post-concussion.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Concussion?
- How Does Float Therapy Work?
- 5 Benefits of Floating for Head Injuries
- Floating After a Concussion: What To Know
- Pause the Pain: Try Float Therapy
What Is a Concussion?
Concussions are a type of traumatic injury that causes the brain to bounce around your skull. Medically speaking, they’re a “temporary loss of normal brain function.”
You can get a concussion from:
- Contact sports
- A car accident
- A fall
You should immediately go to the emergency room after a bad fall or a blow to the head. Fifty percent of concussions go undetected, but seeing a doctor ASAP could save your life or cognitive function. A physician might order an MRI or CT scan if your symptoms are severe enough. Repeated concussions increase your chances of chronic neurological conditions, so early, effective management is important.
Some concussions are milder and require weeks of rest and recovery (under a doctor’s supervision, of course). Even mild concussions can lead to unpleasant symptoms, including:
- Migraines and headaches
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Vision and hearing problems
Unfortunately, you might not feel back to your old self after you recover from a concussion. Post-concussion syndrome can cause headaches and ongoing pain months after a concussion.
Some headache sufferers will do just about anything to ease the pain. Floating is a perfect addition to your doctor’s pain management plan, giving you a much-needed reprieve from daily pain.
How Does Float Therapy Work?
Float therapy, also known as floatation therapy, is a popular, all-natural relaxation technique. You lie in a float tank filled with water and Epsom salt. The high concentration of Epsom salt makes you float effortlessly in the water. The tanks are quiet and dark to minimize sensory stimulation, providing a unique form of sensory deprivation that encourages relaxation.
5 Benefits of Floating for Brain Injuries
More people try floating in addition to traditional medical treatment. Floating can’t replace medical care, but the quiet, gravity-defying environment of a float tank has many benefits for anyone suffering from the aftermath of a concussion.
1. Reduced Stimulation
Take a break from headache-inducing screens, lights, and sound. The darkness and silence of the tank allow your brain to rest without the constant pressure of processing sensory information. This gives your brain time to rest in a truly peaceful, distraction-free environment.
2. Stress Reduction and Relaxation
A float encourages deep relaxation, which can decrease cortisol and even lower your blood pressure. This relaxation response won’t heal concussions, but it can lower the stress that often comes with a traumatic head injury.
If the near-constant pain has you on edge, floating gives you a break from the anxiety. This study found that floating can reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and some pain. It can even increase feelings of optimism.
3. Better Sleep
Your brain can’t heal if you can’t sleep, but sleeping after a concussion is easier said than done. Your brain isn’t functioning normally, which can disrupt sleep cycles.
Fortunately, floatation therapy can promote healthier sleep patterns. Some people see improvements in their sleep as long as two months after a float.
4. Lower Pain
A float provides drug-free pain relief, which is great for managing post-concussion symptoms. The combination of a gravity-free float and Epsom salt in the water can help lower pain levels.
If you’re struggling with tight neck or shoulder muscles post-concussion, floating will take pressure off these muscles and joints so you can relax. Epsom salt contains magnesium, which your body absorbs through your skin as you float. A study found that this can reduce both acute and chronic pain.
5. Cognitive Health
It’s very common to experience brain fog after a concussion. You might have trouble focusing for months or even years after a concussion. Floating won’t heal concussions, but the tranquility and isolation of float therapy can support mental clarity. Many floaters report improved focus and cognitive function after a float session.
Floating After a Concussion: What To Know
Float therapy is so beneficial, but there are a few things to note if you’re interested in floating after a head injury.
Floating Can’t Replace Medical Treatment
Float therapy can be a great addition to comprehensive medical therapies. However, it isn’t a replacement for physical therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, or medication.
Watch Your Timing
Your brain is in a vulnerable state right after a concussion. It’s not recommended to do float therapy right after a concussion. Wait for your doctor to clear you before you try float therapy. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, it’s too early for a float.
You can try adding float therapy once the acute symptoms lessen. Everyone is different, though, so it’s important to ask your doctor before floating after a concussion—just to be safe.
Pick a Schedule That Works for You
Some people float just once a month, while others float once a week. You’ll see more benefits from floating more frequently, but it’s entirely up to you.
Know What To Expect
Avoid shaving, waxing, or dyeing your hair before a float. When you arrive at Krysus HP, our friendly staff will check you in and lead you to a changing room. We recommend floating nude, but you can also float in a swimsuit if you prefer.
You’ll change into a robe and slippers and go to your private float room. Wash up with the in-room shower before putting on a swim cap and earplugs. The tank will light up and play soft music as you settle in and gently fade into dark silence.
We recommend meditating and trying to clear your mind as you float. Give into the sensation and allow your body to be weightless. You’re free to exit the tank at any time if you feel disoriented or dizzy.
The music and lights will slowly fade back in when the session is over. You’ll exit the tank and take a shower to rinse off the saltwater. Change back into your robe and slippers, and we’ll escort you back to the changing room. Enjoy the rest of your day in relaxed bliss!
Pause the Pain: Try Float Therapy
Float therapy can be a great addition to your treatment plan after a head injury. Whether you’re recovering from a sports injury or a car accident, floatation therapy is a break for your mind and body after a traumatic injury.
Ditch chronic pain and migraines and Book your float therapy session at Krysus HP now.