The real challenge for athletes of all rankings and disciplines today is putting in place more and more efficient strategies for muscle recovery in order to improve performances in the field. Although the sports business is actually the ground where the popularity of cryotherapy and float therapy was spurred, these two solutions are now becoming the most frequent choices of anyone willing to feel good and to take care of their body and mind.
Let’s examine what they are all about.
Floatation has an impact on both the body and the mind thanks to two distinct yet synergetic actions. This practice does not create any points of contact, which has a regenerating effect on the body, as the spine is stretched, in addition to reducing muscle strains and naturally correcting posture. At the same time, it relieves the mind from the need to regulate the body temperature as water is kept at basal and balanced temperature, which contributes to a pure state of relaxation as a result of which the levels of cortisol are reduced, stress-related physiological parameters are improved and an optimised condition for mental training and ideomotor visualization is established.
Cryotherapy, on the other hand, basically uses extremely cold temperatures to speed up muscle recovery and to reduce pain through the inhibition of nerve endings and reduced blood flow to inflamed areas. In addition to reducing pain and fostering muscle recovery, cold improves the blood flow and helps remove harmful toxins from the body.
Floatation on its own is an effective practice for the regeneration of both body and mind. However, when used in combination with cryotherapy, it can give way to synergies and operating protocols that, when applied to sports especially, can help athletes reach top-ranking performances. Why?
Cryotherapy generates a burst of energy after the session because cold stimulates your nervous system. This is an advantage in terms of physical “productivity”. Excessive stimulation, however, may lead to feeling overpowered and anxious. This is where floatation plays its essential role: it balances adrenalin and gives a sensation of quiet and peace of mind. After a combined session of cryotherapy and floatation, your body experiments a sensation of positive activation without, however, feeling overpowered. Additionally, it experiences improved results in terms of daily productivity.
Extreme cold, as applied in cryotherapy, reduces the blood flow and inflammatory conditions and muscle soreness in the whole body, as a consequence. Floatation relieves all the pressure from the body by way of setting it free from any points of contact or constraints. This solution reduces the daily pressure exerted on the joints, neck, shoulders and back. As lactate is eliminated more quickly, it also contributes to efficient recovery, including at times when the break between two consecutive physical exercises is short.
Cryotherapy is a merely physical practice. Although an amount of mental strength is required to deal with the impact of cold, it is all about being able to “resist” a few minutes in a cold chamber. The actual benefit of cryotherapy is basically physical: it minimises the blood flow to injured areas, it reduces inflammatory conditions, it enhances muscle recovery and relieves pain. On the other hand, floatation does good to the mind in addition to producing the numerous physical benefits mentioned above. As it induces a deep state of meditation, it teaches therapy receivers to control their thoughts and actions, it enhances emotional intelligence, it inhibits anxious thinking, it helps overcome problems and it is an amazing occasion to practice visualization.
When working in synergy, floatation and cryotherapy exert an action on both body and mind, thus implementing the concept of a healthy body in a healthy mind and vice versa.