Veterans Day is a holiday in the United States that celebrates military veterans. It is observed on November 11, the anniversary of the armistice, which ended World War I. Originally known as Armistice Day, it was first celebrated in 1919. In 1954, the United States Congress renamed the holiday Veterans Day to honor all American veterans, both living and dead.
Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by the people who have served our country. For many veterans, the transition back to civilian life can be a challenge. They may struggle with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Float therapy has been shown to offer relief from these conditions by providing a sense of calm and relaxation. True REST Float Spa is committed to helping veterans heal and relax by providing free float therapy sessions to veterans.
Float therapy involves lying in a salt-water tank that is partially filled with water and Epsom salt. The high concentration of salt allows individuals to float effortlessly, and the tank is designed to block out all light and noise. This environment also helps veterans de-stress and find peace.
What Are the Different Types Veterans Day Activities?
There are many different types of Veterans Day activities that companies and municipalities host. Some might choose to hold a special ceremony in honor of veterans, others might provide discounts or free services to veterans and others might donate money or goods to veteran-related charities.
Communities across the country host a variety of Veterans Day activities that bring people together in remembrance of the sacrifices made by service members. This Veterans Day activities list isn’t all-encompassing, but it does recognize some of the most popular celebratory events.
- Parades—as an organized procession of people along a street, parades are accompanied by marching bands, floats, dancers and other special features that invite audiences to watch as they walk, drive or pass by. Usually hosted by community organizations, parades offer people the chance to celebrate a significant theme or holiday. Parades, especially ceremonial parades, also allow the community to gather together to enjoy the organizations, businesses and other people that make up their city. For Veterans Day parades, veterans’ groups, military organizations, civic clubs, bands, drill teams and public officials such as first responders are often featured as the special guests.
- Programs—while parades may be included in Veterans Day programs, other programs hosted to honor veterans include special ceremonies with official military procedures that show respect for veterans in attendance. Some programs may also feature activities such as picnics or luncheons, music presentations or guest speakers.
- Relays, Walks or Races—one of the most common acts of community service in honor of Veterans Day is running or walking events. Many areas host these relays to encourage others to carry the American flag on a pre-determined route. Some may not require carrying the flag but instead bring together surrounding communities in remembrance or for a charity component—many organizations that host a walk or run will raise money for military nonprofits to donate proceeds to its mission. These events put money back into community organizations that ultimately help service members in their towns.
- Reflections and Moments of Silence—Many programs or events honoring Veterans Day will begin the ceremonies with a moment of silence. The moment of silence is used to recognize and reflect on the service and sacrifices made by all veterans, past and present, for two minutes. The observance traditionally takes place at 11 a.m. to symbolize when World War I ended with a truce at 11 a.m. on November 11. Although, a moment of silence is appropriate at any point during a program and is often followed by the playing of “Taps.”
- Freebies and Gifts—while many local Veterans Day activities are happening, national brands like to participate and give back to veterans on the holiday. Every year, news outlets publish listicles featuring top deals veterans can redeem on November 11. Some include steep discounts on services or free food items at participating locations. For example, True REST Float Spa offers veterans free one-hour flotation therapy sessions on Veterans Day. Service members must book an appointment ahead of the day to ensure a spot is available.
The Veterans Administration publishes an annual list of Veterans Day Activities. Check out their Veterans Day 2022 free meals, discounts and offers.
How Does Float Therapy Support Veterans?
Floatation therapy is an excellent way to reduce various medical conditions in favor of calmness and tranquility within the mind and body. The brain can enter a state of deep relaxation by floating in a float pod in a dark room without any outside stimuli. This is known as sensory deprivation, which can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The buoyancy of the water in the float pods alleviates gravity from the body, addressing chronic physical health issues like joint pain, inflammation, arthritis or muscle tension.
Floatation therapy is a safe and all-natural therapeutic experience backed by scientific research. It is especially beneficial for active-duty military personnel and veterans who may be struggling with mental or physical trauma from their service.
- Depression—depression is one of the leading mental health issues in veterans due to decades of continuous deployment, with research suggesting that anywhere from 14-16% of service members have depression or PTSD. After witnessing combat, many veterans may experience sadness, loss of interest in everyday activities, weight loss, fatigue, worthlessness, decreased concentration or thoughts of suicide. Depression can be caused by many things, including hormones or inherited traits, but it is believed that its underlying cause is due to effects on neurotransmitters or the chemical messengers responsible for sending signals from one neuron to a cell. Flotation therapy supports neurotransmitters, which are also responsible for releasing chemicals in the body known as dopamine and serotonin. Floating can allow these chemicals to be released through the effects of relaxation, thereby potentially countering low levels of these “happy chemicals” in favor of producing more to combat depression.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—in 2021, 75% of post-9/11 veterans confirmed that they experienced PTSD due to their military service. The condition is developed after a very stressful, terrifying or prolonged exposure to a traumatic experience. The disorder’s symptoms may include depression, stress, anxiety, flashbacks, insomnia, and more. Float therapy addresses PTSD by introducing the brain to a stimulus-free environment, shifting it into a state of calm rather than a flight or fight response caused by the nervous system. Rather than feel stressed or anxious, the mind can fully relax—with some practitioners using float therapy to meditate and re-center their frame of mind.
- Anxiety—per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly 9.9% of veterans have reported elevated anxiety levels. While anxiety differs from PTSD, they are controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which produces the flight or fight response—an instinctual reaction to danger. Anxiety can lead to panic attacks that can cause a rapid increase in the heart rate, shortness of breath, chest pain or nausea. Float therapy works on anxiety similarly as it does for PTSD—it calms the mind through a lack of external stimuli in favor of a quiet and tranquil environment. With distractions lessoned, the brain has more time to focus inward rather than processing the outside world through the five senses.
- Chronic Pain—chronic pain is significant and of greater intensity in veterans than in the rest of the United States’ population, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Some veterans suffer from combat injuries, while others may deal with the effects of more complex labor and strain on the body. Float therapy offers relief of this pain through the combination of Epsom salts mixed with water, which is denser than the Dead Sea because of the salt-to-water ratio. Each float pod at True REST Float Spa is filled with 180 gallons of water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts. This means someone can easily float atop the water while it releases gravity’s hold on the body. The body can relax and elongate, stretching the spine and reducing tension in common areas prone to pain, such as the neck, knees, back or hands. It can also accommodate other chronic pain symptoms of arthritis or fibromyalgia.
How Veterans Can Experience Float Therapy at True REST Float Spa on November 11
To honor veterans on Veterans Day, True REST Float Spa is proud to provide free float sessions for service members. Every True REST Float Spa across the country will close to the general public and only offer float sessions to veterans who have booked an appointment for Friday, November 11.
To book a free float therapy session, veterans and active-duty military can call their nearest location and mention that they are a current or retired service member. On the day of the appointment, guests with an appointment simply show their military ID or DD Form 214 to begin their flotation therapy session.
Veterans can visit https://truerest.com/locations/ to find a participating location for True REST Float Spa’s Veterans Day deal. More information about the event is also available at https://truerest.com/free-floats-for-military-veterans/.
Whatever type of Veterans Day activities companies and municipalities choose to participate in, the most important thing is that we all show our appreciation for the service and sacrifice made by our military veterans and be sure to say, “thank you for your service!”
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