Updated: Feb 1, 2020


Floatation therapy is one of the many ways to relieve stress and care for your body. As more of these self-care methods are popping up, one can get overwhelmed by the number of available options and their credibility. If you are looking for some physical therapy or you just discovered the float spa in your neighborhood, here is why you should check it out.

Who can benefit from floatation therapy?

Anyone looking to relieve stress. Whether male or female, most especially expecting mothers. A floatation tank has no adverse effect on the pregnant woman and her pregnancy. It has a hidden edge. The floatation tank contains a warm dark liquid, being suspended in it, bears a similarity to being in a womb. The similarity between a floatation tank and the womb is called the “Mirror Effect” in float circles. Although it is yet to be scientifically proven, pregnant women testified that it is an incredible bonding experience.

Benefits of Floatation therapy

1. Pain relief

Float tanks contain Epsom salt, which has high levels of magnesium—an essential mineral that helps to relieve joint and muscular pain. The buoyancy of the water alleviates bodyweight taking you as close as possible to zero gravity. In a study conducted in 2006 on 70 patients with chronic pain, 54 of the patients experienced relief from floating after 12 months. Patients reported lower stress levels, less anxiety, and that the results lasted for months. For women who are pregnant, float therapy is a wonderful way to displace gravity and remove weight from pressure points, such as in the hips and back.

2. Reduction of depression and anxiety

Over 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety, while over 17 million Americans suffer from depression, according to the Depression and Bipolar Supports Alliance. Pregnant women also experience anxiety, worries over the condition of her baby, and the number of hormones in her bloodstream will continue to rise throughout pregnancy. The usual treatment is medication and talk-therapy, but floatation therapy is growing in reputation. In a study conducted in 2014, with 65 participants divided randomly into a wait-list group and a floatation treatment group. The experiment treated members of the floatation group to twelve floatation treatments in seven weeks. There was an increase in depression amidst the control group while there was almost a 50% reduction in depression among the floatation group. The research proves that floatation therapy is a successful treatment for depression and anxiety.

3. Improved Productivity and Creativity

Sensory deprivation is a great way to recharge your batteries, meditate, and access your creativity according to many people. In 1987 the University of British Columbia conducted a study, using five professors of psychology as case studies. The professors spent six sessions (one hour per period), in a floatation tank and six sessions (90-minute per session) sitting in their office, alone. Each professor had a tape recorder, in which they dictated their ideas after each session. The study indicates that research ideas after a float session was more creative than after office sessions, effectively proving that floatation therapy facilitates creativity and productivity.

4. Stress relief

The American Medical Association stated that stress is about 60% of all illness is traceable to stress. The director of The Float Clinic, Justin Feinstein, Ph.D., says, “Our preliminary analyses are showing that the stress circuits of the brain are shutting off post-float.” He said this due to the discovery of scientific data which proves that floatation decrease stress and increase mindful meditation. The gravitational force of a floatation tank is almost zero; this allows the body to let-go so that the mind can meditate. The lack of outside stimuli allows even the most easily distracted people to meditate.

5. Improved sleep

Stress can disrupt sleep and cause insomnia. Whether it is due to work, health, or pregnancy. Individuals diagnosed with insomnia have been proven to sleep better after floatation. The body will feel rejuvenated, even long after the end of your session. Individuals have noticed an increase in their sleep quality, optimism, and prolactin levels.

In his paper “The Effects of Flotation REST on the symptoms of Fibromyalgia” Dr. Borrie stated that participants diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, experienced “Significant reductions in pain, muscle tension, stress, anxiety, and sadness, as well as significant increases in relaxation, feelings of well-being, energy, and ease of movement,” after only three sessions. These subjects experienced better sleep quality.

6. Absorption of magnesium and sulfate ions

Magnesium and sulfate are the two main components of Epsom salt in the floatation tank. Magnesium is essential for a wide range of biological functions, which is why women are advised to increase their intake of magnesium during pregnancy. The amount of magnesium supplied by our dietary intake of magnesium is insufficient. Ingestion is not the only way to supply the body with magnesium; we can absorb it through the skin.

Sulfate is also essential in the biological process. It is present in all the cells in our body, and essential to the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and nails. It also helps to detoxify and purify the body of chemicals and contaminants.

How does a float spa work?

The floatation tank is a sensory deprivation tank that contains highly salinized water, heated to skin temperature. The temperature allows a sense of zero gravity, erasing the line between the body and the water. The salt in the water helps soften the skin. The experience is very relaxing, causing most people to fall asleep, while others shut everything out, you are free to do anything you like. Sessions usually last between 60-90 minutes.

What about maintaining the water?

The water in a floatation tank is essentially sterile because of the high salinity, but high-speed filtration and rinse cycles with non-toxic UV, ozone, and hydrogen peroxide deliver safe and effective sanitation. The entire tank cycles multiple times between sessions to provide an extremely hygienic floatation experience.

How to prepare for a float session?

Avoid shaving or tanning before your session to avoid skin irritation. Eat a light meal, a few hours before your session. Have a shower at the float spa, before getting into the float room. Although the float spa will provide everything you need, you can still bring any personal product with you, if you prefer.

After your float session, you will immediately experience benefits like a more relaxed body, softer skin, and a calmer mind.

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