What is Float Therapy?|Know the Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Floating

Float therapy or flotation therapy is a luxurious way to soothe and heal the body from life’s constant stress and regular pressure. It provides you with immense pleasure and relaxation and also assists you with a lot of other health benefits.

What is a Float Therapy?

What is a Float Therapy?

Float therapy, also known as flotation therapy, is a wonderful way to heal the body from constant stress of daily life. By taking this therapy you can leave the noise and confusion behind and get some real time of total experience and deep healing in your peaceful space. Float therapy is known to have tremendous mental as well as physical health benefits; and that makes this therapy one of the most popular alternative therapies in current times.

Float therapy is actually a way to achieve deep relaxation by spending about 60 to 90 minutes in a warm (90-95 F) solution of Epsom salts and water in a float thank that keeps you suspended with absolutely no effort. There are certain amounts of control available for the user in the float tank, such as minimal lighting and meditative music. In case you require complete sensory deprivation experience, you can also choose to go pitch black with no voice audible.

The float tank is also sometimes called as “Sensory deprivation chamber” as it is entirely light-proof and sound proof. For taking the benefits of float therapy or floating, all you need is simply put in ear plugs and slowly enter the tank, lie on your back and just relax. You will simply feel free, weightless and relaxed.

It must be mentioned that first few minutes, you may experience itching in various body parts; which is a phenomenon also common during the early stages of meditation. The last twenty minutes of the float therapy in a floatation tank often end with a transition from beta or alpha brainwaves to theta brainwaves, which usually occurs briefly before sleep and again at waking. In the flotation tank, the theta state can last without the subject losing his or her consciousness. Extended theta state is used as a source for enhanced creativity and amazing problem solving ability. The more often the flotation tank is being used, the longer the theta period becomes.

How Does Float Therapy or Flotation Therapy Work?

The technique of float therapy or floatation therapy is simple. This technique takes advantage of an innate natural inclination so as to relax when floating at a comfortable temperature. The temperature is that which allows generation of heat naturally so as to escape without the requirement for muscle action so as to raise body temperature in homeostatsis.

The floating posture, allows all the postural muscles to relax. The water pressure on the portion of the skin immersed is lower than the blood pressure and thus flow of blood continues in the skin capillaries. This is in contrast to normal bed rest where local contact pressure inhibits the flow of blood requiring constant adjustment of the posture. Bed sores can occur when people cannot adjust their posture in the bed. However in floating tank while floating there is no tendency to adjust posture and an individual can float immobile for many hours.

The natural tendency of the body in the floating posture at the correct temperature is to dilate the blood vessels and thus reducing the blood pressure and in turn maximizing the flow of blood. The brain activity which is normally associated with postural muscles is reduced to a minimum. In this floating state, natural endorphins are released, reducing pain. Moreover there is also lactic acid removal in floating state. Flow in the lymphatic system is also enhanced during floating or in float therapy.

You must be worried about the fact what if you sink in the float tank? Well! It must be mentioned that there is no chance of you sinking in the floating tank as it contains about 1000 pounds of Epsom salt in the water and thus your buoyancy is guaranteed.

Physical Health Benefits of Floating:

Following are some of the physical health benefits of floating.

  1. Floating Eases Muscle Pain and Joint Pain:

    Epsom salt comprises of magnesium and sulfate. It is known that flotation tank used in float therapy has Epsom salt in water. Magnesium present in the Epsom salt helps in easing muscle pain and gets joint relaxation. The sulfate delivered from the Epsom salt is also known to be beneficial in formation of joint protein.

  2. Floating is Beneficial for Digestive System:

    There are digestive health benefits of float therapy or floating. The sulfate content from Epsom salt helps in formation of mucin proteins that makes the walls of the digestive tract.

    Studies also explain that sulfates also stimulate the pancreas for generating digestive enzymes and aids in detoxifying the body’s residue of medicines and environmental contaminants.

  3. Floating Aids in Circulation:

    The Epsom salt has magnesium and this increases the magnesium levels of your body while floating which can help in improving blood circulation.

  4. Lowers Blood Pressure:

    Lowering ones blood pressure can help in significant reductions in risk of strokes and heart attacks; regardless of his or her age. Float therapy or floating can help in significantly lowering your blood pressure.

  5. Helps in Getting Rid of Tension Headaches:

    It is known that float therapy or floating can benefit you in relieving tension headaches. You can spend 2 hours of floating in a float tank and get enough relief from your chronic tension headaches.

  6. Skin Health Benefits of Floating:

    There are also wonderful skin health benefits of floating or float therapy. When you come out of the floating tank your skin will be exfoliated and will become soft. In fact you feel everything in your body pretty soft and relaxing after float therapy.

  7. Floating for Physical Therapy Patients:

    Patients undergoing physical therapy usually get more benefit when they go for float therapy prior to physical therapy sessions. Floating helps their muscles to be more relaxed and the physical therapy interventions can be more effective. The magnesium dissolved in the water in float tank provides muscle relaxation.

Mental Health Benefits of Floating:

There are also some great mental health benefits of floating. Below we will look after them.

  1. Relieves Stress and Provides Relaxation:

    We already know that float therapy is highly beneficial in relieving stress and providing relaxation to the body as well as the mind. In the float tank, the mind and body are shielded from all the external stimulation and thus it creates a state of sensory relaxation. The brain’s normal workload is reduced to about 90% less and in this situation, the body as well as the mind conserves energy and has a great chance to heal and rejuvenate. Thus, you have extreme relaxation with float therapy.

  2. Enhances Creativity:

    You can enhance your creativity by float therapy. The individuals taking float therapy experience increased creative ideas and this effect is similar to that which occurs from meditation. However, there are still researches to be conducted on how well floating and creativity are linked to each other.

  3. Treats Insomnia:

    Are you suffering from insomnia or sleep deprivation? Well! Then floating might help you in getting proper sleep. It is found that floating for 2 hours in a week for two weeks can be highly beneficial in improving an individual’s sleep

  4. Improves Visualization:

    Visualization is improved with float therapy or floating. Here you can simply relax in the float tank, out of everything from the external world and remain connected within self and feel the tremendous benefits of meditation and visualization while floating in a relaxed state.

  5. Reduces Depression and Anxiety:

    It can be mentioned that float therapy or floating can somehow help in reducing depression and anxiety too.

Some Tips to Follow Before Entering the Floating Tank:

  • Cover any of the body cuts with Vaseline. This is because open skin doesn’t feel good when it comes in contact with the Epsom salt in the float tank water.
  • On your first session of float therapy you may feel a bit difficulty in relaxing your neck. So, you may take small flotation device to tuck under your neck which will help you greatly.
  • In case you have long hairs, take a brush while taking floating sessions. This is because trying to handle salt-soaked long hair after coming out of the float tank is not that pleasurable.
  • Do not have too much of expectations of what all you will be experiencing after or during the float therapy. Keep your mind relax and simply float.


We now know about the amazing physical and mental health benefits of floatation therapy or floating. Apart from all these benefits, there are also some other benefits of floatation therapy. One gets to know how to love self after few sessions of float therapy. This in turn also helps in developing relationships with others. So, if you loved the benefits of this magical float therapy then why not try and experience the same on your own?

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 21, 2018

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