What is Float Therapy?
Float therapy, commonly referred to as floatation therapy, sensory deprivation or R.E.S.T (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) therapy, involves lying in a uniquely designed tank filled with Epsom salts. The tank in which individuals float is soundproof and lightless and it is filled with water at skin temperature. It is considered one of the best relaxation and stress relieving techniques used today. Athletes as well as individuals who are suffering from physical conditions such as arthritis, neck and back pain, use floating therapy for pain management and to relieve muscle/joint tension. It is a unique form of therapy that is now widely accepted as an effective solution to alleviate symptoms of common ailments and conditions like depression, arthritis, stress and chronic back pain.
What is sensory deprivation?
Sensory deprivation is a term that is often used in sensory deprivation float therapy. This is because during therapy all sources of incoming stimuli are greatly reduced allowing the body to enter a deep state of relaxation. It is a state where the nervous system is completely calm and stress hormones like cortisol are regulated.
- Sensory deprivation has many benefits including:
- Relieves stress and anxiety
- Helps in pain relief
- Promotes total relaxation
- Reduces headaches
- Helps to increase blood circulation
- Contributes to better sleep
- Sports recovery
Sensory deprivation tanks
Float tanks contain 1000 pounds of Epsom salts which make the environment not only relaxing but also sanitary for the user. The tanks are large and comfortable, so you never have to feel like you’re stuck in a cramped space. In fact, there are floating tanks wide enough to fit two people like a couple that wants to float together.
A few key reminders about floating tanks:
- The water is kept at body temperature, so you can’t distinguish the parts of your body that are immersed in water when floating.
- The tank offers a very calm and comfortable experience plus you get to choose when to switch off the lights by giving yourself time to familiarize with the environment.
- 1 hour in the isolation tank is considered the same as 4-6 hours of sleep
- The tanks are properly cleaned and well-maintained. Water is filtered and purified between floats.
What to do before and during floating
If it’s your first time floating, we recommend taking the following measures before you enter the isolation tub.
- If possible, come 15 minutes early to the facility so that you have ample time to check in and prepare before you begin.
- Avoid shaving at least 12 hours (for women) or 6 hours (for men) before floating as this can cause cuts or openings that sting you during the floating experience causing distractions.
- Have a light meal 1 to 2 hours before floating so that you’re not distracted by hunger pangs when floating.
- You want to ensure your body is hydrated before floating so drink some water before you enter the tank. However, don’t overdo it or you may be forced to take bathroom breaks mid-float.
- Before you get into the isolation tank, use the washroom so that you don’t feel distracted during the float.
- You may want to avoid smoking before floating because it can be too stimulating.
- Caffeine also causes a stimulation effect which is what you want to avoid when floating. Don’t take caffeine before floating.
- Floating post-workout has some amazing benefits. You should consider performing some physical activity before your session. Whether this means taking your routine morning run or rushing to the gym first, physical activity before the float can help to relax the muscles and enhance blood circulation.
- If you have dyed your hair recently, wait for a week or a month until the dye or highlight doesn’t run through water when you shower. This is because many hair dyes will bleed out or react with the Epsom salt, interfering with your floating experience.
- Sometimes floating can damage a freshly done tattoo. Therefore, we recommend waiting up to 6 weeks before you float if you’ve had a tattoo recently done.
Once you enter the isolation tank, take note of the following:
- While inside the tank, try to be as comfortable as possible. It may take a while before you relax but as soon as you settle, make sure you breathe through the nose. Try to avoid manipulating your breath. Your body knows how to breathe and will do it naturally so there’s no need to take deep breaths the entire time.
- The positions you choose to adopt while inside the isolation tank are entirely up to you. However, there are some positions we highly recommend. The easier position is to put your arms at your sides. You can also try to put the palms down or put them up with your arms over your head. Just try these positions and see which one you are most comfortable with.
- While in the tank, focus more on your breathing. Try and avoid feeling anxious or expecting something to happen. These feelings can make your brain more active so be present and instead repeat words that are calming such as ‘peace’ and ‘let go’.
- After staying in the tub for a few minutes, you’ll find the position that is most comfortable for you. We recommend staying as physically still as possible in that position. This will really help your body and mind to relax and recharge.
- In case the water gets to your eyes or ears, we provide a solution that can help you to ease the irritation or discomfort.
Floating will expose your body to a specialized environment that is extremely hard to find anywhere else. Whether you find it hard to sleep or you experience severe pain and anxiety, this form of therapy could be something you need for better health and wellness. At Float Room, we offer the best equipment and service to make your floating experience a fulfilling and beneficial one.