Float Therapy for Stress Relief

Colin Cook

Evolution designed you to respond to stress. When you meet a 500-pound smilodon sporting canine teeth like katanas, you want a good stress response. You want adrenalin and cortisol to flood into your bloodstream, your heart to race, your attention to focus on the threat, your body to mobilize for an explosive effort. On the other hand, evolution has been slow to provide you with an effective physiological response to job insecurity, traffic jams, marital problems, disrupted supply chains, or a constant parade of life-threatening headlines. For stressors that cannot be managed by a fight or flight reaction, your evolutionary response is actually unhealthy. That’s why we have float therapy for stress relief.

How to Manage Stress

Here’s a typical list of stress management tips, from WebMD:

  • Stay positive.
  • Don’t try to control what you cannot control.
  • Be assertive and state your feelings rather than being angry, defensive, or passive.
  • Manage your time.
  • Set your limits and say no to stressful demands and requests.
  • Pursue hobbies or interests.
  • Avoid alcohol, drugs, and compulsive behaviors, all of which tend to create as much stress as they seem to relieve.
  • Spend time with loved ones and maintain a network of friends.
  • Seek help from health professionals.


This is all good advice, and you’ll see it repeated in almost every article on stress management. But note how much it emphasizes avoidance. Now it stands to reason that the best way to escape the unhealthful effects of stress it to avoid stress. But what if you can’t avoid it? You can stay positive, but when the economy is tanking, your job or your business may still be at risk. Manage your time effectively, but you may have more responsibilities than hours in the day. Get together with loved ones, but your marriage may still be impossible to save.

Float Therapy for Stress Relief

Fortunately, you can actively fight stress with float therapy or what is sometimes known as flotation REST. “REST” is an acronym for restricted environmental stimulation therapy.


Thomas Fine and Roderick Borrie, in their article, “Flotation REST in Applied Psychophysiology,” summarized research in which they found a reduction in blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension during flotation REST, effects which persisted after the session was over. Furthermore, they found a decrease in stress mediating hormones, particularly cortisol, during the sessions. They also found the cortisol reduction to persist between flotation REST sessions, which they suggest could mean that REST actually resets the hormone to a more healthy level. In other words, most of the physical signs of the stress response are reduced. Floating will will not affect your job security, your marriage, or the state of the world. But it will help to preserve your health in the face of them.

The Experience of Floating

Flotation REST isn’t just stress management. It is stress relief. In the flotation chamber or float pod, you are cut off from external stimuli. You are in a soundproof, lightproof tank. Heavily salted water at near body temperature allows you to float. You don’t even feel the pull of gravity on your body. The lack of stimulation reduces your self-awareness to almost nothing. Imagine spending 45 minutes without hearing a single car horn or telephone, without having to respond to anyone or anything. The resulting state of mental and physical relaxation is far beyond what non-floaters experience in a lifetime.


Don’t spend another week simply enduring the stresses of modern life. Book a float therapy session at Peak Recovery & Health Center today.