Six Health Benefits of Float Therapy

Colin Cook

Ten years ago, a randomized controlled trial found that float therapy is an excellent way to recover from a workout. Volunteers who floated after intense exercise enjoyed both reduced muscle pain and lowered blood lactate levels compared to those who didn’t float. But float therapy can do more than help you recover from a hard workout. I count six health benefits of float therapy that can improve your life, even if you’re not an athlete.


Supplement Your Magnesium

Do you have a magnesium deficiency? Symptoms include muscles twitches and cramps, high blood pressure, apathy, fatigue, and muscle weakness.


The water in the float pod, which is filtered three to five times between users, contains a thousand pounds of medical grade Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). The salt is what makes you buoyant when you get in it. While you are floating, your skin absorbs magnesium from the Epsom salt and helps to top up your magnesium levels.


Meditation Made Easy

You don’t need to conform to a certain posture or sit on a particular cushion for effective meditation. Experienced meditators can do it anywhere. Discomfort, however, can be a distraction that keeps you from achieving the focus you need. It’s one of the reasons that meditation usually requires practice. I can say categorically that there is no discomfort in the float pod. Freed from both gravity and pressure points, you can lose your sense of self effortlessly and meditate like an adept.


Anxiety Control

A 2007 meta-analysis of flotation restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) found it lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as blood pressure. It enhances well-being and improves certain types of performance. Not only were the effects relatively strong, but they often persisted long after the float sessions. 


You can think of float therapy as a mini-vacation from anxiety. Like any vacation, it can provide a feeling of renewal. The outside world is still there when your float session is finished, of course, but having experienced such deep relaxation, and a temporary cessation of your fight or flight response, you are better able to deal with it. 


Lower Blood Pressure

Long-standing research has shown that flotation REST lowers blood pressure not only during the sessions, but between sessions as well. This is one of the best documented effects of float therapy.


Improve Sleep

In a Ph.D. dissertation for the University of British Columbia in 1989, Elizabeth Jean Ballard reported on a study she had done of 36 volunteers suffering from psychophysiological insomnia. She discovered that people who floated began to fall asleep more quickly, and the speed with which they fell asleep continued to increase even 12 weeks after the treatments.


Manage Addictions

A brief report in a 1987 issue of Addictive Behaviors described a study in which heavy smokers who were motivated to quit were better able to reduce their cigarette use when they floated regularly. “Reduction at 12 month follow-up compares favorably with other interventional techniques, and floats of longer duration appear to be a more effective intervention than shorter floats.” I doubt float therapy will wean you off an addiction by itself, but it can clearly add power to other interventions.


Health Benefits of Float Therapy

Float therapy can make you a more centered, relaxed, and rested person with lower blood pressure, more control over your worst habits, and healthy magnesium levels. Book a float therapy session at Peak Recovery & Health Center today.