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The main benefit of float therapy is cutting off all contact between the outside world and your senses, particularly sight, touch, and hearing. Floating weightlessly in darkness and silence is a unique gateway to mindfulness, easing tension muscles while soothing anxiety. When the body reaches a deep level of relaxation, positive physical changes occur. As muscles relax, blood pressure drops, stress hormones are washed away, and feel-good endorphin output rises.
A relatively modern therapy tool, the first float tank was designed in 1954 by US neuroscientist Dr. John C. Lilly. His intention was to study human consciousness by cutting off external stimuli. By the 1970s, commercial float tanks were appearing on the market, as their health benefits became better known, supported by scientific studies.
The evidence suggests that floatation tank sessions may lead to an entire set of benefits, starting with muscle relaxation, with less pain and stress, leading to deeper sleep and better moods. Today, spas and wellness centers all over the world offer float therapy as a regular item on their treatment menus, under a variety of names: floatation tank, sensory deprivation session, isolation chamber, and REST – Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy.
In a sensory deprivation tank, about 200 gallons of water is warmed to outer skin temperature (around 93°F) and mixed with about 850 pounds of magnesium sulfate. Better known as Epsom salts, this common household item has been used for hundreds of years to treat ailments ranging from clogged pores to fibromyalgia.
Saturated with Epsom salts, the water is extremely buoyant, so you float like a cork, regardless of body weight. As your body is released from the burden of gravity, your mind floats free as well, untethered by movement or noise.
For some people, casting off the bonds of gravity and the limits imposed by our senses may have impressive results on their minds, including enhanced creativity, with a keener, almost hallucinatory, awareness of imagined shapes and colors; tighter focus, with improved concentration and better intellectual performances; and faster learning processes and less brain fog;
The effects of flotation treatment on athletic performances have been well documented. Shown to decrease painful blood lactate levels after bouts of intensive exercise; better cardiovascular health, with lower blood pressure resulting from less stress and better sleep; less pain caused by tight muscles, tension headaches, and even whiplash-related discomfort.
An effective tool for fast psychological recovery after grueling athletic competitions, many floatation session clients report feelings of happiness, well-being, and even euphoria, while others mention spiritual insights, inner peace, and even a feeling of being born anew.
Solo Experience: You’ll be alone in quiet darkness, so there’s no need for modesty. Although you may wear a swimsuit, expert therapists note that the experience is more complete when this warm salty solution is in direct contact with every inch of your body.
Couples Experience: Magnolia Wellness Center offers floating suite which is perfect for two people to enjoy. Couples pricing applies.
WHAT TO EXPECT
How Often to Use Float - Sensory Deprivation Therapy
Weekly use is recommended