written by Andrew L.
From world-class athletes looking for a competitive edge, to everyday workaholics looking for better ways to manage the physical stresses of daily life, one of the primary reasons that people float on a regular basis is to tap into the body’s natural ability to recover. By helping you reach an unparalleled level of relaxation, or homeostasis, a float tank allows your body to divert resources that are normally reserved for dealing with the external world to the process of healing instead.
While experiences can vary widely from person to person, the unique environment created by the float tank provides access to a core of physical benefits that are available to everyone. Here are the three main components of the float experience and how they promote physical recovery:
1. Lack of Gravity - 1000 lbs of medical-grade Epsom Salt in each tank creates an incredibly buoyant solution which allows you to float effortlessly. Our bodies are simply not used to this kind of relief - even when you’re lying comfortably in bed, gravity is still working on you! Without it, your aching joints, bones, and muscles are relieved of pressure and given an opportunity to relax and recover with increased blood circulation.
2. Epsom Salt - While the density of salt in the solution is the key to keeping you afloat in the tank, Epsom salt also has a vast array of benefits on its own. It is widely known that taking Epsom salt baths can be a great relief to sore muscles and joints, acting as a natural anti-inflammatory. Epsom salts also help speed up the lymphatic system, helping your body to eliminate toxins. Click here for more info about the awesome benefits and uses of Epsom salt.
3. Reduced Sensory Input - A float tank presents your mind and body with a very unique set of circumstances - no gravity, no light, no sound, and the water/salt solution is heated to the same temperature as your skin (93.5℉). With nothing to process from the external world, interoception - the body’s ability to sense itself internally - is greatly enhanced. For many people, the experience can be a sort of self-diagnostic. You’ll begin to focus on the places in your body that hold the most tension, your breath entering and exiting your lungs, your heart beating slower and slower as you relax, and even sense your digestive system working. In real time, you’re getting important feedback about the state of your body. Much of the experience in the tank is passive, but with practice, you can mindfully work with your breath to slow your heartbeat, send oxygen to places that need attention, and let go of stress and tight muscles.
When the body is so deeply relaxed, there is also a significant reduction in cortisol production, an increase in endorphins, and improved immune system function. Not only will you feel great and find some stress relief, but you’re giving your body an incredible opportunity to catch up with your busy life and do its work more effectively. By making floating a regular practice, you are choosing to engage with your health and well-being in a powerful way!