The incredible health benefits of floatation tank therapy

3 min read

The incredible health benefits of floatation tank therapy
From better skin to pain relief, floatation tank therapy can have incredible health benefits for those who try it
The idea of being placed in an isolated tank of water in which none of your senses function might sound rather odd and to some, quite terrifying. Conversely, this unique form of therapy will have you feeling anything but scared. In fact, most people come out more relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated than they have been in years.
But what exactly is floatation tank therapy, and what are the benefits? To answer the first question, it involves climbing into an enclosure designed to block all external stimuli, including sight, smell, sound and even touch. The last one is removed by having you float in water that is calibrated to your body temperature, thus creating a detached feeling.
The water also contains a high amount of Epsom salt, which allows you to float effortlessly in a state of complete stillness. These tanks are quite large, so you’ll never feel claustrophobic. It’s also worth noting that the water is purified through a high-tech UV disinfection process after each session to maintain top hygiene standards.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the incredible ways that floatation tank therapy can improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

Reduces stress

Floatation tank therapy is perhaps most popular for its ability to provide a deep sense of calm and inner peace. This makes it an effective antidote for stress and anxiety, which in and of itself leads to numerous health benefits.
Many participants report that when they come out, their senses are heightened to the point where colours seem more vivid and their environmental awareness increases. Think of it like someone with poor vision putting on a pair of corrective glasses for the first time.

Improves sleep

Struggling to get enough shuteye at night? You’re not alone. YouGov estimates that one in three Australians are in the same boat. Those who jump off that boat often find themselves in the waters of a floatation tank, as numerous studies have proven the therapy to pack a punch when it comes to fighting insomnia.
It restores and refreshes the mind, leaving you relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. Even if you’re not prone to restless nights, you’ll likely find an increase in the quality of your sleep after floatation tank therapy. You’ll also feel more energised when you wake up the next day.

Relieves pain

Another proven benefit of spending some time in salt water float tanks comes in the form of pain relief. Whether it’s chronic back pain, stress-related muscle pain or burnout-related depression, floatation tank therapy can help. This is because it promotes vasodilation, which oxygenates the body and improves blood flow.
When this happens, physical pain is reduced - even that which you never knew you had. Many people who suffered tension and stiffness around their spine were unaware of it until they felt the relief provided by floatation tank therapy. Studies have found it to be especially effective at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Enhances performance

By reducing lactic acid levels in your blood, floatation tank therapy can improve post-workout recovery. This is because lactic acid exits the muscles faster when they’re completely relaxed, simultaneously decreasing stiffness and pain.
One study found strong evidence that basketball players who participated in the therapy experienced improved athletic performance on the court. This is likely due to the increased focus and lower arousal state post-floating, which helped them shoot better shots.

Skin health

The Epsom salt used in floatation tanks contains magnesium sulfate, which acts as a natural exfoliant. This can help to remove dead skin cells, which contributes to clearer and brighter skin. It can also effectively unclog pores, thus reducing the appearance of blackheads and preventing breakouts.
Moreover, magnesium has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which makes it a potent weapon against skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema. These conditions (as well as acne) are often brought on by stress, which we know floatation tank therapy can help with, further contributing to its skin health benefits.

Additional benefits

As if that wasn’t enough, sensory deprivation can do even more for you. This includes restoring hair health, improving creativity, boosting immune function, reducing blood pressure, speeding up healing and increasing endorphin production. Some studies have found the therapy to be effective for overcoming addictive behaviour as well.
At the same time, it’s also a great way to take a break from technology, which is more important than you might think. Your brain needs time to rest and recover, which is difficult when you’re enveloped in a screen. The mental detox provided by floatation tank therapy is therefore highly beneficial.
If you’re looking for a safe and healthy way to improve your overall wellbeing or overcome a certain difficulty in life, floatation tank therapy is definitely worth consideration. With such a wide range of potential benefits, there’s no telling just what it can do for you, so give it a shot.
Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.