Tag Archives: physiological

by Tia Davis

Guest post: the small, unexpected benefits of floating

From time to time we like to turn over the microphone to other people. This guest post is from Float staffer Shayna C. – Sara

Now that I am a staff member at Float Boston, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to float regularly (thanks, Sara and Colin!). Many of the immediate effects of frequent floatation are predictable enough: better sleep, fewer muscle aches, being physically unable to shut up about how great it is. Some of the other unforeseen results of regular visits to the tank took me by surprise. Perhaps you can relate? Continue reading Guest post: the small, unexpected benefits of floating

Athletic and artistic performance

2769099541_5aa9b7a81a_zMMA fighter Pat Healy has called floating his “secret weapon“.  “It’s hard to explain, but man, you really come out of there feeling relaxed. You can really focus your mind in there.”

Former Texas air pistol champion Brooks Brinson believes flotation helps him compete.  “It’s really a very mental game, the most mental in the Olympics.”

Hoop dancer Katelyn Selanders had burned out on her art.  But then she started floating and found a new wellspring of passion.  “I was fully reminded that this was why I had started hooping in the first place!”

We’ve already talked about the physiological benefits of flotation for injury recovery.  But when it comes to athletes and performers, there is more to it than that.  Flotation can induce a state of “relaxed alertness, concentration and reduced stress,” and sometimes that is just what the doctor ordered for bringing out your best.

Continue reading Athletic and artistic performance

In floating, the mind follows the body

One of our guest floaters, Joshua, came out of the tank with an interesting comment that he had found the sense of relaxation he obtained to be quite different than his experience of massage or yoga.  We asked him what he meant, and he wrote us a great discussion.  With his permission, we’re sharing it here:


Floating Manop
©2007 Manop (Flickr)

Many people compare floating to the relaxation available from meditation or yoga. In quick simple terms, I found floating to be the exact opposite of these two techniques. In floating, the mind follows the body. In yoga and meditation, the body follows the mind.

I also experienced a marked difference in the type of “quiet mind” that the other two techniques produce. Having said that, once familiar with the experience of floating, even when going back to meditation it became easier to “get there” and easier to “stay there”.

Continue reading In floating, the mind follows the body

Floating and injury recovery

In 1994 a young Australian cyclist named Brett Dennis rode off a cliff in the US Tour DuPont road race, falling 12 feet and smashing his femur through his hip socket. Doctors gave him little chance of walking properly again. Back home in Australia two weeks later, with a steel pin through his broken pelvis, Dennis was understandably depressed and near to giving up his sporting ambitions.

But at the Australian Institute of Sport, Dennis was put onto a program of intensive physiotherapy. He also spent an hour a day playing “mind games” — closing his eyes and visualising a blue light traveling from his chest to his hip joint, washing away damaged tissue and replacing it with new cells.

Continue reading Floating and injury recovery

Epsom salt and magnesium

A float tank contains a lot of epsom salt.  Like, a lot a lot.  Eight hundred to a thousand pounds each, to make the water so dense you literally can’t help but float.

Epsom salt bags
Amount of Epsom salt that goes into one float tank. © Float On

People sometimes wonder, though, why epsom salt? It’s hardly the easiest thing we could lay our hands on in bulk.  Most importantly, it’s harmless to soak in for long periods, and it doesn’t cause the itchy, pruny feeling you get from soaking in sea salt. But there are other benefits.

Epsom salt is called that because it was first produced from natural springs at Epsom, England, around 1618, and from 1695 chemists and pharmacies were selling purified “bitter salts” all over England. For three hundred years since it’s been used to cure just about anything, from muscle aches to skin health, foot odor, wrinkles, psoriasis, eczema, mosquito bites, bruises, inflammation, hangovers, migraines, constipation, and the common cold.

Do any of these really work? Let’s look at the science.

Continue reading Epsom salt and magnesium