Floating, or float therapy, has gained traction in the alternative health and wellness world because of the associated mind, body, and spiritual benefits. The stressors of modern life can weigh heavy on the body, and entering into a float tank can help hit the restart button on your health. In a way, float therapy is a form of meditation, but the weightlessness you feel while floating can help relieve pressure in the joints and muscles.
Research on float therapy has broken the benefits down into three categories: mind, body, and spirit. These benefits have been proven in clinical tests, and no other therapy has compared to the relief that floating provides.
Body: Studies show that floating helps to relieve pain and inflammation, reduce joint pressure and muscle fatigue, increase immune function, regulate blood pressure, and accelerate muscle recovery and performance.
Spirit: Many people who practice float therapy experience improved mindfulness, healthy circadian rhythm, restorative and deeper sleep, reduced stress levels, and ultimate brain relaxation.
Since we could not speak about float therapy without trying it out, we sent our content writer to Just Float, located in Pasadena, California, to experience a float session. He highly recommended this facility for Los Angeles residents because of the peaceful ambiance, cleanliness of the facility, the thoughtful and informative staff, and the impressive technology. Below is what he experienced during his float session.
I arrived at Just Float in the early morning, slightly groggy and unsure of what to expect from my float session. Upon entering the facility, which is quite large and houses about 14 different float tanks, a relaxation room, a grooming room, restrooms, and a front lounge area, peaceful music set a calm mood in the dimly lit waiting area. The ladies behind the desk greeted me in a calm manner and detailed the process and intent behind float therapy. One of them claimed that she uses the float tank as a napping chamber of sorts, and the other spoke of the “the powerful energy” and centering that comes from floating. Was I about to experience some form of transcendental meditation? Would I have an anxiety attack? Would I go stir-crazy from listening to the ringing in my ears, resulting from years of exposure to loud music?
There are several options for floaters. Complete sensory deprivation is a common practice, in which the person floats in complete darkness and silence. If anyone has a fear of being claustrophobic, you can leave the float tank door open to your private suite. The tanks are eight feet long, five feet wide, and seven feet tall, so there is plenty of room to move around. I’m six feet tall and felt like the tank was quite spacious. The second option is to turn the lights on in the tank and just float, as the name of the business suggests. The third option is to have ambient music softly playing during the float session (with the lights on or off), but you have the ability to press a button and silence the music.
There is roughly one foot of water in the tank, and it is a pool of mineral-rich Epsom salt water. The high salt content allows the body to float with ease. I was surprised at how buoyant I felt as I leaned back in the water to begin my float session. I pressed the button in the tank to begin my float session, the lights turned off to make it pitch black in the tank, and the music played, slowly fading out into complete silence. I was alone, removed from the stressors of the outside world, floating effortlessly.
Initially, I was a little anxious, extending my arms to touch the sides of tank to get my bearings. I needed to know where the light switch and music buttons were, just in case I felt uncomfortable. Slowly but surely, I submitted to the experience and began to relinquish control. The tension in my lower back and neck began to lessen, my body began to sink (not literally because it’s impossible not to float) into an incredibly relaxed state.
Floating in the silence was one of the surrealist experiences I have ever had. There was no way that I was going to fall asleep, so I began to push off the sides of the tub, gently moving around the tank. I pressed the music button to drown out the ringing in my ears and lost track of time. Was I in a meditative state, free from worry for the first time in months? Perhaps the novelty of floating occupied my wandering mind, which finally received a break from screen time, office life, and the constant onslaught of information in the world. Before I knew it, the lights illuminated, indicating the end of my float session. I exited the tank and rinsed off to wash away the excess salt.
After leaving my float suite, I walked to the relaxation room, in which journals and adult coloring books for customers were scattered across the coffee table. I didn’t have a transformative float session that other people claimed to experience, but I did feel extremely calm and my skin felt healthy and soft. To compare my experience to what other people felt, I read some journals. Some people felt connected to their inner child, while others had an extremely difficult time relaxing their minds in the tank. Some floaters just enjoyed shutting the world out and leaving the worries of life outside the tank.
Floating is a unique therapy and I highly recommend Just Float for any Los Angeles residents. Taking an hour to completely relax and experience the novelty of floating is a pleasant break from reality. Just Float offers a first-time float special and there are monthly packages available, should you decide to continue floating on a regular basis. Floating might be your ticket to help naturally relieve stress, tension, pain, or anxiety. Just float and find out.