Floating: Therapy for Athletes

Float Therapy for Athletes

With its meditative properties, people sometimes think floatation therapy is just for hippies. But in actuality, there’s no demographic that can’t benefit from a float session. That’s because float therapy can treat and alleviate countless conditions, from stress and anxiety to migraines, chronic pain, and even mental disorders.

One benefit of float therapy we’ve seen firsthand in our clientele is its therapeutic properties for athletes. Float therapy aids in the recovery process and can be a godsend for sore muscles, over-trained limbs, and tired minds.

Float Therapy for Athletes

Approach it like an athlete.

There’s a reason athletes seek out floatation therapy. And we’re not just talking about Olympic swimmers. Even water novices who can’t manage a back float will float in our tanks, thanks to the high concentration of Epsom salt in the water.

While some people might have a sense of feeling powerless in the soundless, lightless tank, an athlete will be able to appreciate the principle of letting go and allowing your body to relax completely in the tank. While much of athletic training is about control over body and mind, float therapy acts in an opposite manner – forcing you to “let go.” And in this situation, that concept can be extremely therapeutic.

The physical and mental release.

There’s something about being in the floatation tank. Without sound, light or even a sense of weight, you’ll quickly lose track of time and space. This might sound intimidating, but in practice, it’s an extremely relaxing, rejuvenating and healing experience.

In the tank, the water temperature mirrors that of your body, so eventually you won’t even feel like you’re in water – simply suspended in a sensory-deprived space. If you’re like many athletes, you’re driven to go – to keep that sense of productivity at all times (and at all costs). But a floatation session actually forces the relaxation to occur. In fact, during floatation, there is an increase in theta waves in the brain – which are activated through meditation and REM sleep.

Get rid of the negative energy.

If you’ve been an athlete for long, you know how detrimental negative energy can be to your performance. But it’s not always possible – much less easy – to rid yourself of negative thoughts of feelings, especially if outside factors are causing you stress and anxiety.

Floatation therapy has actually been shown to reduce negative activity in the body, specifically reducing urinary cortisol, aldosterone, renin activity, epinephrine, heart rate and blood pressure. People who spend time in the floatation tank have also shown to sleep better, be more optimistic and experience a reduction in feelings of anxiety and depression.

It’s in the salt.

So why is the tank full of Epsom salt? Well, it’s true that the salt helps you float in the tank, but that’s not the only benefit of soaking in it. In fact, the magnesium and sulfate in Epsom salt can be therapeutic to athletes in and of itself.

If you’re athletic, you’ve likely taken an Epsom salt bath at some point. That’s because these minerals can improve circulation, promote healing, ease pain and even regulate electrolytes – exactly what you need to recover from athletic activity.

Tips for floating.

If you’re an athlete looking for an effective form of relaxation and recovery, you should definitely give floatation therapy a try. But just like meditation, float therapy takes some practice before you experience its full benefits (that said, you’ll notice positive benefits from the start). But to make your first time more comfortable, remember to cover any cuts or scratches with Vaseline, and try a floatation device under your neck, as it might take you a few sessions to learn to relax comfortably.

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