Celebrities like Joe Rogan and Jeff Bridges swear by float tanks (Bridges was even friends with the creator of the float tank, John C. Lilly!), and for good reason. Floating offers a wide range of mental and physical health benefits for everyone from athletes to chronic pain sufferers.
Have you been thinking about trying out a Toronto float tank? Are you a bit nervous or unsure of why you should?
If so, keep reading. Explained below are some crucial details to consider, including the 5 of the most noteworthy benefits of floating.
What Is Floating?
Floating, also known as floatation therapy, involves submerging yourself in a sensory deprivation or float tank. Float tanks are dark, soundproof, and filled with a combination of water (which is heated to match the skin’s temperature) and Epsom salts. This allows you to float and feel weightless.
The first float tank was invented by John C. Lilly, who was an American neuroscientist and physician, in 1954. Lilly designed the tank to study the effects of human consciousness when all external stimuli are cut off.
Later, in the 1970s, commercial float tanks were developed more widely and studied for other potential health benefits. Now, they’re quite accessible, and float spas are present throughout the world.
There are lots of reasons why people choose to add floating to their health and wellness routines. The following are some of the greatest benefits float tanks (and regular floats, for that matter) have to offer:
1. Decreased Anxiety and Depression
When they spend time in a float tank, many people find that it’s easier for them to get into a relaxed, meditative state. Meditation has been shown to be an effective management tool for people struggling with mental health challenges like anxiety and depression.
By spending regular time meditating in a float tank, you may find that it’s easier to meditate in other situations. This, in turn, may help you to manage your anxiety and depression symptoms as well.
2. Increased Creativity
Have you been stuck in a rut lately? Have you been feeling uncreative or been having a difficult time solving problems at work or in your daily life? If so, spending time in a float tank could help to get the creative juices flowing.
Research shows that sensory deprivation can increase people’s originality, imagination, and intuition. All of this, in turn, can make them more creative.
Lots of people spend time in float tanks regularly because they find that it helps reduce their pain and inflammation.
If you struggle with back or shoulder pain, for example, floating in an Epsom salt solution and taking pressure off your joints for 45-60 minutes can provide some much needed relief. It can also help your muscles to fully relax, which can be a rarity for chronic pain sufferers.
If you struggle with insomnia or poor sleep quality (perhaps because of other issues like anxiety, depression, or chronic pain), floating can help. The deep relaxation and stress relief that floating provides may make it easier for you to wind down at the end of the day, calm your mind, and sleep more soundly.
Some small studies like this one show that regular floats can help to improve athletic performance and recovery. Athletes and other active individuals may find that they’re able to recharge and recover faster (both mentally and physically) after taking some time out and scheduling a float in between training sessions.
What to Expect from Your First Float
If you’ve never floated before, it’s natural to be a bit apprehensive. The more you know, though, the easier it is to go in feeling prepared and ready for the experience.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from your first visit:
Before you arrive for your scheduled float, you’ll need to fill out a waiver online. This speeds up the check-in process and helps you get into the float tank faster.
To prepare for your float, avoid shaving for at least 12 hours prior. Avoid caffeine beforehand, too, as this can cause you to feel anxious or overstimulated during what’s supposed to be a relaxing experience.
Use the washroom before floating as well so you don’t have to get out during your visit.
During the float, you can expect to feel weightless and relaxed. You won’t feel the water on your skin because of its temperature, and you won’t be able to smell, hear, or see anything (we do give you the option to turn on some dim lights or play music if it helps you relax).
It can be a bit challenging at first to let go and experience the stillness. After a few minutes, though, most people are able to settle into a more restful, meditative state.
Keep in mind, you can always get out of the tank if you find it to be uncomfortable for any reason. You’re not trapped in there.
After floating, we recommend taking a shower and washing your hair. The Epsom salt in the tanks can sometimes dry out the skin, so rinse off and apply moisturizer as soon as you can to combat any discomfort, especially if you have sensitive skin.
We recommend not scheduling anything immediately after your float, either. Don’t rush back to work or off on your next errand if possible. Instead, use your time to reflect on your experience and find ways to bring more relaxation and peace into your daily life.
Are you ready to experience the best float tank Toronto has to offer? We’re ready to help!
Since 2017, Float Valley has been offering customized floatation therapy to customers from all over the Toronto area. We’re on a mission to help people improve their health, experience incredible peace and clarity, and achieve their full potential when it comes to self-development and actualization.
Click here to schedule your first float today.