Research Supporting Float Therapy Health Benefits
While floatation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST), as floating is officially termed, is accepted as a distinct “medical treatment” in some European countries, in North America float therapy falls under alternative medicine therapies such as herbal remedies and acupuncture.
Floatation Therapy as a Stress and Anxiety Reliever
This 2018 study of 50 participants with a cross spectrum of anxiety and stress-related disorders determined that floatation REST appears to be a “promising technique for transiently reducing the suffering of those with anxiety and depression. The study—“Examining the short-term anxiolytic and antidepressant effect of Floatation-REST”—found that those with the most severe levels of anxiety seemed to benefit the most from floating. No matter what the participant diagnosis, researchers determined that float therapy substantially reduced anxiety. Researchers also reported that all participants reported “significant reductions in stress, muscle tension, pain, depression and negative affect, accompanied by a significant improvement in mood characterized by increases in serenity, relaxation, happiness and overall well-being.”
Floatation Therapy for Athletic Recovery
This 2013 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, determined that float therapy appears to have a “significant impact” in reducing blood lactate levels and perceived muscle pain after exercise. The study—“The Acute Effects of Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique on Recovery From Maximal Eccentric Exercise”—provides distinct evidence that floatation therapy can enhance muscle recovery by decreasing high levels of lactate. The study also determined that floating seems to relieve near-term post-exercise pain and may dampen the inflammatory response causing delayed onset muscle soreness.
Floatation Therapy and Fibromyalgia
A 2012 study provided compelling evidence that three one-hour float therapy sessions over a three-week period can produce significant temporary relief to the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. The study findings were “consistent and robust” across 10 measured variables, such as pain, muscle tension, stress, sadness, anxiety, energy levels, and ease of movement. The study—“The Effects of Flotation REST on the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia”—concluded with a call for more research to determine whether more extensive floating sessions can provide longer-term and more cumulative positive benefits.
If you would like to learn more about the health benefits of floating, or are interested in a little self-experimentation to find out how floating can benefit your overall physical and mental health and well-being, contact us here at Modern Elevation Wellness Center at 587-254-4427.
Big Names in Floating
Don’t Take Our Word for It—Check Out These Notable Floaters
We gave you Modern Elevation Wellness Center’s take on float therapy and why interest is booming on our “What is Floating” page. But you don’t have to take our word for why floating represents an innovative tool for enhancing overall health and addressing certain therapeutic conditions, as plenty of notable people have adopted float therapy into their own health regimens.
Tom Brady-Brady become a quick adherent of the therapy to the point that he installed a float unit in his home. Meanwhile, several other NFL teams have reportedly installed float therapy units in their locker rooms, as have numerous other professional and college teams across North America.
Joe Rogan— While we’re not sure whether floating enhances his comedic routines, Joe Rogan is known as the most vocal celebrity advocate of floating, to the point where he has been described as a “floating evangelist.” Joe has long promoted floating as a tool for athletic recovery and for its ability to help athletes focus, he also promotes it as a great self-help tool for anyone needing to stimulate introspection. To listen to Joe wax poetic about floating, check out this podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq0nnD1eync.
Elle Macpherson— The stunning supermodel has reportedly been an avid floater for decades. Elle took to floating for its relaxation benefits, jet lag recovery, and for the skin conditioning provided by the Epsom salts.
Carl Lewis— Multi-Olympic track and field medalist Carl Lewis was also an early floating enthusiast. The 10-time world champion reportedly first relied on floating to focus his mind and visualize winning, prior to his record-setting performance during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. It then become a regular component of his pre-competition strategy, and after work-out and competition recovery regimen.
John Lennon— John Lennon turned to floating in 1979 and credited the therapy as being key to kicking what had been a severe heroin addiction. In late 1980, at age 40, he told his producer that he was feeling physically and spiritually the best he had ever felt in his life and attributed it in part to floating.
U.S. Navy SEALs— The U.S. military tends to be rather secretive about its training methods, but it is widely known that elite U.S. Navy SEAL (Sea, Air and Land) units use floatation therapy for training preparation and recovery, and to help SEAL team members heal from injuries and or post-traumatic stress disorder. The organization also utilizes a combination of biometrics and float therapy to accelerate foreign language learning. The improved focus spurred by floating, combined with biofeedback, reportedly helps reduce what had been a standard six-month language learning cycle down to just six weeks.