Recovery Methods: Do Float Tanks Really Work?

float tanksAthletes, weekend warriors, and the classic 9 to 5 suit-and-tie are all looking for the same thing—the best way to relax. For some, a massage can be the best way to unwind and relieve even the most tense of situations. For others, a trip to the spa for a mud bath and facial could be the most ideal way to become calm. However, new ways to relax and recover have emerged and are increasing in popularity, including float tanks.

What are Float Tanks?

Float tanks are large tanks of water that are full of salt water, where additional stimuli are reduced dramatically. An individual lies horizontally in the float tank while wearing earplugs, and the salt water (saturated with Epson salt) is maintained at skin temperature. The lid of the tank is closed which allows for the tank to become totally dark, allowing for further ‘sensory deprivation.’ While the idea of being in an enclosed, dark tank full of salt water is not the common ‘go-to’ for relaxation, float tank therapy has been met with notable scientific backing.

Benefits of Float Tank Therapy

Float tanks have been cited as yielding increased well-being and relaxation, ‘mild euphoria,’ improved sleep, decreased stress levels, decreased tension, decreased anxiety, less pain, and decreased muscle tension. Restricted Environment Stimulation Therapy (REST) can act as a stress-management tool with flotation therapy, where an individual becomes almost weightless in a flotation tank with high salt-water concentration.

In addition, float tanks have been used by Olympic teams in Australia, Britain, and Chile to help decrease recovery times with more relaxed muscles. Subsequently, some athletes have noted that time in the dark float tank allows for increased focus and the ability to visualize parts of the game or sport.

What are your thoughts about entering into the float tank therapy world? Do enclosed spaces make you feel relaxed? While a float tank REST method may be a unique way to try to decease muscle soreness and tension, there are other methods that can be used that require no water, no salt, and no dark spaces (unless you like the dark!). The Marc Pro allows you to recover completely and relieve pain post-workout or post-work day in your own home.