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How it’s Done

A patient floats in a sound-proof, temperature-regulated tank filled with salt water. There is around 850 pounds of Epsom salt and 200 gallons of water in the average float tank.

Good for helping to unplug and shut off all superfluous stimulation. The Epsom salt also helps alleviate muscle stress, and combined with the act of floating, helps relieve pressure on sore joints.

Theory Behind the Therapy

Owner of Bellingham’s Still Life Massage and Float, Shannon Fuller, explains that float therapy “allows the brain to rest” from the many stimulations in a person’s ordinary day. Numerous clinical studies also show float tanks are similarly, if not more effective, than prescription drugs in helping resolve symptoms of PTSD and anxiety. Finally, emerging studies are looking into the success rate of practicing visualization while in a float tank. Visualization is the act of imagining a successful scenario, for example, winning a race or delivering a speech perfectly. Theoretically, a person in a float tank can visualize better without any outside distractions.

What Patients Say

It’s worth trying a session for relaxation and to soothe any tired muscles. Start out with a 40- to 60-minute experience. Many people tend to be over it by that point, although some enjoy 90-minute sessions. Also utilize the petroleum jelly (provided by the float center) to cover any skin breaks, unless you want to spend half of your session cringing from stinging cuts.

For more content like this, check out this article on acupuncture here.

"Good for helping to unplug and shut off all superfluous stimulation. The Epsom salt also helps alleviate muscle stress, and combined with the act of floating, helps relieve pressure on sore joints."