Why Float Therapy Is a Trend That Is Here to Stay

Earlier this week, we at Alighten provided some general information about the alternative healing technology called the Energy Enhancement System, invented by Dr. Sandra Rose Michael. Today we will be offering information about the popular alternative healing technology referred to as float therapy.

Some of you have potentially heard of float therapy before reading this post. This healing technology has grown in popularity over the past few decades since it was invented and has become somewhat of an ongoing trend over the last 10 years. Many YouTubers and prominent channels, such as BuzzFeed, have made videos about the float therapy experience. This form of therapy was even featured in the 12th season of the popular American Sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, in 2019. This healing technology can be a great alternative for people who suffer from stress, anxiety, and/or depression, but do not wish to simply suppress their symptoms through pharmaceutical medication.

What is float therapy?

Float therapy takes place in what can be referred to as a float tank, sensory deprivation tank, or an isolation tank. According to Pure Float, a Canadian float tank location, float tanks are “filled with 300 millimeters of Epsom salt and water heated to the outer skin temperature.” These tanks eliminate any light and visual stimuli; therefore, the floater is free of stimulation and distraction. Furthermore, the 1000 lbs. of Epsom salts in the tank creates a buoyant environment, causing the participant to float with ease. The sessions usually last an hour, but some locations also have 30 minute sessions, usually intended for children, and some have sessions longer than an hour.

How was float therapy created?

Just float, a float therapy location in Los Angeles, delves into the history of float therapy, stating that “the first float tank was developed in 1954 by Dr. John C. Lilly, a neuropsychiatrist interested in the effects of sensory deprivation on the brain.” His work evolved and 18 years later in 1972, the first commercially available float tank was made public. Today, there are many researchers exploring the effects of float therapy, and how it can aid the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. Neuropsychologist, Justin Feinstein, is a prominent researcher in the float therapy community, and we will discuss some of his research in the following section.

How does float therapy work?

When someone is in a float tank, essentially all of their senses are cut off. They cannot see or hear anything, the Epsom salts nullify all other scents present, and the water and air are set to the floater’s body temperature. John Diskerson, a CBS Mornings co-host who tried float therapy, explains that at a certain point during his session he no longer knew where his limbs ended and the water began.