You may or may not have heard of float tanks yet. Float tanks or pods are also called deprivation chambers. It isn’t a new amenity, but it is just beginning to become more available to the general public. Professional athletes have been using them for years. In fact, most professional organizations have one in their training facility. They are known to help speed recovery time, help visualization and increase overall relaxation.
A float pod is large tub or pool of water filled with vast amounts of Epsom salt. This simple mixture creates an environment primed for health and mental benefits that are beneficial to everyone, but especially for high performing athletes.
HOW DOES A FLOAT TANK HELP?
1. Reduces Recovery Time
The 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt in the float pod is full of minerals that have been shown to reduce inflammation, detox and facilitate in the reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The deep relaxation that the muscles are able to experience can also increase blood flow and help remove lactic acid from the body, reducing the muscle soreness we experience after intense training activities.
2.Removes Gravity from the Joints
The ratio of salt to water in the pod is so high that you float on the top of the water effortlessly. This removes the effects of gravity for the time you are floating giving your joints and muscles the opportunity to relax in a way they have never been able to, not even while sleeping or getting a massage.
3. Extreme Relaxation
The water in the float pod is 93.5 degrees which is the same temperature as the outside of our body. The idea behind this is to trick the nerve endings. If you hold very still in the water you start to lose sense of where the water starts and where the body begins, this gives the nerves a rest they aren’t used to. Couple that with the darkness of the pod and the noise blocking ear plugs provided and your senses get a much-needed break that allows your brain to dip into a deep state of recovery and relaxation.
Most professional athletes will tell you that they spend a lot of time visualizing in preparation of an athletic performance. There have been many studies that show visualization can improve performance just as much, if not more, as the actual practice of the action. This is because in visualization an athlete can practice their “perfect performance”. When you are in the deprivation chamber and most of your senses are not being used your brain can easily go into theta brain waves. Theta waves are where we are more open to suggestion allowing us to “train” the central nervous system.
5. Increased Energy
Reaching the deeper levels of theta brain waves quickly allows your body and mind to recover. Most people do not fall asleep in the float tanks, however if you do you will continue to float with no concern of drowning, but most people report feeling very refreshed after a float, similar to taking a nap. Also, the increased blood flow in the body can help improve your ATP production.
6. Better Sleep
The effects of the float can last days, some report even weeks. Most people report being able to fall asleep faster after a float. The combination of minerals that help the muscle relaxation, pain relief associated with the lack of gravity and the deep rest the brain gets, all create a perfect environment for better, longer deeper sleep.
Regardless of if you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior or just trying to hit the gym to get rid of the dad bod, floating can be beneficial to almost anyone. It is also great for our teen athletes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM3I8T0p0d4