top of page

An Introduction to Flotation and its Benefits

What is Flotation? What impact does it have on Sleep, Stress & Chronic Pain

Have you ever heard of flotation?

Flotation therapy, also known as sensory deprivation or isolation tank therapy, is gaining recognition for its therapeutic advantages. This practice involves immersing yourself in a specially designed tank filled with water and a high concentration of Epsom salt. Let’s dive into the details of how flotation works and the benefits we can gain from it.


Understanding the Basics


The high concentration of Epsom salt enhances buoyancy and provides supplementary advantages. This promotes a rejuvenating experience by soothing the skin. As you float on the water's surface, the concentration of Epsom salt creates an environment that enhances your physical buoyancy and contributes to a sense of weightlessness. This creates a profound feeling of relaxation. 


During the flotation session, the skin absorbs magnesium from the Epsom salts, potentially offering health benefits. This vital mineral is known to play an integral role in various bodily functions. It facilitates muscle and nerve function while also synthesizing proteins and maintaining healthy bones. Floatation therapy gives a unique opportunity for essential mineral absorption that could address magnesium deficiencies. As a result, it enhances overall well-being.


The Flotation Experience


Being in a flotation tank offers more than a physical experience. It offers a getaway to tranquillity and meditation. The precisely calibrated, warm water, complemented by Epsom salt buoyancy, creates an atmosphere that mirrors weightlessness. This mimicked state of gravity-free existence grants the body profound relief from daily life's pressures. By eliminating external stimuli, the tank achieves a sensory deprivation aspect that propels you into a mental adventure. As the world outside fades away, your mind enters an unprecedented state of sensory quietness. Joe Rogan is an avid floater who shares his experiences in the video below.

Benefits of Flotation


1. Stress Reduction:


Stress is a constant companion in our fast-paced lives. Flotation is a natural and drug-free approach to alleviating stress. Sensory isolation induces deep relaxation within the mind, which decreases cortisol levels. This results in promoting overall calmness. Flotation offers stress reduction benefits that extend beyond the immediate post-session period. Research associates regular flotation practice with long-term resilience to stress. The sensory-deprived environment functions as a sanctuary. Individuals disconnect from the external pressures of daily life here.


With time, the progression enhances the capacity to mitigate stress and preserve a harmonized mental equilibrium. The ramifications extend beyond psychological effects. They manifest in physiology, too. Studies demonstrate a reduction of stress-related hormones even several days post-float session. This highlights the lasting influence that flotation can bring towards nurturing a more resilient mind against stressors.


2. Pain Relief:


The flotation tank's buoyancy grants muscular and joint relief, making it a superb choice for people coping with chronic pain or rehabilitation from injuries. The weightless environment significantly reduces body pressure, providing an intermission from discomfort while contributing to effective pain management. The experience of pain relief in a flotation tank extends beyond simply escaping gravitational pressure. The infusion of Epsom salt significantly enhances muscle relaxation and promotes recovery.


Epsom salt, composed of magnesium and sulfate, is absorbed transcutaneously during each session. This contributes to its bioavailability, which is a key factor in its effectiveness. Muscle function and inflammation reduction crucially rely on magnesium. The dual action of weightlessness and the Epsom salt it performs creates an environment that soothes existing pain and fosters healing and recovery. This approach to pain relief addresses immediate discomfort and underlying muscle tension or inflammation.


3. Mental Clarity and Creativity:


The sensory-deprived environment enhances focus and mental clarity, while also promoting increased creativity and problem-solving abilities in many individuals after flotation sessions. This experience rejuvenates the mind and cultivates a clearer perspective on life's various aspects. Flotation is linked to enhanced sensory perception via the mental clarity it provides. The brain attains a heightened state of awareness when external stimuli are absent.


This allows individuals to connect more deeply with their thoughts and emotions. This elevated consciousness often surpasses just the flotation session and paves the way for enhanced cognitive function in everyday life. The enhanced mental clarity gained from flotation persists as a lasting impact on creativity and problem-solving skills, whether you are tackling complex work issues or seeking innovative solutions to personal challenges.


4. Improved Sleep Quality:


Promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety, flotation potentially enhances sleep. The practice's calming effects extend past the session, positively influencing sleep patterns and helping you have a more restful night's sleep. Flotation is closely linked to the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. It enhances sleep quality. Individuals reset their circadian rhythms by experiencing sensory isolation in a flotation tank. This leads them towards more natural and consistent patterns of slumber.


This is particularly advantageous for those wrestling with insomnia or irregular sleep schedules. They can find respite in such an approach. During flotation sessions, individuals achieve a profound state of relaxation that persists into the subsequent hours. This creates an environment conducive to restorative and uninterrupted sleep. Regular practice over time and consistent engagement in flotation can contribute significantly towards establishing healthy sleep habits and enhancing overall sleep hygiene.




Approach each flotation session with an open mind and a willingness to let go for optimal enjoyment of its benefits. Make sure you select a reputable, clean, and well-maintained environment at the chosen float centre. Also, familiarize yourself with the process before undertaking your first float. Do not hesitate to ask any queries that could potentially enhance or even transform your experience into something truly enjoyable.


The bottom line is that the practice of flotation is simple yet potent. It offers an array of benefits for body and mind. It also presents a singular chance to elude daily life's insistent demands and attain deep-seated relaxation. If you are seeking stress relief, pain management, or heightened creativity, flotation could be the solution you are looking for. Embrace the tranquillity of the flotation tank and unlock its incredible benefits for your overall well-being. 


  1. Beneficial effects of treatment with sensory isolation in flotation-tank as a preventive health-care intervention – a randomized controlled pilot trial -

Article by Jonathan Barnicoat

bottom of page