Health & Wellness

4 Benefits of Salt Float Therapy

Have you heard of salt float therapy? If not, you aren’t alone.

This newer trend is actually based on the timeless therapeutic effects of using Epsom salt. And it’s incredible for promoting relaxation and fighting stress, anxiety, and depression.

Intrigued? I know I was! So, I decided to look into it a bit more. After all, we all know how important it is to support your body’s stress response and alleviate anxiety.

Take a look at what I found below. Who knows … you may decide to take a dip yourself soon!

 

What is Salt Float Therapy?

So, what exactly is salt float therapy? Basically, it’s exactly what it sounds like: floating in a small isolated pool (also known as a sensory deprivation tank) that contains about a foot of water that’s been saturated with Epsom salt (which aids buoyancy).

The purpose of salt float therapy is to reduce sensory input to your nervous system by limiting as many sensory signals as possible. [1] In fact, it was originally created by American neuroscientists John C. Lilly, MD to study the effects of this flotation on certain psychological disorders, such as anxiety and PTSD.

So, how does it work? Well, you enter a private room and shower before entering the tank, which is filled salt water that matches your skin’s temperature and simply lie back and float.

All sound and light are minimized to reduce any potential stimulation, with a goal of helping you enter into a deep state of relaxation.

Salt float therapy typically lasts for an hour, at which point you shower again, get dressed, and leave.

You can try salt float therapy at many local spas or even specialized flotation spas. A single session typically costs anywhere from $50 to $100, with membership discounts available for purchase.

So, what can you expect from salt float therapy? Keep reading to learn about some of the top benefits.

4 Benefits of Salt Float Therapy

Here are four of the top benefits according to science and also commonly reported by those who engage in salt float therapy. 

1. Helps decrease stress, depression, and anxiety

Salt float therapy is known to have many benefits, though its ability to calm the mind and body are definitely its greatest.

Floating in salt water has been shown to significantly decrease stress, depression, and anxiety. In fact, a study published in 2014, 65 participants were divided into two groups: a control group (with no intervention) or a flotation treatment group.

The flotation group participated in 12 flotation sessions over a period of seven weeks. Researchers had the participants complete questionnaires measuring variables such as stress, energy, depression, anxiety, optimism, pain, sleep quality, and mindfulness.

At the end of the seven weeks, the flotation group reported significantly decreased stress, depression, anxiety, and pain. They also reported significantly increased mindfulness and optimism! Meanwhile, no significant results were seen in the control group. [2]

Additionally, a 2018 study followed 50 participants who were previously diagnosed with disorders related to anxiety and/or stress as well as depression.

After an hour-long salt float therapy session, the participants reported substantially reduced anxiety as well as significant reductions in stress, muscle tension, pain, and depression.

They also reported significantly improved mood resulting from increased serenity, relaxation, happiness, and overall well-being. [3]

 

Salt float therapy - Dr. Pingel

 

2. Promotes restful sleep

If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, you may want to consider trying salt float therapy.

According to findings from the same 2014 study mentioned above, after 12 floating sessions, the participants reported significantly improved sleep quality. In fact, self-reported sleep quality improved by approximately 14 percent! [4]

Additionally, in a 2016 study, researchers found once again that participating in 12 floating sessions not only significantly decreased sleeping difficulties but that these effects lasted beyond the therapy phase. [5]

3. Helps relieve pain

One of the more promising benefits of salt float therapy is its potential to help relieve pain.

In fact, in a study published in the journal Pain Research and Management, researchers followed 37 people suffering from chronic pain as they participated in salt float therapy and found incredible results.

The participants were divided into two groups: a control group and a flotation group who participated in nine float therapy sessions. After three weeks, the researchers found that those in the flotation group reported significant decreases in the intensity of their most severe perceived pain. [6]

Meanwhile, another study found that salt float therapy may serve as a meaningful treatment for those suffering from chronic whiplash-associated disorders. [7]

The bottom line here is that this therapy shows real promise in its ability to assist those with chronic pain.

4. Supports mental performance

Finally, another major benefit of salt float therapy is that it’s been found to boost focus, concentration, and even creativity!

According to one study on college students, researchers found that spending one hour floating in salt water resulted in increases in vigor and curiosity, resulting in enhanced creativity. [8]

Another study found that floating for 45 minutes resulted in higher originality when facing a problem-solving task or pen-and-paper tests. [9]

Additionally, studies have shown that flotation improves learning rates and promotes a higher level of understanding. These findings were particularly true for visual learners. [10]

 

As you can see, there are many benefits to trying salt float therapy. Luckily, with its resurgence in popularity in more recent years, there’s a good chance you can find a float spa near you to give it a try.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Salt float therapy is exactly what it sounds like: floating in a small isolated pool (also known as a sensory deprivation tank) that contains about a foot of water that’s been saturated with Epsom salt (which aids buoyancy).
  • The purpose of salt float therapy is to reduce sensory input to your nervous system by limiting as many sensory signals as possible.
  • Some of the greatest proven benefits of salt float therapy include: helping decrease stress, anxiety, and depression; promoting restful sleep; helping relieve pain; and supporting mental performance.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.