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The Science Behind Float Therapy for Anxiety

The physical benefits of float therapy can help manage pain, but did you know that floating can also help manage anxiety?

Float therapy is becoming an increasingly popular holistic treatment option for everything from chronic back pain to depression.

Life is busy and demands a lot of us, so it’s no wonder why anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States.

Anxiety can cause both mental and physical distress and exacerbate existing health conditions, so it’s important to get your anxiety under control.

While this holistic treatment option can’t cure medical conditions, float therapy can offer much-needed relief from the symptoms of anxiety.

If you’re trying therapy and medication and aren’t seeing results, holistic options like float therapy can offer short-term relief.

Learn about the effects of anxiety on the body, plus how floatation tank therapy can help minimize the symptoms of anxiety.

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The Negative Effects of Anxiety and Sensory Overload

Aside from depression and PTSD, anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. In fact, over 31% of U.S. adults experience anxiety at some point.

Some people have chronic anxiety for most of their lives, while others experience anxiety during divorce, medical crises, or other stressful life events.

Research shows that anxiety can also be genetic, so it’s important to know your family history, too.

Anxiety causes the mind to be overactive. Your heart races, your muscles clench, and your thoughts won’t stop.

Anxiety is difficult to manage by itself, but it can also cause chronic health issues or even worsen existing health problems.

Left untreated, anxiety can cause all kinds of problems, including

  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Stomach pain
  • High blood pressure

Anxiety is a mental health issue that needs treatment. Many people can mitigate the effects of anxiety with therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. But even with these changes, you might still need additional relief.

Float therapy isn’t the only holistic way to fight against the effects of anxiety. Exercise, eating whole foods, and meditating regularly can help combat anxiety.

The downside is that it can take weeks to see any kind of relief from these changes. Float therapy for anxiety, on the other hand, gives floaters near-instant relief.

If you’re trying to overcome anxiety, regular floats can help you maximize the value of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes by regulating your nervous system.

How Floating Can Minimize Anxiety Symptoms

It’s tempting to distract your anxious mind from racing thoughts, but that’s only going to create more anxiety.

Anxious minds don’t need extra stimuli; they need peace. Quiet time gives your brain a chance to unwind and rest without new, worrying thoughts clouding your mind.

Float therapy is a holistic healing option that’s great for both your mental and physical health.

If you suffer from anxiety, a single float can increase your sense of well-being and offer much-needed acute relief from feelings of panic, stress, or fear.

Float therapy can’t cure anxiety, but it can certainly reduce the severity of your anxiety symptoms. It also gives you almost immediate relief, while other medical and holistic options can take weeks.

During a float session, you experience feelings of weightlessness as you float in a pod of body-temperature salt water.

You can listen to meditation music or enjoy soothing silence for 30 to 90 minutes. The float pod is sound-proof and light-proof, so you won’t have any distractions when you’re in the pod.

Float therapy gives you the time to disconnect from your worries and experience true serenity. It offers a level of relaxation that just isn’t possible anywhere else.

Your brain automatically shifts into a relaxed state where you focus only on your breathing in an environment without stimuli.

We’ve known about float therapy benefits for years, but the science is now catching up to explain why it works so well.

Floatation therapy is also called Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST). Float therapy for anxiety works by decreasing external stimuli. This activates the brain’s parasympathetic nervous system, which acts as the “brakes” in your brain.

This process slows down your heart rate, lowers cortisol, lowers blood pressure, and helps you relax. REST therapy reduces visual, auditory, and tactical stimuli to give your nervous system the space to recover. This helps reduce stress hormones and tackle the root cause of an overworked nervous system.

Not only does the research show that REST therapy has an impact on physical pain and insomnia, but also on mental health issues like anxiety. After just a single float, many people report a host of positive changes.

A 2018 study found that a single one-hour REST therapy session induced a strong relaxed state. In a group of fifty anxious and depressed patients, the majority reported a short-term improvement in mood.

While the study couldn’t determine the long-term effects of floating, it did find that floats are a promising acute treatment for anxiety.

Float therapy reduced anxiety across the board, in spite of the patient’s gender or whether they were on medication. They reported less stress, muscle pain, tension, and depression as well as a greater sense of happiness and well-being.

The Benefits of Float Therapy for Anxiety

Float therapy evokes a sense of complete relaxation, which is something that modern Americans just don’t get enough of.

Although scientists are still researching the mechanisms of how float therapy can manage anxiety, this holistic treatment option has been around for decades.

Anxiety can cause a lot of aches and pains in the body. Floating can take the pressure off of your body, alleviating tension in your neck, back, and hips. The magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) in the water can reduce muscle tension and other physical symptoms of anxiety, like tense muscles in your neck or jaw.

Research shows that float therapy can ease physical pain by reducing pressure on joints and sore muscles. It offers physical benefits like lower blood pressure and decreased pain. But it offers a lot of relief for the mental effects of anxiety, too.

Floaters often report mental benefits that include: 

  • Increased clarity
  • Feelings of serenity
  • Increased energy
  • Improved memory
  • Elevated mood
  • Improved decision-making
  • More restful sleep

The great news is that, as long as you aren’t taking medications that interact with the magnesium in float tanks, floating can work alongside other medical interventions for anxiety.

While medication can be very effective for many people with anxiety, it can take time to adjust to new anxiety medication. Some of these medications come with side effects that are tough to manage.

Fortunately, floating can help during this transition time by giving you short-term relief.

What To Expect During a Float Therapy Session When Managing Anxiety

Anxiety makes it difficult to cope with uncertainty, so it’s good to learn about float tank therapy before your session. The team at Krysus HP is here to help you every step of the way. 

Our float sessions range anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. To prep for your session, avoid shaving, waxing, or dyeing your hair 24 hours before your float. You don’t need to bring anything to your session. Krysus HP provides towels, ear plugs, body wash, shampoo, and slippers for you. While we recommend floating nude, you can bring your own swimsuit if that will make you more comfortable. 

Arrive 15 minutes before your float session. Your Krysus HP team will take you into a prep room, where you’ll change into a robe and slippers before going to your own private float room. You’ll take a brief shower before entering the pod. As you lower yourself into the body-temperature water, the pod will play soothing music and display beautiful, colorful lights. 

The lights and music will slowly fade as you ease into the session. You don’t have to do anything special. You simply lie there, focus on your breathing, and allow yourself to relax. If you’ve meditated before, you can try meditation techniques to clear your mind from distractions while in the pod.

At the end of the session, the lights and sounds will slowly come back on. You’ll exit the pod, shower, and head back to the prep room to get dressed.

Krysus HP’s float pods are very hygienic. Between sessions, we filter and disinfect 100% of the water. Our team personally disinfects the emptied float pods by hand in between floaters, too.

If you’re doing float therapy for anxiety, it’s best to try floating once a week and see if you notice changes in your symptoms. Some people choose to float once a month, while others float multiple times a week for regular relief.

Is Float Tank Therapy for Me?

The majority of floaters experience a calm, euphoric feeling after floating. This makes float therapy a great fit for the majority of anxious people who choose to float.

However, you shouldn’t float if you have certain medical conditions.

It’s worth noting that some anxiety conditions might not be a fit for float tank therapy. If you have claustrophobia, you’ll need to chat with your mental health professional before trying float tank therapy. 

Krysus uses spacious pods that allow you to stretch out your arms and legs, but this still might not be a fit if you have extreme claustrophobia.

The good news is that you’re in control of your float. If you experience any feelings of claustrophobia in the tank, you’re free to exit the pod at any time.

Book an Amazing Float To Relieve Anxiety

New experiences can seem overwhelming when you’re living with anxiety. 

Float therapy for anxiety can sound intimidating for first-time floaters, but after experiencing the weightlessness and joy of floating firsthand, you’ll be a pro in no time.

We’re here to make the float therapy process as stress-free as possible. 

Krysus HP’s friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to help you get the most out of your first float.

Check out our FAQ to plan your visit or visit our booking page to schedule your float.