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Float therapy for depression: How a float spa helps manage depression

It seems like stress and anxiety are just part of modern life and the hectic routines that come with it. But stress is just one side of the coin: millions of people also struggle. In fact, depression and anxiety often work in tandem to make you feel both exhausted and stressed out.

If you suffer from depression, you’re far from alone: at least 21 million U.S. adults live with it. There’s no cure, but medication and lifestyle changes can alleviate the severity of your symptoms.

But if you’ve already seen a doctor, chatted with a counselor, and started exercising and still don’t see an improvement in your symptoms, it might be time to try something new. While it can’t cure it, floatation is gaining popularity as a relaxing, side effect-free way to manage symptoms.

In this guide, we’ll explain the science behind floating, its benefits, and what you can expect when you go to your first float therapy session.

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What the science says: How floats affect depression

Float therapy, which is also called sensory deprivation, involves floating effortlessly in a tank filled with warm water and Epsom salt. The tank creates a soothing, dark environment where you can disconnect from the outside world and enter a state of deep relaxation.

Scientists are still studying the effects on the body, but several theories shed light on the mechanisms of how floatation helps people.

Float therapy is a stimulation-free environment

Float therapy is also called restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST). The main premise of floating is that it removes external stimuli like light, sound, and even gravity itself. You’ll be floating in a tank filled with salt water, so your body is completely buoyant. When you enter a float tank, it’s just you, the pod, and blissful silence.

Research suggests that your senses play a role in anxious thoughts. Researchers believe floatation works because it reduces sensory inputs, which can have a calming effect on the nervous system. If you’re struggling to cope with anxious thoughts, REST could decrease your anxiety levels and, as a result, help manage your symptoms.

Float therapy relaxes the body and mind

Floating in a weightless environment without stimuli can activate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system. This system manages your “rest and digest” response, which pumps the breaks on depressing thoughts.

It doesn’t just benefit your mind, either. Soothing the parasympathetic nervous system decreases your heart rate, reduces blood pressure, and relaxes muscle tension. If you’re struggling with tight shoulders or racing thoughts, a one-hour float session can work wonders for mental and physical ailments.

Enjoy a rush of endorphins while floating

While researchers are still trying to prove it definitively, some scientists believe that floating releases endorphins. These “happy chemicals” naturally alleviate stress and pain, which could be why so many people with chronic pain find relief from float therapy.

If you’re feeling low, floating can release endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers. This won’t cure it, but float therapy can certainly give you a break from negative thought cycles and help you find more balance.

Magnesium in float tanks may play a role

The water in a float tank is full of dissolved Epsom salts. These salts contain high levels of magnesium, which is a mineral that soothes sore muscles and promotes relaxation.

Epsom salts are great for sore muscles, but they can foster a healthy mind, too. Your body needs an adequate amount of magnesium to produce serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter your brain needs to regulate your mood. Magnesium deficiency can worsen symptoms by depriving your brain of much-needed serotonin.

Fortunately, soaking in magnesium-rich water gives you a chance to absorb magnesium, which can alleviate depressive symptoms.

The benefits of float therapy for treating anxiety

Everyone’s floating experience is different, but most floaters experience a handful of positive benefits after just one sensory deprivation session.

Lower stress

High stress levels can worsen symptoms, but a depressive episode can also make you feel more stressed out. It’s a vicious cycle of anxiety that makes it harder to break out of a depressive episode

The good news is that it’s possible to manage anxiety through floating, as well as the symptoms that come with it. Floating reduces the levels of stress chemicals in your body, like cortisol. The weightlessness you experience in the tank also releases muscle tension, so you get relief both mentally and physically.

Floating also encourages the production of endorphins. This promotes a sense of well-being and counteracts the negative emotions swirling in your head.

Mental clarity

Depression makes it feel like you’re in a fog. This makes it feel impossible to make decisions or take action in your life. But in the stimuli-free environment of a float tank, you’ll enjoy greater mental clarity.

Deep relaxation can improve your mental clarity, enhance focus, and reduce mental fatigue. Think of your time in the float pod as a chance to declutter your mind and gain a fresh perspective on life.

Emotional regulation

Floating gives you the chance to connect with your inner self in a serene, distraction-free environment. By providing a tranquil setting free from external distractions, float therapy makes it possible to navigate your emotions in a supportive environment. This helps build emotional resilience, arms you with better coping mechanisms, and improves emotional stability.

Enhanced creativity

Coming out of a depressive episode can feel overwhelming. But float therapy can stimulate your creativity and problem-solving capabilities, helping you make the most of life on the other side of depression. Some floaters experience a flow-like state during their session, where they can effortlessly think of new ideas and perspectives.

Improved sleep from floating

Healthy sleep is a must for a healthy brain, but depression leads to disrupted sleep patterns. Some people sleep too much, while other people experience insomnia or restless sleep. Regardless of your situation, floating can regulate your sleep schedule. The deep relaxation that comes with float therapy — plus the magnesium in the water — improves sleep quality.


Depression can make it feel like you’re awash in a sea of emotions. A sensory deprivation tank strips away the distractions of everyday life, so you can connect with yourself on a deeper level. Use this chance to identify your emotions, thoughts, and patterns of behavior and use what you learn to make positive changes in your life.

What to expect with therapy for stress

Whether you just want a one-time float to get through a tough season of life, or you want to float every week, it’s a great way to manage the symptoms.

Some people report the long-lasting effects extend well beyond the session itself. Many floaters report feeling a sense of calm and clarity that last hours or even days after a float. This sustained positive effect can boost your mood, reduce anxiety, and help you enjoy life again.

But trying new experiences can still feel unnerving.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Prepare for your visit: You can book a float for 30, 60, or 90 minutes. Avoid shaving or waxing 24 hours before your float to avoid skin irritation. 
  • Arrive at Krysus HP: Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment. Our friendly staff provides towels, ear plugs, body wash, shampoo, and slippers for you. Floating nude is recommended, but you can always bring a swimsuit if that’s more comfortable.
  • Float: You’ll go into a private room to change into a robe and slippers. From there, our team will take you to your private float tank room. Take a quick shower before lowering yourself into the pod. The pod will play music and display lights as you settle in, and then slowly fade out.
  • Shower: At the end of the session, the lights and music will slowly come back. You’ll exit the pod, shower, and go to the prep room to get dressed.
    If you’re trying float therapy for sleep, have a friend pick you up after your session so you can safely snooze on your way home.

Visit Krysus HP’s float hub

It isn’t easy to kick a mental illness and while there’s no cure for this, it’s possible to reduce the severity of your symptoms with regular relaxation. If you’ve already tried medication, counseling, and lifestyle changes, give floating a try.

At Krysus HP, we understand how our therapies can complement existing treatments. Our beginner-friendly float center is here to help you enjoy the entire process from start to finish.

Rediscover yourself, rejuvenate your mind, and embark on a transformative journey towards a happier and healthier life: Book your first float now.