What is Floatation Therapy?

Zero-Gravity Simulation Reduces Stress

Woman Floating in Floatation Tank
Woman Floating in Floatation Tank. Robert Daly / Getty Images

Floatation therapy is a unique type of hydrotherapy that simulates zero gravity. How? By dissolving eight hundred to one thousand pounds of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) into approximately two hundred gallons of water in a small shallow pool.

Would You Like to Float Like a Cork?

There are several important benefits to creating this dense saltwater solution. The most immediately recognizable benefit is that a person floating in a floatation tank will float like a cork in a mere 10 inches of water, with their face and the top of their body actually poking out of the water.

This is regardless of the person's body type or their ability to float in a swimming pool.


As opposed to a swimming pool where gravity is lowered, gravity in a floatation tank is essentially nullified by the extreme buoyancy caused by the dissolved Epsom salt. This provides a rare opportunity for people who are suffering from various types of joint and/or muscle pain. Without the constant pressure of gravity, a person resting in a floatation tank is able to relax and unwind more thoroughly than even the most comfortable bed allows.

Floating Releases Endorphins

Taking a break from gravity in floatation tanks also causes fascinating and significant changes in the brain. Endorphins are released. These are powerful natural pain relievers and mood enhancers that promote a sense of well-being while further enhancing the healing benefits of the zero gravity environment.

Meditative State of Relaxation

A person who has a high stress level will find it virtually impossible to maintain that stress level after a float session due to endorphins being released in the brain as well as their brainwaves shifting from beta to alpha and even theta.

Theta is a rare brain state that is normally reserved for people trained in meditation. An important contrast to meditation is the fact that a person can achieve a theta brain state in their very first float session, making it a quick and easy shortcut to deep relaxation.

The benefits achieved in a one hour session are significant on their own, but when compared to other therapies, floatation tanks are in a category all their own.

Also see: How Float Therapy Can Help with Chronic Pain and Illness

Frank Rodriguez discovered floatation therapy in 2001 when he was desperately searching for an alternative to back surgery. Frank has a pinched nerve in his back that started causing him temporary paralysis starting in 1995. It got progressively worse until 2001 when Frank found himself bedridden and unable to sleep due to severe sciatic pain. Frank tried many natural options as well as prescription pain killers but none of them worked. In comparison, Frank went from barely able to walk to being pain free in under one hour while floating weightless in a floatation tank. Frank still has a pinched nerve, but he no longer suffers the debilitating pain that plagued him for 6 years. After looking at x-rays of his back, Frank's doctor said that he should still be in constant pain and be unable to walk straight. The doctor can only attribute Frank's dramatic recovery to floatation therapy. Armed with this knowledge, Frank has dedicated himself to promoting this incredibly powerful but misunderstood therapy.

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