Sensory deprivation and flotation therapy have been around since the 1950s, and their benefits have long been recognized in the athletic community. Athletes around the world turn to floating for a host of reasons, including decreased fatigue, accelerated healing and increased mental clarity.
Many types of athletes—both recreational and high performance—can benefit from floating. Runners, football players, soccer players, yogis, mixed martial artists, gymnasts and more have all found immense physical and mental benefits to jumping in the float tank. Olympic gold medalists Carl Lewis and Aly Raisman enjoy floating, as does NBA champion Steph Curry.
Some famous athletes even have their own personal tanks in their homes. New England Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady has been said to float to prepare for intense games and reportedly keeps a tank in his Boston home. Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney spends up to 10 hours per week floating in his tank. Perhaps not coincidentally, he has since made a stunning comeback after suffering from a string of recurring injuries.
Here are some of the ways that floating has been helping athletes’ bodies and minds for decades.
Athletes can suffer from both physical and mental fatigue, which can lead to physical injuries and trouble concentrating. The relaxation experienced while floating allows athletes’ bodies to recuperate more quickly from fatigue, helping to prevent injury and increasing concentration. They leave the tank with renewed energy, ready to get back to their sport.
Recovery and Healing
Most athletes are keenly aware of how important it is to properly balance training with recovery time to avoid injury. Floating is ideal for athletes, as it has been found to decrease overall recovery time and quicken healing. First, floating reduces lactic acid, which can cause cramping, pain and tightness. Second, it lowers cortisol and relieves stress, allowing for better relaxation. Third, circulation is improved while floating, making it easier for blood to reach sore or injured muscles, joints and tendons. In addition, the rich concentration of magnesium and Epsom salt that float tanks are filled with has anti-inflammatory properties which ease pain and further accelerate healing.
Mental Focus and Clarity
Keeping mentally focused on their goals and competition is extremely important to athletes. The lack of stimuli in the float tank makes it an ideal setting to achieve mental clarity. Some athletes may use visualization techniques while they are floating to help them prepare for certain events or specific targets. By letting go of all other distractions, athletes are able to regain focus and concentrate on their goals.
With the wide range of benefits it offers in just a one-hour session, it’s hard to compete with floating. It’s no wonder so many athletes are incorporating flotation therapy into their regular routines. To experience the mental and physical benefits of flotation therapy that athletes everywhere are touting, come visit us at H2Om Float in Jacksonville!