How Float Tanks Help Athletes Recover Faster

Every athlete is looking for something extra that will bring focus and concentration. An alternative therapy that will help to get rid of anxieties and fears, and help your muscles and joints to recover fasterFloat therapy provides many benefits that have proved to be favourable for high-level athletes and sports practitioners. The life of an athlete is quite hectic; one has to go through muscle and body strains while being involved in sports of high physical demand. Due to the weightlessness and sensory restriction faced in the float pod, flotation therapy can aid with the relief of pain connected with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic osteoarthritis, sports-related injuries, migraines, back and joint pain, fibromyalgia, tendinitis, bursitis, and traumatic injuries.

Floating helps to stimulate the body’s natural power of healing and regeneration.

The life of an athlete is very stressful, and at some point, the body itself can present symptoms and “give up.” As a result, the athlete is not able to gain energy to perform efficiently. In such situations, the best way out is to seek Therapy. Floatation Therapy or Floating is the practice of lying effortlessly on a water solution in a Sensory Deprivation tank and drifting into a deep, blissful, meditating state to revive and rejuvenate your body and mind. One of the primary reasons why athletes go floating is because of Muscle recovery and/or mental gain. Every athlete needs assistance in muscle recovery, especially after an injury, or a demanding match or competition.

How does Float Therapy work?

Float therapy is conducted in a Sensory Deprivation Tank. Also known as Restricted Environment Stimulation Therapy (R.E.S.T.) is a popular treatment where an individual floats on water solution in a flotation tank for medical and mental benefits. The tank or pod is dark and soundproof, filled with an alkaline water solution (Magnesium Sulphate).

The tank is mainly designed to get rid of any external stimuli. The water is heated to a fixed temperature of 35o C degrees (resting skin temperature), and it is saturated with magnesium sulphate, which helps to provide buoyancy to float effortlessly.

Next, you step into the pod with minimal or no clothes. Once inside, you will be cut off from all outside stimulation like sight, sound, and gravity. The lid of the tank remains closed.

So, essentially you get into a zone where it’s utter silence and darkness. While doing so, the brain gets into solitude and a deeply relaxed state. Floating not only helps you to get rid of physical complexities like joint or muscle stiffness, but it also helps your brain cells to rejuvenate.

You can say, it’s a quick way to get rid of all the hustle and bustle of daily life.

How does an Athlete Benefits from Float Therapy?

Gravity is not a factor inside the float tank, and it is because of that reason that the body gets into a complete relaxation while floating, but, how can athletes benefit?

Athletes are continuously into vigorous activities; When an athlete gets into the float tank, every single muscle in the body gets into an absolute relaxation state, which is much-needed for a speedy recovery.
It is also important to note that magnesium sulphate is a great muscle relaxant and a “protein builder” for joints. While floating, not only you decompress, but your body is literally absorbing the minerals in the water, and it has a direct effect on the muscles. As soon as you step out of the tank, and your float session has ended, you will immediately feel less tension in your muscles and a sense of total rejuvenation on both mind and body.

Float Therapy for Faster Physical Recovery.

It is said that floating helps an athlete to recover physically at a faster rate. Generally, when athletes go through physical activities, the body gets fatigued. The high amount of magnesium salt that is present in the float tank results in a zero-gravity environment. This removes the pressure gravity has on our bodies. With no pressure on the muscles, and joints, the body will start relaxing, and pain and strain will be reduced dramatically. Furthermore, it also promotes proper blood circulation speeding up the recovery period after an injury or hard workout.

How Floating Improves Sports Performance.

Athletes who go through Float Therapy mixed with visualization therapy often experience a lot of improvement in their everyday performance. When a person is inside the Sensory Deprivation Tank, he/she is cut off from all external stimuli, and the brain enters a “resting state.” In such a state, the brain works more efficiently, and it’s open to “suggestions.”

At this stage, the athletes can visualize and perform a mental evaluation where they can see at themselves and make important decisions. Top athletes from around the world and from all physical disciplines use the float pod to improve their skill set and enhance their overall performance.

Floating or R.E.S.T. can also reduce the risk of injuries! Every athlete is prone to an injury. Float therapy helps reduce muscle tension providing, as a result, a higher degree of control in the nervous system. When an athlete has better control over his/her body, the chances of getting an injury during training or competition are diminished significantly.

Further, floating also releases endorphins in the body. During flotation, there’s an increase in full-body circulation. Oxygen is delivered to cells with higher efficiency, and the brain is better able to function. The act of floating stimulates the body to relax and allow its systems to perform unimpeded. Known as vasodilatation, the blood vessels dilate, decreasing blood pressure. The process works to heal the body, reducing inflammation, and increasing endorphins. Floating works to improve the body on several levels.
Another way to reduce the risk of injury is through immense concentration. Floating in a sensory deprivation tank involves a lot of Mental Game. It can bring a heightened level of meditation and focus on an athlete, which is much required for a good mental game.

A proper synchronization between body, mind, and emotions is highly needed to become efficient at what you do. Float Therapy has become a highly recommended way to control your body, mind, and emotions ahead of the competition.

Floatation Therapy is made available to athletes at institutions like the Australian Institute of Sport, many Universities as well as US and NATO military bases. Floatation is used by professional athletes in many disciplines including Long-distance runners, Yoga trainees, Cross fit athletes and MMA fighters, Boxers, Weightlifters, Triathletes, Cyclists (Road, Track, BMX and Mountain) and athletes in team sports including, Hockey, Rugby, Netball and Football.

Link to University of Waikato “Floating and Sports Performance”

Leave a Comment