First developed by neuroscientist, John C. Lilly in 1954,

the floatation tank commonly referred to as the sensory

deprivation tank later became a practice known as

the Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy during

the 1970’s. Although the suggested use of the tank has

varied over several years, the floatation tank has been

generally used to effectively treat a number of ailments

including: anxiety, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, mental

disorders, migraines, and stress. Considering its acclaimed mental and physical benefits, this therapy would make an excellent practice in the recovery of athletes.


 The principles of floatation therapy claim that due to the high concentration of Epsom salt in the water, just about anybody will stay afloat. The water used in the floatation therapy procedure is generally kept at about skin temperature to create a feeling that there is nothing physically acting upon your body while floating.



According to a pilot study carried out to evaluate the effects of flotation spa treatment on patients with osteoarthritis in December 1999, it was discovered that during floatation there was a significant increase in the brain’s theta waves which are responsible for our state of deep relaxation in addition to the healing of our minds and bodies and which was shown in a

separate study to be activated by medication.

During the research it was also found that

subjects experienced a decrease in

aldosterone, epinephrine, blood pressure,

heart rate, renin activity, as well as plasma

and urinary cortisol – all substantial contributing factors to stress. The conclusion to this study showed that a finding of Floatation Therapy health benefits for patients with osteoarthritis was justified.


Putting aside the medical terminology and complex inner workings of the human body, long story short; backed by scientific study flotation therapy boosts your mental state and reduces the level of stress throughout your body. In a separate study by Borrie R & Dr T Russell in 2011 on pain relief and relaxation for fibromyalgia patients in London, Berlin, Colleyville and Rotterdam it was concluded that floatation therapy or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, REST can help patients with fibromyalgia to relax and manage their pain allowing them to perform daily tasks which would otherwise cause them some difficulty.


According to the non-profit organization, the National Academy of Sciences in the United States, most Americans have been found to suffer from a deficiency in magnesium. Notably magnesium deficiency is responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient and is often misdiagnosed due to the condition not showing up in blood test. Epsom salt which contains both magnesium and sulphate and is the primarily ingredient used in flotation therapy raises your magnesium levels throughout your body to improve your blood circulation, increase the body’s ability to heal itself, reduce muscle pain and relieve stress, boosting your overall mental and physical health.


































A Brief History of Floating


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John C. Lilly

An Early Version of the Float Tank

John Lilly