Want to feel your best? Stick with a solid personal wellness routine that includes sufficient sleep, regular exercise, good nutrition, and self-care to keep your body and mind in tip-top shape. Another wellness trend you might want to have on your radar is float therapy. We caught up with Shane Stott, founder of Zen Float Co., maker of an affordable at-home float tank, to talk about the proven benefits that float therapy can bring such as combatting stress and anxiety, as well as helping promote mindfulness and enabling your bod to rest and repair.

Woman floating in water

“Floating is one of the most effective ways to give your body and mind true rest,” Stott explains. “When you eliminate all sensory distractions in the dark tank, your mind scrambles to find input. Then, it eventually settles, which allows for a total recharge.” Stott reminds us that magnesium is one of the most important minerals — it helps your body maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports the immune system, helps keep your heartbeat steady, and makes your bones strong — but many people are deficient. “Float tanks use water warmed to skin temperature (93.5ºF) with Epsom salt, which will render you weightless and give your body a break from gravity; your skin simultaneously absorbs the benefits of the magnesium too,” he offers. Given all of these benefits, we’re not surprised that float therapy has earned praise from athletic superstars like NBA champ Steph Curry and Super Bowl star Tom Brady who float to rest and repair their bodies.

When it comes to how often a person needs to float, Stott says there’s no right or wrong approach. “30 minutes is a good starting point simply to de-stress, but 60 or 90 minutes is even better,” he shares. “What’s most important is that you carve out the time you have available and schedule it like you would any other commitment or appointment.” Stott also let us know the best times to float. “A morning float will help you focus and mentally prepare for the busy schedule ahead, while a mid-day float can help restore energy with a much-needed boost.” Even more, floating after work as a way to wind down can set you up for a good night of sleep.

5 Things to Know Before You Float

Want to give floating a go? Before you book your first session at a local float center, here are five things Stott says every first-timer should know.

1. The first float is the hardest. Floating can be blissful, but Stott warns that in the beginning, your mind will try to resist. “This can be a result of fear or perceived discomfort such as getting salt in your eyes or disliking the quiet,” he explains. “Without sight, sound, or gravity to tell your mind which way is up, it’s hard to predict what’s coming and fully surrender to the experience.” To get over this hurdle, Stott suggests powering through and floating at least three times before you throw in the towel. “This is about how long it takes for the magic to start happening,” he says.

2. Floating belongs in your wellness routine. Stott likens floating to exercising regularly and eating well and says that it’s a practice that needs a regular spot in your routine to provide solid benefits. “Floating also calls for discipline and consistent practice because it’s a skill that has to be learned through experience,” he notes.

3. You can use floating to help you meditate. It’s common to encounter distractions when you meditate, which can make it especially tough as a beginner. Floating, however, naturally strips away many things that might cause you to lose focus, such as unexpected sounds or visuals. “Use meditation methods [while you float] to keep your thoughts calm and focused on the present,” Stott suggests.

4. You might experience a natural high. “Many people emerge in a state of euphoria with renewed mental clarity, energy, and enhanced creativity,” Stott says. “It almost feels like a natural drug!” He tells us this happens because of the deep state of relaxation you’ll experience; it reduces the body’s cortisol levels for a total reset.

5. You’ll find peace. Floating will help you feel peaceful because it frees your brain from stress and chaos with time away from distraction, allowing it to return to its natural state of harmony. “From your first few floats, you’ll realize the possibilities of introspection and self-improvement,” Stott assures.

Have you tried float therapy before? Tell us what you thought about the experience on Twitter @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)