Perhaps you have seen the much talked-about Stephen Curry float therapy video. (https://youtu.be/vfhZA8uAYlg) He is one of many athletes these days who are singing the praises of float therapy for athletic performance, and for good reason. It doesn’t matter whether you are a skier, an MMA fighter, or a ballet dancer; whether you are vying for an Olympic medal or just trying to shave ten seconds off your personal best 10K run time, floating can be an amazing tool for athletic performance.
Floating for Athletic Recovery
There has been a lot written about float therapy for athletic recovery. Certainly, if you have completed a hard workout, float therapy will help to speed up recovery time. The relief of the zero gravity environment provides a break for the nervous system, joints and muscles – all of which are stressed after a hard workout. Floating, because of the high concentration of magnesium sulfate in the water, also helps to reduce stress hormones, like cortisol, as well as lactic acid build-up. The magnesium sulfate (also known as Epsom Salt) is incredibly effective for reducing inflammation, which can be great if you are prone to repetitive use injuries such as tennis elbow or runner’s knee.
Floating for Performance
Having said that, as great as floating can be for helping the body to recover from a series of hard training sessions, we feel that the most profound benefits of floating have to do with how it prepares us to perform outside of the tank. It doesn’t matter whether you are getting ready for an important presentation or a triathlon – float therapy is an amazing tool for mental preparation.
- Ground in the present
So much of our mental energy is caught up in processing what has happened or worrying about what will happen. Floating allows us the time to ground ourselves in the moment, thereby harnessing that mental energy. When we float on a regular basis, we get better at being present in the moment, which prepares us to perform optimally in high pressure situations.
- Visualize success
CEOs and pro athletes often talk about the importance of visualizing success, and there is a lot of research to support the idea that visualization is an effective tool for enhancing performance. The problem is that in today’s hyper-connected world, it is difficult to find a space free of distractions. And even if you can escape from the buzzing of your cell phone and the din of traffic, the body can distract us with its aches and pains. The float tank is the ultimate space for setting an intention to visualize success.
- Conquer fear
Anxiety, which is really just an over-arching sense of fear of what will happen, can rob us of our power. Anxiety is a double-edged sword because it also provides us with nervous energy and hyper focus, which can heighten performance. However, anxiety can be debilitating and derail our best efforts, even when we have performed perfectly in practice. The best way to overcome stage fright is to train our brains to stay in the moment and to resist distractions. This is easier said that done, since we are hard-wired to be productive, and we feel productive when we are projecting into the future. In order to train our brains not to devolve into a state of anxiety, we have to proactively train our brains to be still during less stressful moments. The float tank is the ideal environment to do this work.
Float therapy is beneficial for anyone, regardless of their level of physical activity. We know that floating is most effective when done on a regular basis, at least once per month. That’s why we offer a Soul Float Membership at $39/month, which gives you one free float per month, plus the opportunity to float additional times during the month for $39. We don’t ever want floating to be stressful, so there are no commitments and the floats you don’t use will accumulate to be used in subsequent months.