The Health Benefits of Float Therapy for MenMay 31, 2023 09:31AM ● By Sara Garvin
Stress, an inevitable part of life that affects everyone at some point, can be caused by many factors, including work, relationships, financial concerns and health problems. While stress is a natural response to challenging situations, chronic stress can have negative effects on health. In this context, float therapy is a technique that has gained popularity in recent years as a way to manage stress and improve overall well-being.
Stress and Men’s Health
Stress affects men’s health in several ways, both physically and mentally. Chronic stress can lead to high levels of cortisol, which if left unchecked can cause a range of physical health problems—including weight gain, heart disease and weakened immune function—and mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.
Some men may be more prone to experiencing stress due to cultural and societal factors, such as pressure to succeed at work and provide for their families. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and overwhelm along with physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension and fatigue. While it is impossible (and undesirable) to completely eliminate stress from life, there are strategies to better manage stress and promote better overall health.
Floating for Stress Relief
One technique is floating, also known as sensory deprivation or floatation therapy. Float therapy involves lying in a pod or tank filled with salt water that is heated to body temperature. The high concentration of Epsom salts in the water allows the body to float effortlessly, creating a sensation of weightlessness. The tank is also designed to be light-proof and reduce sound, which creates an environment of sensory deprivation.
The idea behind float therapy is that by removing external stimuli, the body and mind can relax more deeply than in other forms of relaxation. The buoyancy of the water takes pressure off the joints and muscles, promoting relaxation and reducing pain. The absence of light and sound reduces input to the brain, allowing the mind to quiet and the body to enter a deeply relaxed state.
Benefits of Floating for Men’s Health
Studies have shown that float therapy has been shown to be beneficial for men’s health, particularly in reducing stress, anxiety and depression symptoms, and improve sleep quality. It can also have positive effects on chronic pain, migraines and recovery from the wear and tear of athletic training. Successful athletes like Tom Brady and Stephen Curry use it regularly in their training regimens.
For men specifically, float therapy can be a helpful tool for managing stress related to work and personal life, providing deep relaxation in a unique way. Some men can feel self-conscious in wellness spaces and group classes, or simply admitting they have things they want to work through. The float experience is solitary, removing those concerns.
Reducing muscle tension and gaining a sense of calm can be especially helpful for men that experience stress-related headaches or aches and strains from physical jobs. Float therapy can also provide a sense of escape from the demands of everyday life, allowing men to recharge and return to their daily routines with greater focus and clarity.
While not a cure-all for every health problem, float therapy can be a helpful addition to a holistic approach to health and well-being. As with any new therapy or technique, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting float therapy to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for individual needs.
Sara Garvin is a co-founder of FLOAT Boston, located at 515 Medford St., Somerville, Mass. She is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and the Chicago School of Massage Therapy and was a massage therapist for 15 years. For more information or to arrange for a float session, call 844-443-5628 or visit FloatBoston.com.