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Facts About Float Therapy

05/31/2017 04:33PM ● Published by Kourtney Jason

Heather McNeilly challenged herself to float for one hour a day, 30 days in a row. “I’ve found myself in a place of calm that I’ve never felt before,” she says. “Even when things have come up that normally [trigger my] anxiety, I’ve been able to stay in a grounded place of contentment and deal in a way that’s surprised me.”

McNeilly, co-owner of Revival Float and Wellness in Grass Valley, has been consulting with her doctor on the health benefits of her 30-day challenge. “I’ve watched my blood pressure go down,” she says. “I had bloodwork done before I began, and am having bloodwork currently done to see some of the other benefits, such as magnesium absorption, which so many of us are deficient in.”


Flotation therapy, also known as sensory deprivation, is floating in 10 inches of water with 1,000-1,200 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt in an area that’s both soundproof and lightproof. “The water is set to your skin's temperature, roughly 93.5 degrees, so you lose sense of where your body ends and the water begins,” says Leilani Wagner, director of community engagement at Capitol Floats in Sacramento. “The tank has the capability to have no light and no sound; in turn, your body is deprived of stimuli, allowing your central nervous system to rest and put you into a theta state of mind.”

Gary McFadyen, who handles public relations for True REST Float Spa with local franchises in Folsom and Roseville, says the recent growth in floating's popularity is, in part, due to word of mouth. “It’s something that used to be underground and now is becoming mainstream,” he says. “With social media and the ability to find information on the Internet, floating has become accessible to more people.”


Even among top athletes like Steph Curry and Tom Brady, the benefits  of floating are both physical and mental. “[It allows them to] relax and recover after a game,” McFadyen says, “but they can also prepare and visualize for the next game.”

In addition, floating provides relief for many of today’s most common ailments and injuries. “There are a lot of studies showing that floatation therapy can be used for PTSD, depression, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain, stress relief, lowering cortisol levels, increasing creativity, improving mental clarity, insomnia and more,” Wagner says.

Erica Colby, owner of SALTS in Granite Bay, recommends floating at least twice a month to reap the benefits. “Every float you have will be different, and beyond the deep relaxation you feel, floating tends to bring any mental and physical issues occurring in your life to the surface, so they can be’s a safe, non-invasive and integrative therapy and can be used as a tool for self-development and mindful living. The positive, calming effects of even a single float can be felt for days afterward.”


Colby is quick to calm common concerns of drowning and falling asleep while floating. “The pool of water is 10-inches deep and you remain positively buoyant the entire time. It would take effort to force yourself under the water, since you tend to pop up like a cork,” she assures. “And yes, people often fall asleep while floating. Since there’s no way you can drown, falling asleep is perfectly normal and expected, due to the deep relaxation you’ll experience. It’s been estimated that one hour of sleep in the isolation tank is equal to four hours of bed sleep.”  

Get your float on

Capitol Floats

3513 Broadway, Sacramento, 916-739-1218

3-float introductory package: $135; single float: $65; one-float-per-month membership: $49/month (4-month minimum)

Revival Float and Wellness

262 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, 530-802-5545

3-float introductory package: $135; single float: $60 non-members; one-float-per-month membership: $50/month (3-month minimum)


6933 Douglas Boulevard, Granite Bay, 916-899-6610

Single float: $65; two-floats-per-month membership: $99/month

True REST Float Spa

220 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 180, Folsom; 711 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Suite 130, Roseville, 916-409-7809

First-time float: $59; single float: $79; one-float-per-month membership: $59

By Kourtney Jason // Top, left photos courtesy of True REST Float Spa. Bottom photo courtesy of Capitol Floats 

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