Tennis champ Novak Djokovic regularly floats at Water Temple when in Melbourne for the Australian Open.
Float therapy is the best tool that helps athlete sleep or achieve time in a deeply rested state during the session. The magnesium in the salt solution is absorbed by the floater through their skin and this helps them to feel relaxed and calm. Magnesium also helps with the production of melatonin to aid in getting to sleep at night. All recovery methods are helpful in some way and it will come down to accessibility and individual preference of the athlete. However, sleep and deep rest is such a crucial part of physiological and psychological recovery that if you haven’t tried float therapy before and you want to reach that next level of recovery, come and give it a go!
If you are a competitive athlete you’ll know first-hand the demands you put on your body to perform day in and day out. You may also know that the only training an athlete benefits from is the training they can recover from. Recovery; it is a hot topic in the sports world and there are a myriad of tools an athlete can adopt to boost their recovery between training and competition.
To improve recovery an athlete can strip it back to the basics – good quality sleep. Sleep is a wonderful free recovery tool that everyone has access to and is the foundation to recovery. However, training and competition can affect an athlete’s ability to sleep well. Whether they are nervous and can’t seem to stop the head chatter prior to an event or they are too wired post training or competition to easily fall asleep and stay asleep. Sleep is not always easy for an athlete and any recovery tool that can assist with falling asleep and staying asleep is a god-send to an athlete.
The physiological benefits of sleep include hormone production that stimulates the regeneration of damaged and dying cells, such as growth hormones. And balance specific processes are restored and re-tuned while we sleep. Psychologically, sleep allows our brain to mentally refresh, organise our thoughts, file information and reset and cleanse all the chemical reactions and cellular processes that go on in our brains. Sleep also helps us to emotionally regulate and a lack of sleep can result in an increased risk of anxiety, depression and psychological issues.
Float therapy is scientifically proven to help you have a better quality sleep the night after a floating session. Furthermore, if you know you will not be having the greatest night’s sleep pre or post your athletic endeavours, rest assured you will gain 60-90 minutes of deep relaxation during your float sessions!
A floatation pod is filled with a magnesium-rich, salty solution (the buoyancy of the salt allows you to float without any effort whatsoever). This solution is a beautiful skin temperature. You lie on your back and the water reaches your ear level so that your face does not go under the salty solution and you are able to breath easily! The pod is a zero-gravity environment that is private (only one pod per room and one person per pod), non-stimulating without noise, light or other distractions. There is no stress on the floaters spine and blood flow to all extremities is improved during a float session. The person floating will feel supported by the water, completely relaxed, recovered and reset in a unique and personal environment where one can be with their mind and body on a whole new level!
In terms of athletic recovery, floatation therapy ticks all the boxes! See the chart below that compares other recovery tools to float therapy: