Flotation Therapy

A relaxation technique involving floating in a sensory deprivation tank filled with salt water.


Flotation therapy, also known as sensory deprivation therapy or REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique), is a relaxation method where individuals float effortlessly in a specialized tank filled with water saturated with Epsom salt. The water is heated to skin temperature, and the tank is insulated from external light and sound, creating a unique environment that minimizes sensory input. This near-zero gravity experience allows the mind and body to enter a deep state of relaxation and meditation.

Did you know?

Well Me Right offers thousands of virtual and online health and wellness sessions from wellness experts, health coaches, and other holistic health and fitness professionals.

Browse and book a FREE discovery session with the world’s leading wellness experts & get advice over a video call.


The origins of flotation therapy can be traced back to the 1950s when neuroscientist John C. Lilly began experimenting with sensory deprivation. Lilly's research focused on the effects of isolating the brain from external stimuli. In 1954, he developed the first flotation tank, aiming to explore altered states of consciousness. Throughout the following decades, Lilly refined his techniques, and the concept of flotation therapy gained popularity in the 1970s. Today, flotation therapy has evolved into a mainstream wellness practice, with float centers and spas offering sessions to individuals seeking relaxation, stress relief, and personal growth.


  1. Stress Reduction Flotation therapy can significantly reduce stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol levels and promoting a deep sense of relaxation.
  2. Pain Relief The weightless environment and Epsom salt's magnesium content can help alleviate muscle tension, joint pain, and chronic pain conditions.
  3. Enhanced Creativity The sensory deprivation experience can stimulate the brain's right hemisphere, leading to increased creativity, problem-solving abilities, and visualization.
  4. Improved Sleep Regularly engaging in flotation therapy can help regulate sleep patterns, leading to more restful and restorative sleep.
  5. Increased Mindfulness The isolation and lack of distractions in the float tank encourage a state of mindfulness, allowing for greater self-awareness and introspection.
  6. Athletic Recovery Athletes can benefit from flotation therapy as it aids in muscle recovery, reduces lactic acid buildup, and promotes relaxation.
  7. Cardiovascular Health The deep relaxation experienced during flotation therapy can lower blood pressure and improve circulation, supporting overall cardiovascular health.

How It Works

Flotation therapy involves floating in a sensory deprivation tank filled with Epsom salt-saturated water. The high salt concentration allows you to effortlessly float on the surface. The water is heated to skin temperature, creating a feeling of weightlessness. The tank is dark and soundproof, minimizing sensory input. This unique environment promotes deep relaxation, stress reduction, and introspection. The lack of external stimuli allows your mind to enter a meditative state, enhancing mental clarity and creativity. The Epsom salt also has therapeutic benefits, such as reducing muscle tension and promoting skin health.


While flotation therapy is generally safe, there are some considerations to keep in mind. People with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, kidney disease, or open wounds, should consult their doctor before trying flotation therapy. Claustrophobic individuals may find the enclosed tank uncomfortable, although most facilities offer larger, open float rooms. It's important to avoid shaving or waxing before a session to prevent skin irritation from the salt water. Some people may experience mild disorientation or dizziness after a session, so it's advisable to take it easy and hydrate well afterwards. Pregnant women should seek medical advice before floating.

How Much It Costs

The cost of flotation therapy can vary depending on the location and duration of the session. On average, a 60-minute float session ranges from $50 to $100. Some high-end spas or specialized float centers may charge up to $150 per session. Many facilities offer package deals or memberships that can reduce the per-session cost. Introductory offers or first-time promotions are also common, allowing you to try flotation therapy at a discounted rate.

Virtual & Online Options

While virtual or online options for flotation therapy are not available, as the physical experience of floating in a sensory deprivation tank cannot be replicated virtually, many flotation therapy centers offer online booking and information resources. You can research 'flotation therapy near me' to find local providers, read reviews, and compare prices. Some centers may provide virtual tours of their facilities or online guides to help you prepare for your first float. However, to fully experience the benefits of flotation therapy, an in-person session at a specialized facility is necessary.


There is no universally recognized certification required for flotation therapy practitioners. However, many float centers are owned or operated by individuals with backgrounds in health and wellness fields, such as massage therapy, physical therapy, or psychology. Some centers may require their staff to undergo in-house training on float tank operation, maintenance, and safety protocols. When choosing a flotation therapy provider, look for facilities that prioritize cleanliness, safety, and customer service. Reading reviews and asking about staff training and experience can help you find a reputable provider.

Complementary Practices

Flotation therapy pairs well with other relaxation and stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation. It can also be combined with massage therapy, acupuncture, or talk therapy to further enhance its benefits for both physical and mental well-being.

Practitioner Types

Flotation therapy is typically offered at specialized float centers or spas. The staff at these facilities may include trained flotation therapy facilitators, massage therapists, or wellness coaches who can guide clients through the process and ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Some centers may also have healthcare professionals such as psychologists or physical therapists on staff to provide additional support and guidance.

Are you an expert?

Turn your knowledge into impact & income and share your expertise, grow, and improve lives. Become a Wellness Expert on Well Me Right.

Offer paid wellness sessions for 1:1 virtual coaching and support and connect with wellness-seeking individuals on Well Me Right.


  • Q: What are the benefits of flotation therapy?

    • A: Flotation therapy offers a range of benefits, including deep relaxation, stress relief, pain reduction, improved sleep, enhanced creativity, and increased self-awareness. It can also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  • Q: How long does a typical flotation therapy session last?

    • A: A standard flotation therapy session usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes, allowing the body and mind sufficient time to fully relax and enter a meditative state. However, some centers may offer shorter or longer sessions depending on individual preferences and needs.
  • Q: Is flotation therapy safe?

    • A: Flotation therapy is generally considered safe for most people. The water in the float tank is shallow, and the high concentration of Epsom salt makes it easy to float effortlessly. However, individuals with certain medical conditions, such as open wounds, epilepsy, or severe claustrophobia, should consult with a healthcare professional before trying flotation therapy.
  • Q: How often should I do flotation therapy?

    • A: The frequency of flotation therapy sessions depends on individual goals and preferences. Many people find that regular sessions, such as once a week or every other week, can help maintain the benefits of deep relaxation and stress relief. Others may prefer to do flotation therapy as needed, such as during particularly stressful periods or when seeking a creative boost.
  • Q: What should I expect during my first flotation therapy session?

    • A: During your first flotation therapy session, a staff member will typically provide an orientation and answer any questions you may have. You'll be shown to a private room with a float tank, where you'll shower before entering the tank. Once inside, you'll float effortlessly in the warm, salt-saturated water, and the lights and music will gradually fade out, leaving you in a state of sensory deprivation. After the session, you'll have time to shower and relax before returning to your daily routine.


Flotation therapy is a unique and powerful tool for promoting deep relaxation, reducing stress, and enhancing overall well-being. By providing a sensory-deprivation experience in a safe and controlled environment, flotation therapy allows individuals to disconnect from external stimuli and turn their attention inward. This can lead to a wide range of benefits, from pain relief and improved sleep to increased creativity and self-awareness. Whether used as a standalone practice or combined with other complementary therapies, flotation therapy offers a valuable opportunity for individuals to prioritize their physical and mental health, and to cultivate a greater sense of peace and balance in their lives.