Float Tank Therapy – My Personal Experience

An Apple a Day

After doing some research regarding the health benefits of ‘Float Therapy’ (read all about this here), I decided to give it a go. Knowing that magnesium can act as a muscle relaxant, I waited until I’d completed a pretty sizeable workout and the delayed onset muscle soreness kicked in. At that point, 500kg of epsom salts never looked so good.

Before I recap my experience, there are a few things you need to know:

  • Since I was 12, I’ve been a tad claustrophobic. It’s a long story, but I got caught in a dark tunnel on a “gym bus” for what felt like an eternity, (it was probably 3 seconds). Luckily, I managed to free myself and no one ever knew the psychological damage that had just occurred; but ever since then, confined spaces send me into a mild state of panic. Because of this fear, the concept of floating in an enclosed tank of Epsom salts was way too much to handle however, I decided to face these fears and give it a go. Why am I telling you this? All those mildly claustrophobic individuals who tell themselves they can’t do this, you absolutely can – the tanks are huge and you have complete control over how far you close the lid.
  • Float tank therapy isn’t cheap (approximately $70 for a casual 60min session). As a result, I put this off for ever and a day, did I really need to fork out $70 for an Epsom Salt bath? The truth of the matter is, it’s so much more than that AND… a package of $150 for 3 floats sounds way more reasonable to me.

OK, let’s dive in (see what I did there? ;))…

After being shown to my float tank, I jumped in, turned off the light and ALMOST closed the lid (baby steps?!). As I lie there in pitch black, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Here I was, lying inside a giant jellybean and I wasn’t really sure why? After laughing uncontrollably for a few minutes, I started to settle. I played with the switches, re-set my ear plugs, tested the “pillow”, swooshed around in the water, un-tied my hair, re-tied my hair and took a few more deep breaths until I finally lay there still.


“Oh geez” I thought to myself “Why are you here? Your to-do list is HUGE, you’re wasting time; you should probably get out; you should be working on that assignment, you should be using this time to get ahead”. These thoughts continued for what seemed like an eternity before I realised how tense my neck and shoulders were. As I forced my mind to relax, I noticed that my muscles soon followed suit. I took some deep belly breaths and lay there still.


After a few minutes of calm, my mind kicked back in. Were my eyes opened or closed? I couldn’t tell anymore, either way, everything was black. Which way was I facing? I honestly felt like I’d done a big 180 rotation in the tank, was I facing the wrong way? Were my feet at the wrong end? That’s bad feng shui no? After much deliberation, I turned on the light to check my position (control freak much?) and to my surprise, I hadn’t moved. This feeling, from what I’ve since been told, is the result of sensory deprivation AKA what I was paying for. They should definitely put that on the box. I took another deep breath and lay back down for round two.


I closed my eyes and wondered how much time I had left? It felt like ten minutes had passed, which meant I had another 50 minutes of floating to do; could I make it? I’d accepted that float tank therapy wasn’t for me; I was going to be a one time floater, yep, one time only. Knowing I couldn’t leave any earlier, I took another deep breath and decided to enjoy my last 50 minutes for what it was. It was then, and only then that something changed….


Perhaps you needed this Alyse? You definitely needed a time out; everyone says so. You’re go, go, go, but is it for the right reasons? Are you on the right path? The thoughts started circling, but for the first time in a long time, I had the time to process them.


Before I knew it, I stirred to the sound of the gentle music indicating that my time was up. Where on earth had the time gone? I got out, confused and a little tired, had I nodded off? It honestly felt like I’d been in there for 15 minutes tops.


I left relaxed, and whilst I enjoyed the experience, I wasn’t convinced that ‘float therapy’ was for me. I knew I needed time to force myself to switch off, but did I need to spend the cash (it’s not cheap)? However, when push came to shove, I bought a 3 pack (seemed more reasonable price wise) and decided then and there that I’d need to give it another shot before I ruled it out completely. The next day, EVERY SINGLE one of my stiff and sore muscles had resolved, I felt like a new woman, could this be the answer to the stiff neck, back and shoulders we all get from chronic desk/computer overuse?


If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ll know I went back for round 2 of float therapy last night. My old right shoulder RSI was giving me grief and I knew the float tank would give me some relief. I jumped into the tank for round two and I noticed how much more relaxed I was. Yes, there were times I was juggling thoughts and feelings, but I came at it from an entirely different perspective, but I was at peace with the experience, the timing, the environment, I gained so much more than I did the first time. When I went to reception to pay, the staff mentioned that it takes more than one go to reap the full benefits of the therapy, I couldn’t agree with them more.

For those of you wondering, my right shoulder is feeling 100 times better. I highly recommend float therapy to anyone, especially those with musculoskeletal issues, elite athletes and those who struggle to sleep, the high doses of magnesium will work wonders.

A huge thank you to the team at Freedom Float Centre, Burleigh for the experience. For those of you wondering this is not a sponsored post, nor did I receive any freebies! Just my honest review and these guys deserve a mention.


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Meet Alyse

I’m a qualified Nutritionist who believes an evidence-based approach to modern nutrition is severely under-rated. Patients are so often left in the dark when it comes to health-care and as a firm believer in the old saying “knowledge is power”, my ultimate goal is to provide my readers, students and patients with clear and actionable advice that ultimately helps you reach your full potential.