‘Almost an unexplainable experience’: Floatation tank aids in stress reduction, muscle recovery, improved sleep

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, February 26, 2023

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By Kelly Wassenberg, for the Tribune

Your morning alarm awakens you from your slumber. Extending your arm from under your warm bed covers to turn it off, your eyes squint from light filtering in from a nearby window.

You’ve just started your day and your body’s five senses are already hard at work.

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Lindsay Kramer, owner of It’s Worth It Massage & Wellness Studio, knows just how overwhelming it can all be.

She works with many clients who display the physical signs of dealing with a demanding lifestyle and has added a float tank at her establishment to help her clients try to escape it all.

Using a solution of 70% water and 30% epsom salt, the enclosed tank allows clients to effortlessly float on the surface and seals out external sights and sounds.

Kramer traveled to Mankato a couple years ago to try the experience for herself after a friend suggested it.

“I was in, I guess I’ll call it a dark place,” she said. “I’ve never been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, but I was struggling.”

She felt like she was in a weird funk and it was affecting the way she interacted with others — and she didn’t like it.

The effects of using a float tank were immediate for Kramer. Her mood was elevated and it was easier for her to let things roll off her back. She was convinced she needed to make floating part of her regular self-care routine.

“It’s almost an unexplainable experience,” she said.

Kramer is quick to admit everyone’s experience can be different, just like their reasoning for using the tank. Her husband, Brad Kramer, uses the tank as a place to focus without outside distractions. She also recommends everyone try to float at least three times as sometimes it takes clients a few times to get the full benefit from the experience.

Athletes, she said, typically use it for muscle recovery and visualization, which aids in performance and injury reduction.

“I really want to help those who are searching for that disconnect from the busy, overworked life and need a break, and that’s hard to find,” she said, noting many use the tank for other purposes, including stress reduction and aiding their natural sleep patterns.

“I have several people who sleep really well the first day they float,” Kramer said. These clients typically come again when their sleep cycles once again become restless.

The tank itself is even a good place for clients to rest as Kramer notes one hour of resting in a float tank is the equivalent to four hours of resting the body outside of the tank. Cell regeneration and muscle recovery are only a couple of the important processes a body does at rest, she said.

The experience could be especially beneficial to those who are familiar with meditation, may have tried the practice or recognize its benefits and might want to make it a habit yet struggle to because life gets in the way, as well.

“We’re just pulled in so many directions and our human bodies are not designed to take on as much stimulation as the world is giving it,” Kramer said. “And I like to call my float tank a tool in the toolbox — and it’s just that. It’s not a cure all.”