Salt Float: Meaning, Benefits, Costs, Risks

salt float therapy

Salt float is a type of sensory deprivation technique. Initially, arm forces in NATO were using sensory deprivation to interrogate prisoners. But later on, it was used in spas to reduce pain and stress. this article, we will discuss what is salt float therapy in a spa, how it works, its benefits, pricing, and the risks associated with it.

What Does Salt Float Mean?

Salt float, also known as float therapy or reduced environmental stimulus therapy, is one of the sensory deprivation therapies to get pain relief and stress reduction. In salt float therapy, all the external sensory inputs such as light, sound, and smell are removed from the background and a zero-gravity environment is created to help the body and mind relax.

In a salt float spa, a big bathtub or a pod is filled with approx. 10 inches of water ( 160 to 200 gallons), in which 800 to 1,000 pounds of Epsom Salt is dissolved. Epsom salt creates a buoyancy and anti-gravitational force in the water, which makes your body float on the surface of the water.

The water temperature is set the same as your skin temperature, so your body doesn’t feel where the skin is touching the water, creating a zero-sensory feeling. The lights and sound are turned off, too.

Image source: In Image showing salt water float pods in a spa.

How Exactly Does A Salt Float Spa Work?

In the salt float spa, you are allocated a private room or suite which includes a shower, a changing area, and a pod filled with water and Epsom salt. An hour before your salt float therapy starts, have light snacks. Don’t have a heavy meal or keep an empty stomach.

Initial stage: Take a shower first, cover your ears with earbuds, apply ointment on any open wounds and scratches, and enter the pod in your bathing suit or nude. You can choose to close the lid or leave it open. Keep the floating pillow (if provided) under your neck to prevent salty water from coming over your face.

Once you relax in the sleeping position in the pod, your body will automatically float on the surface of water. In complete darkness, noiseless, and zero-gravitational environment, your body gets ultimate relaxation.

Lights and sounds: In some salt float spas, music and lights get turned off automatically while others give you the option to keep music and light on or off as per your preferences. But to get complete sensory deprivation, it is recommended that you turn off lights and music.

Last stage: In your last 5 to 10 minutes, a sound/music starts in the background and it becomes louder gradually. Lights also get turned on slowly, giving you an indication that your float time is about to end. You need to come out of the pod, take a thorough shower, dress up, and reach the seating area. Most of the spas have a seating area where they offer light refreshments and beverages.

Extra amenities: Some saltwater float spas offer steam and sauna baths, and couples float pods.

An image indicating how to take salt float therapy in the pod.

Salt Float Therapy Cost

The prices for float therapy spa generally ranges between $60 to $140. depend on the location, the reputation of the spa, the extra amenities you select and the duration you choose to be in the saltwater pod.

Here’s an overview.

60-minutes$60 to $90
90-minutes$90 to $110
120-minutes$110 to $140
Float therapy costs

Benefits Of Epsom Salt Float

We have summarized the benefits of saltwater float in 4 main categories.

1. Mental wellbeing

During salt floating, the body reaches a deep relaxation phase in which the body releases endorphins. Endorphins reduce your stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, ACTH and Lactate, giving you stress relief, relaxation, and peace. It also improves focus and mental clarity.

2. Physical benefit

Salt float therapy reduces

  • muscle soreness,
  • body aches, especially back pain,
  • inflammation,
  • blood pressure-related issues,
  • neck stiffness
  • headaches caused by stress

 Epsom salt has a high concentration of magnesium which improves skin and hair condition.

Salt float therapy lets your brain calm down to an optimal stage. People with insomnia have difficulty reaching this stage naturally otherwise. The salt float therapies taken at regular intervals create a habit for your body to relax and calm down, resulting aiding in insomnia in long run.

4. Other claimed benefits

Some spas claim that saltwater therapy

  • improves bone and heart health,
  • provides detoxification,
  • Improves immunity,
  • helps the body recover from injury faster,
  • increases creativity, and
  • improves insulin sensitivity.

Salt Water Float Therapy Risks

Although salt water float therapy is quite safe, here are some points you should know before taking it.

  1. Nausea: It is the most common thing people experience while taking salt float therapy.
  2. Stings: If you have any open cuts, wounds, or stretches on your body, salt water is going to cause burning and sting. Although you can apply petroleum jelly or ointment to cover them, it is still advisable to avoid the salt float until you’re completely healed. Don’t even do shaving or waxing 2-3 days before the therapy.
  3. Hallucination: If you’re taking any sleeping or stress relief/depression medicines, your mind may create hallucinations under a sensory deprivation state. There is also a risk of drawing in the pod if you’re taking medicines with high alcohol levels.
  4.  Increased stress: If you’re claustrophobic and have a fear of confined, small, dark places, salt float pods may increase your stress and anxiety.

Salt water float therapy is not medically proven or a permanent solution for depression and chronic body pain. It just reduces the symptoms and helps you to manage those conditions.

Wrapping up with a Pinch of Salt

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Medha Mehta

Medha Mehta

Medha is a Sr. content marketing manager at Yottled. She is passionate about writing, SEO, and digital marketing. She's a tech and cybersecurity enthusiast.

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