Float therapy offers new way to relax, de-stress

An open immersion chamber ready for use. (John Chapple | Collegian Media Group)

College can be stressful, and with finals and projects coming up, it can be hard to find time to relax. Many students take heavy course loads while juggling a job and extracurricular activities.

Float therapy at Quantum Health and Wellness Center in Manhattan is offering a unique way to relieve stress and anxiety. It is theorized that it can improve your mood, reduce cortisol levels and even help lower your blood pressure.

Float therapy is a form of sensory deprivation using 900 pounds of dissolved epsom salt in a tank. The tank is a soundproof capsule filled with warm water, and the purpose of the therapy allows you to float effortlessly giving you a feeling of zero gravity.

Tanner Jackman, sophomore in finance, said he enjoyed the float therapy.

“I was really stressed out with my work [along] with taking 21 credit hours, so I decided to give it a try,” Jackman said. “The staff was really nice, and the experience was really cool. It was kind of a trippy experience.”

Quantum Health and Wellness Center is the only float tank therapy in Manhattan.

“This therapy technique is a great way to relieve stress, and the process is pretty simple,” Emily Welfringer, a nurse at the Quantum Health and Wellness Center, said. “We just ask that you shower beforehand to make sure you get the full benefits of the salt water. We give you a pillow to lay on, you can always open the lid if you want, and you can call the staff to assist you at any time.”

Float therapy has been known to promote creativity, increase ability to learn and heighten concentration. It can also aid in helping PTSD, sleep, jet lag, muscle recovery and relieves symptoms of depression, and can be useful in studying exams and big projects.

“One of the really neat things float therapy does is help bring to the surface thoughts that we might suppress, which can really aid in stress release and help you sleep better,” Welfringer said. “One hour of using the float therapy is equal to about six hours of REM sleep.”

Welfringer recommended doing three sessions to “fully get the benefits of the therapy.

Quantum Health and Wellness is located in Manhattan and is a full-service center of experienced medical professionals.

Halle Kutsche, senior in mechanical engineering, said “It took me a while to get used to it, but once I turned the blue lights on it was super relaxing. I didn’t experience anything too crazy, but I definitely felt more relaxed for the rest of the week.”