The gossip rags are right: Floating is all the rage among the celebrity set. But unlike a lot of fads that come and go at the drop of a hat, floating is here to stay. There are countless celebrities who use float tanks and they swear by the benefits of tank time.
From athletes to authors, actors to musicians, floating has proven a popular and healthy way for those in the public eye to alleviate the pressures of life under the microscope. These are people who, no matter what their field of expertise, have reached the pinnacle of performance and need to show up at their best every day. And floating helps them do it.
Around here, we maintain the privacy of our guests, especially those in the public eye. But there have been many celebrity enthusiasts who have spoken out publicly on their floating experience.
So, who’s floating? And why do they swear by it?
Glad you asked. Loads of celebrities love a good float, but we’ve organized the who’s who of floating, and the reasons they’ve given for heading into the tank:
Anthony Bourdain – Author, Celebrity Chef, World Traveler
Late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was a devotee of floating in order to alleviate the high-pressure stress of his kitchen work, saying: “An hour in the tank and I’d come out relaxed, rested, my back feeling amazing, and in good shape to interact with normal, non-restraint people…Interestingly, I found that for a day or two after floating, my experience of colors and flavors would be much more acute and intense. Reds were redder, blues brighter, and the taste of food more explosive. Lying in the tank, I’d feel like I was moving through space, my brain speaking to itself in an unfamiliar language. I miss the tanks!”
Anthony Rizzo – MLB World Series Champion, Chicago Cubs
According to a recent ESPN piece: “Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo…spent part of his off day on Tuesday in a float pod used to ‘relax the body.’
‘It’s pitch black in there…You shut the door. Music is playing low. (Played) some John Mayer radio to chill out. You really just float. It feels really weird at first. It’s good for your body. When you get up, it’s crazy. Your body is such dead weight’.”
Carl Lawson – Professional American Football Player
Jones’ Bengals teammate Carl Lawson: “I really like the float tank because I feel like – along with massages – it gets all the soreness and stress and built-up blood from little bruises throughout your body.”
Carl Lewis – Olympic Gold Medalist
Multi-Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis – often referred to as “the world’s greatest athlete,” reportedly “used in-tank visualization techniques to prepare himself for his gold medal long jump at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.”
Elle MacPherson – Icon and Supermodel
Global icon and supermodel Elle MacPherson touts floating as a way to alleviate exhaustion from the jet lag she experiences while flying all over the world for fashion events.
Emma Watson – Oscar Winning Actor
Speaking on her float experiences, “Harry Potter” star Emma Watson said: “Recently, I tried a float tank, which sounded insane to me, but I actually loved it. I go on meditation retreats and it’s great for me, but to find time on a daily basis to do it when you live in a busy city, with the phone ringing and your cat trying to crawl all over you, isn’t always the easiest. The float tank provided a specific place for meditation, which I think is really helpful.”
Graham Hancock – Bestselling Author and Journalist
Curry’s Golden State teammate Forward Harrison Barnes says floating helps him recover after games.
Jeff Bridges – Oscar Winning Actor
The dude abides, and the dude floats. Oscar winner Jeff Bridges was a close friend of float tank inventor John C. Lilly, and is a big proponent of the practice, saying: “The whole idea of the isolation tank is to see what happens to consciousness when you take away or eliminate the input into your senses, so you’re in a box floating in salt water – with 1,000 lbs of salt, so you’re very buoyant. You can’t see anything, your ears are underwater, and you can’t hear anything. And what does the mind do? It’s so active, and it’s constantly projecting, like a movie screen.”
Here he is on The Tonight Show, specifically calling out how floating helps him achieve this inner peace.
Jennifer Lawrence – Academy Award-Winning Actress
Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence recently visited a New York City float center, and told Vogue Magazine she “had a lovely time.”
Jessica Pimentel – American Actress and Musician
The “Orange is the New Black” star likes to relax and unwind in the calming waters of the tank in order to quiet anxiety and improve focus.
JJ Watt – 3X NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Local Wisconsin hero JJ Watt may be the star of the Houston Texans’ roster, but we don’t hold it against him. Besides, he’s a floater, so that makes up for it. Like any NFL player, JJ has suffered his share of tough injuries the last couple of years, so he looks for any advantage. To that end, JJ purchased a floatation tank and installed it in his house.
He says it changed his life. JJ reportedly floats up to 3 times a week for 90 minutes at a crack, saying, “It’s nice to be able to go somewhere you can shut it all down.”
Joe Rogan – UFC Personality, Comedian, and Podcaster
Joe Rogan, UFC personality, comedian, and podcaster extraordinaire has been one of the most vocal advocates of floating. Much credit can be given to him for the rise in popularity. In Joe’s words, “Your body gives you amazing energy. The tension release you have in your body from a couple of hours in the tank is incredible. You feel lighter. You feel like more oxygen is in your body. You feel more vibrant. And it’s because somehow you have calmed the tension.”
John Lennon – Singer, Songwriter and Peace Activist
Legendary singer/songwriter and Beatle great John Lennon swore by floating as a remedy for substance abuse. In his book “The Lives of John Lennon,” biographer Albert Goldman wrote that Lennon’s time in the tank had a profound effect on him. ”John was totally satisfied with himself mentally and physically. He was starting to make a break. It had to do with his 40th birthday. He told me: ‘I’m happy to be 40 years old. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life and I feel the best I ever felt’.”
Julian Edelman – 3x Super Bowl Champion
“Best Actor” Oscar-winner Jeff “The Dude” Bridges talked about his float-tastic experience on The Tonight Show, specifically calling out how floating helps him achieve inner peace.
Keri Russell – Golden Globe Winning Actress
Golden Globe-winning “The Americans” star Keri Russell is a fan of a good tank session, according to “The Hollywood Reporter.”
The Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver credits floating with helping him recover from an ankle injury, and getting him back into playing shape.
Michael Crichton – Writer and Filmmaker
“Jurassic Park” and “Congo” Author Michael Crichton was a frequent visitor at a Beverly Hills float center, and swore by floating as a cure for his writers’ block. He eventually installed a tank in his home.
Peter Gabriel – Musician
Musician Peter Gabriel once had a float tank in his home. “It was quite useful in the sense that you could get into a dream state, and I think that did allow…different thoughts and pictures to come through. And I tend to write a lot of times from, from pictures, and it is an area I’m very interested in.”
Rachel Hunter – Model, Actress, and TV Host
Kiwi supermodel Rachel Hunter: “It was a bizarrely delightful experience, a great form of meditation. I felt calm and peaceful, yet energized…”
Rhett and Link – YouTube Sensations
Popular “Good Mythical Morning” YouTubers Rhett and Link gave floating a whirl for a recent episode, and proclaimed their experience to be “pretty cool.”
Robert Downy Jr. – Oscar Winning Actor
How does Iron Man himself recover after pounding Thanos into dust? “Avengers” star Robert Downey Jr. has a tank installed in his home in Hollywood.
Russell Brand – Comedian, Actor, and Radio Host
Brit rabble-rouser Brand said of his float experience: “It’s quite nice, like being in the belly of a whale…a cyber whale…it was really lovely.”
Steph Curry – NBA All-Star and 3x NBA World Champion
NBA All-Star and 3x Champion Steph Curry is such a proponent of floating as a means of relaxing his overworked muscles that he famously floated in an ad for a health care provider. ESPN also created a short film with Steph and teammate Harrison Barnes about their experience with floating. And you can read a more in depth ESPN interview with Steph about floating.
Tim Ferriss – Entrepreneur, Author, and Podcaster
Bestselling author, entrepreneur and speaker Tim Ferriss says: “Right off the bat, I found [floating] to be one of the most anxiety reducing experiences I’ve ever had…I did it as a meditative recharge.”
Tom Brady – 6x Super Bowl Champion
Perennial NFL champs the New England Patriots recently installed floatation tanks in their stadium in order to help players and coaches achieve heightened states of rest. According to NBC Sports, QB Tom Brady is such a fan, he had a tank installed in his home so he can float in the off-season, too.
Wayne Rooney – Professional Soccer Player
England’s all-time highest-scoring soccer player installed a tank in his home “following a string of injuries” in his early career. He is said to have spent up to 10 hours a week using float therapy to relieve pain during his playing years. He credits floating with having helped him get back in the game faster.
Actor and teen heartthrob Efron posted on social media about his float experience, referencing the otherworldly floating scenes on popular Netflix show “Stranger Things.”
Make no mistake – Floating is no fly-by-night celebrity trend. Some of the most talented and influential people in the arts, sciences, letters, performing arts and athletics incorporate floating as an important component of their conditioning. Floating helps them deliver their best performance by calming their nerves, sharpening their mental focus, relieving pain and recalibrating their sensory response. They have to be at their best, and so do you.
Ready for us to roll out the red carpet for your own Hollywood-style experience? Click here and book your own float today!
There’s a popular joke making the rounds online lately. The overall gist of it is this:
“What are you doing this weekend?”
“Oh, cool. So you’re free to hang out, then.”
“Sorry…I meant I’m doing NOTHING. That’s my plan. And I’m really looking forward to it.”
It’s a gag, but it makes a good point.
Let’s face it: the universe has been a tough place to live lately. Anxiety, worry, and stress are at all-time highs. Because of that, outlets for self-care are also on the rise.
But even self-care these days carries a measure of strain. We’re doing yoga. Pilates. Hiking. Heading to spas for skin treatments and manicures, and the gym for lifting and spin class. Buying low-carb meal kits and joining weight-control programs. It’s a LOT.
And sure – all of these are no doubt valuable to our well-being. But why is stress relief so stressful in and of itself? Between the pressure of yogis guiding poses, tyrannical trainers and restrictive recipes, finding relief can be an uphill climb. Especially if your mentor points toward the elliptical.
Clearly, there’s one big thing that a lot of our well-being routines are missing.
And that big thing is…nothing.
Imagine a space where you can shut out the clamor of the outside world. Completely close the door on the constant hum and buzz of life’s demands. Take time for yourself to just…be.
Now, stop imagining.
Float Milwaukee is your personal paradise; an oasis of calm in a world full of noise. At Float, you’ll enter an individual space where you can truly relax. Cast off weights and pressures of the physical, emotional, and mental variety. Take the time to focus on you with no distractions, and no expectations. You’ll have the time and space to hit the pause button on, well…everything.
The popular term may be “sensory deprivation,” but you’re not being deprived of anything. Instead, you’re being offered something truly valuable: the power of nothing. Which is really something, when you think about it.
Real talk: Anxiety is one of the most common issues America faces.
According to some estimates, more than 18% of Americans endure some form of anxiety. That’s more than 40 million people. Yet, out of that staggering number, only about one in three seeks treatment for it.
If you’re an anxiety sufferer, you know how debilitating a condition it can be. Granted, no two people stricken by anxiety experience it the same way. But regardless of the type, frequency or severity of the symptoms, we can all agree that the condition can have a real impact on our overall quality of life.
And while anxiety can stem from a variety of sources ranging from genetics to trauma, one thing is clear: the therapeutic benefits of floating have been shown to have a significant, measurable impact on the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental unrest.
All of us seek calm in our daily lives. Just waking up in the morning and anticipating the struggles we’ll face during our daily routines can sometimes have an impact on our emotional state. Jobs, family, money, responsibilities, obligations…The demands we face can often feel overwhelming even under the best of circumstances.
Now, add clinical-level anxiety into the mix. Suddenly, even the most basic tasks become impossible. Simple routines generate fear. Small inconveniences can feel like insurmountable obstacles. And even academically understanding these emotions to be baseless doesn’t help, since it can be easy-to self-talk into feeling guilty and foolish due to having stress you “don’t have to.”
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to just shut all of it out for a little while? Fall into complete relaxation, clear your mental slate of all the pressure of your responsibilities, and reset your mood to a default state?
Yeah, we thought so, too. That’s why Float Milwaukee is here.
So what can a float do for you?
Truly, no two float experiences are the same. No two floaters bring the same frame of reference to the experience, so everyone gets something different from it. That said, many floaters do describe consistent effects regardless of their reasons for coming in. The overwhelming majority tell us that they leave the float feeling calmer than when they began. More relaxed. Possessed of a sharper mental focus. Clearer.
To put a far more academic point on it, a 2018 study found that people who underwent float therapy as a means of attempting to attain relief from mental discomfort had overwhelmingly positive take-aways from the experience. All participants in the experiment reported “significant reductions in stress, muscle tension, pain [and] depression…accompanied by a significant improvement in mood characterized by increases in serenity, relaxation, happiness and overall well-being.”
Wow. What a ringing endorsement!
Many of our customers here at Float Milwaukee have described similar relief from stress and anxiety. Here’s what just a few of our valued friends had to say about their experiences at Float (reprinted with their permission):
“I often suffer from too many thoughts rushing through my mind and never just being in the moment. Floating allowed me to completely relax and clear my mind. I felt completely rejuvenated after! Thank you for the great experience!”
“I’m trying to achieve clarity and focus right now as my life is in a major transition. Float really helped me with something I always struggled with, attaining inner solace.”
“When finished, I never felt so clean and refreshed! Very purifying and transformative for those wanting to ‘let go’.”
“I had an enlightening float and can’t wait to go back! Felt relaxed and clear-headed right away, with the sense of calmness staying with me for hours afterward.”
“I was very apprehensive going in but once I settled in and consciously relaxed it was an amazing, weightless, daydream-ish experience. I left feeling energized and relaxed at the same time. I would definitely do this again!”
We’re always touched when people have a good experience, and even more so when they’re willing to share it. And obviously, any therapeutic practice works differently for different people. But floaters overwhelmingly express a sense of inner peace as a result of their experience, so we’re confident that anyone who enters the water will come out better for having done so.
When you’re ready to find out how floating can help you overcome what ails you, CLICK HERE to book your float. We look forward to helping you get the best of your stress.
Even saying it out loud makes some people uncomfortable. But given recent estimates from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one out of every five Americans will suffer from some form of mental illness during their lifetimes.
Sadly, the fluid nature of the mind coupled with a general misunderstanding of possible treatments means that mental illness doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. After all, we can splint a broken leg. Send antibiotics after a sinus infection. Even pursue specialized surgery for heart disease. But when it comes to healing the mental state? The challenge increases exponentially.
To put a finer point on it: Most hearts are basically the same, anatomically speaking. But the mind? No two have ever been alike. That’s why any course of therapy that shows promise with treating things like anxiety, depression, and bipolarity should really be given its due diligence.
Fact: there are almost as many reasons people suffer from mental illness as there are individuals who do. We may have progressed far enough to have identified certain sets of conditions that apply to general, definable maladies, yes. But nobody can really say for sure what the common underlying causes are, since everyone’s life experience is so different.
That said, we are living in a high-stress environment; one in which countless demands are placed upon our time, and energy. If we could simply enjoy our lives and didn’t have to fight every day to survive, the impact for mental illness could be a lot lower. The fact is, most of us do have a lot of responsibility. We can’t all just live a life of breezy leisure.
So the demands of a modern world require a range of contemporary solutions. In a lot of ways, we’re on our own out there…and we need to take things into our own hands. That means finding ways to practice self-care. Because if we don’t take care of ourselves, who will?
To that end, a 2018 study administered by the National Institutes of Health showed that Floatation-REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) has significant potential when it comes to offering relief to those who experience quality-of-life affecting mental health issues.
The study’s findings were considerable, and persuasive. Participants reported a pleasant, side-effect free experience, with the abstract saying, “Overall, the procedure was well-tolerated, with no major safety concerns stemming from this single session.” The conclusion? “Floatation-REST may be a promising technique for transiently reducing the suffering in those with anxiety and depression.”
A previous study conducted in 2016 (which sought to look at the effects of floating on Generalized Anxiety Disorder) seems to corroborate these findings, indicating: “GAD symptomatology was significantly reduced for the treatment group…when comparing baseline to post-treatment scoring. Regarding clinical significant change, 37% in the treatment group reached full remission at post-treatment. Significant beneficial effects were also found for sleep difficulties, difficulties in emotional regulation, and depression…All improved outcome variables at post-treatment, except for depression, were maintained at 6-months follow. No negative effects were found.”
So, the argument can be made that the science is in. Of course, there will always be skepticism. But as always, jumping in with both feet (so to speak…please step carefully into the tanks), is typically the best way to dispel doubt.
In a recent Washington Post article, Stanford University Psychiatrist Nathaniel Morris wrote about his floating experience. He had heard from so many of his patients that floating had helped them, so he decided to experience it for himself…even though he had some reservations about the purported benefits.
Skeptic or not, Dr. Morris emerged from his session with an improved insight on the benefits of a good float.
“…[W]hat struck me most were the moments when I was lying completely still, floating without sound or sight, the feeling in my arms and legs disappearing into nothingness. My sense of time fell away and I felt at peace, as if I were lying in bed and about to fall asleep. It was a sense of tranquility that grew more profound as time passed. And then before I expected it, there were two taps on the tank, and my one hour was over.
I opened my eyes, and slowly, I sat up, my body feeling warm and heavy. It was like I had slept for days. When I think back on the experience it is a sense of deep ‘calm’ that I most recall…I spent an hour inside a dark metal box but somehow came out feeling completely at ease, not just during the moment but also for a few hours after. I think many of us — and especially some patients who have mental health issues — seek out that kind of calm in our daily lives.”
Mental health advocate and blogger Ashley Laderer experienced a similar phenomenon during her research for a piece she wrote for therapy outlet TalkSpace.
“When I finally plopped myself into the tank, I immediately floated — no effort necessary. I couldn’t help but smile. It was a phenomenon I’d never experienced before, as I can’t float in pool or salty ocean water for the life of me. I thanked the 1000 pounds of epsom salt in the tank for keeping me up. The water felt perfect — because it’s kept right around human body temperature. They say for this reason, it becomes easy to lose track of where the body ends and the water begins, adding to the sense-free experience. Tiny lights resembling colorful stars lit up the ceiling of the tank, and zen music played at the perfect volume.
With my ears submerged and earplugs in, my breath began to sound like gentle ocean waves, coming in and out of shore….”I am a mermaid,” I thought. “This is what it feels like to be a mermaid”…I felt as though I was going in and out of some sort of consciousness, like how I feel when I’m just drifting off to sleep. I even felt like I was having little snippets of dreams! No longer was I making a super-conscious effort to be relaxed — I just was.”
Psychology Today agrees with both the findings of these studies, and the experiences of floating converts.
“The characteristics of floatation therapy make it a strong fit for treating physical pain, helping the body recover from injury and pain-related illnesses, and rebound from vigorous physical exertion. Removing external stimuli from the float environment has the effect of all but eliminating the body’s internal stress response. Floating appears to take us out of ‘flight or fight’ (a chronic state of physiological being for many of us) and moves us into ‘rest and recover.’ That fight or flight stress response — with the excitatory hormones and inflammation surges that are a part of it — is a primary trigger for pain.”
Ultimately, all the studies and personal accounts in existence won’t be able to tell you if floating can help with your mental or emotional unrest; you’ll need to experience it for yourself in order to determine its efficacy. Thankfully, Float Milwaukee offers a deep-discounted introductory rate, memberships, as well as regular specials. Our goal is to help you feel better. So if you’re interested to see if floating can help you manage your symptoms, please give us a call. Or better yet, stop in for a visit anytime. Our friendly and helpful staff are happy to answer any questions you may have.
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