Float Therapy for BJJ Recovery
Earlier last month I posted a blog about my first time experience with float therapy for beating the Jiu-Jitsu burnout, not even really knowing the true benefits of it. They say that you need to give it a few tries to really understand what it’s about and it couldn’t be any truer.
After my second float, I was hooked. I traded in my initial 3-float package for an unlimited monthly membership, meaning I could float every day if I wanted to. I even convinced my super skeptical and claustrophobic husband to try it… and now he’s hooked and has been going weekly with me after our fourth hard training day of the week.
Although it could be pricey, much like other recovery methods (cryotheraphy, chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, etc.), the long term physical (and mental) benefits of float therapy could be pivotal in aiding your recovery after hard trainings or during competition training camps.
I’ve been going to float anywhere from once to three times per week for the last month. I’d for sure go every day if it were closer to my house and to really make use of that unlimited membership that I’m paying. In any case, here are the positive results I’ve experienced in terms of utilizing it specifically for BJJ recovery:
Relaxation of ALL of the muscles. After days of hard training in a row, your muscles are tired and sore. Even with BCAA and protein supplements taken immediately after training, your muscles and joints still hurt. Sometimes even your brain still hurts from thinking about how you could have prevented everyone from passing your guard on an off night of training. Floating has taught me how to relax completely. Not only does the weightlessness loosen up your muscles, the thoughts of nothingness (or that quick nap) makes you feel like a million bucks afterwards. If you have chronic pain, the more your float, the more it goes away.
Improved mental focus and sleep quality. Prior to floating, I had a difficult time sleeping for various reasons (the sun doesn’t set until much later, I’m thinking too much, and/or I had anxiety about things). After each floating session, I’ve come out feeling relaxed, refreshed, motivated… and at night, I sleep like a baby. This has also been proven by my husband, who can get out of the float tank at 10:00 pm and be sound asleep an hour later in bed. Sleep plays a very important role in recovery. Insufficient rest greatly reduces your ability to do physical work. Obviously if you don’t sleep well the night before, training at night, after school/work, will prove to be difficult. See more on the importance of sleep here.
Weight loss. There’s varying research out there on how/why Epson salt helps with cutting weight. However, in my case, being in the float pod/chamber oddly feels like being in a sauna. While the water is not overly warm, I find myself sweating while floating, which could attribute to the loss of water weight. This week, my husband lost 2 pounds overnight after floating the night before. It could be a total fluke, but I’m definitely not gonna deny the loss of some water weight and feeling less bloated.
Float therapy/sensory deprivation definitely has a ton of benefits that differs from person to person. In my case (and now, my husband’s), we have found that it has been key in our recovery during this fight camp for Master’s Worlds and Fight 2 Win Pro. To rely on supplements alone will only help with the sore muscles, but not completely. In order to continue to have successful training, especially as we get older, our recovery has to cover more than just the physical aspect of it.
In the next month, I will also be experimenting with the mental benefits of float therapy for training. Meaning, if I float before training, will it help me get into a state of FLOW because of my mental focus? In any case, stay tuned! I hope that if you’ve been considering float therapy but are unsure, that this blog (and the previous one) has helped you change your mind. I can’t say enough great things about it and if you have the money to spend on it, it will definitely be an investment for your body. Your future you may thank you later.
Oh and P.S. word on the street is that Joe Rogan has a float pod in his house and floats every day. If Joe Rogan has one, you know that it must be legit!