Float Therapy and the Stress Response: Implications for the Elite Athlete and Special Operator

Lydia Caldwell join us at Float Conference for an incredible talk regarding how flotation can help balance the stress response in elite athletes and military operators. 

Lydia is a researcher for Ohio State University, and has worked with the Air Force Research Lab in collaboration with their STRONG program, a program focused on enhancing human performance and recovery, conducted through the 711th Human Performance Wing. They have recently started to incorporate float tanks into their research, and Lydia speaks at the 2017 Float Conference to discuss the program and the results it has shown so far.

Emphatically, Lydia mentions "...our mission really transcends any military branch, because our focus is to improve the performance and help sustain both the health and safety of the military special operator."


An additional article regarding the program and the collaboration with Ohio State University from the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base "711th HPW recovery science team hopes to extend AF careers" can be viewed in its entirety by clicking on the article title. 

"By measuring resting heart rate variability in the morning, they can definitively tell how stressed or recovered they are from the previous day. If stress is adding up, Hagen and his team can quantitate that so if they see their number is a certain way in the morning, there are things they can do to change those numbers so the operators can be in the best state to perform.

“It is always a game of staying balanced,” Hagen said. “You can be overly sympathetic where you are still in fight or flight stress mode and you have not recovered, or you can be highly parasympathetic, which means your recovery system has not kicked in.”  

Nervous System Response to Flotation Therapy_ Balancing sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in special forces operators

Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulating Therapy (REST), is one next-generation recovery method that Hagen and his team have found both sympathetic and parasympathetic modification where other recovery methods typically help only one.

The Flotation-REST therapy is a sensory deprivation tank containing 900 pounds of Epsom salt in body temperature water, which gives the feeling of weightlessness. The flotation therapy users float 45 to 60 minutes once a week putting them directly back in sympathetic/parasympathetic balance."

While researching the benefits of using Flotation-REST, the team discovered that along with physical recovery, athletes’ coping skills to stress related to academics and athletics such as academics and athletics improved."

Click photo below to see video coverage of Lydia's entire presentation.


  For additional information or to discuss how flotation therapy can impact your special forces unit, please contact Beth Jones - beth@floatspasf.com or 910-526-0244.

We are currently located in Sneads Ferry - just out the back gate of Camp Lejeune. We will soon have an additional location in Fayetteville, NC near Fort Bragg. If you are interested in building a float center in your community, please click here. 

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If the idea of crawling into a closed space or entering an elevator gives you goosebumps, this video is for you! We have MANY clients that have floated with varying degrees of claustrophobia and guess what - they LOVE it. 

While floating, you're in complete control of your environment. You may leave the lid of the Pod open for as long as you need, you have control of the lights on the interior of the Pod, and you may exit the Pod at any time...Plus, floating is INCREDIBLE for anxiety based conditions and - you guessed it - claustrophobia is one of them. Check out the video to learn more! 

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A Mission Bigger than Me ....The Float Spa SF

Good morning, float friends!

I took over the blog for a minute this morning, because I wanted to share a few thoughts that have been spinning around my brain lately. As many of you know, this has been a dream project for me - mostly because I understand how flotation can help all of us in our day to day lives. This is something of a mission statement, I suppose, but far too long to be a formal one. I hope you'll come and experience floating for yourself. 

The image above most simply describes my personal mission in life. I hope that I am all of those things - to my family, to my friends, to people I meet in passing...

I hope that our center will be a physical extension of that. I hope that it's a place of peace and serenity, but also of energy and inspiration.  I hope, if you come in with the weight of the world on your shoulders, that you leave feeling lighter and loved. 

I hope that you understand that there's a place for you there. The real you....the most authentic version. I hope that if you don't know what that is, we can help you discover it. This center, for me, must be a place of acceptance.

If you're sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you've worn out your body, if you've pushed your brain too far, if you're exhausted - physically, mentally, or both, if you wake every day to fight demons in your brain that are trying to drag you down - I hope you find us. 

I hope you know you can share your story - whatever your story is - and feel it's safe here with us. I hope you know that there's space in my heart for you. 

I hope we can empower you to find your voice and step into your purpose. 

I hope, that if you're a creative, you unlock ideas and visions in your mind that you haven't given your brain the space to see before.

I hope, if you're a healer of people - a doctor, a nurse, a surgeon, that your Pod time allows you to wash the exhaustion and sad stories away and re-energizes your mind and your hands to continue your work.

I hope, that if you're a responder - a police officer, a firefighter...a warrior against our America's enemies, you find healing and hope and strength to continue to run towards the danger and do what most of us can't or won't. I hope you feel our constant gratitude for your willingness to carry that weight. 

I hope, if you're a parent, you find this a place of self-care and true rest so that you can continue to approach parenthood with love and peace and discipline and patience....and that 20,000th rendition of your kiddo/s's favorite song.

I hope, if you're a caregiver, our center provides a place for YOU so that you may heal and recover and revitalize yourself along your journey. You deserve to be thought of, and, you cannot fill the cups of others if your own cup is empty. I hope you know we have open arms for hugging and Kleenex for tears and time to listen if you need it. 

I hope, if you've suffered with pain for ages, you can find relief here.

I hope, no matter what your walk or your path or your need, that you'll come into the shop excited for your session and leave feeling lighter and inspired. 

I hope that you'll bring us your sore muscles and back pain and head back out into the world feeling rested and recovered. 

I hope that, if you're anxious or feeling down or battling something in your personal life, the peaceful time in the Pod helps clear your brain, allows you peace, and helps you find your answers. 

I hope that you find it a place of  recovery. 

I hope to see you all very soon and to have the chance to meet every single one of you. 

Please feel free to share this message with whomever you think might need to find us. We're here for the journey. 

All my love,




An Exciting Announcement!

HUGE NEWS from The Float Spa SF. Coming soon to Sneads Ferry, North Carolina - just out the back gate of Camp Lejeune! 

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