Should People With Cognitive Disabilities Float?

Kriss BrooksFlotation Therapy, Mental BenefitsLeave a Comment

People with cognitive disabilities are often told what they can and can’t do in life, and they are shielded from common activities all the time. Floating is one example. It’s natural to wonder if a cognitively disabled person should float, but it’s actually safe. Plus, there are many benefits, too.


The science behind floatation therapy explains why it is safer than a typical pool. There is virtually no risk of drowning; the water is shallow and highly concentrated with Epsom, making it very buoyant. The salty water would sting eyes and wake up a sleeping subject who rolled over.

Others worry about feeling claustrophobic. Water is maintained at body temperature, blurring lines between you and the water. This generates a feeling of infinite space rather than confinement. Besides, a person can exit the tank at any time they wish.

Those with sensitive or dry skin can enjoy floatation therapy without worry of skin irritation. Epsom salt makes the water remarkably moisturizing, so the skin doesn’t prune. Chlorine is not used to sterilize the water; instead, water is filtered after each float.


Floating frees the brain from continuous self-orientation of the body’s location in physical space and processing external stimuli – which usually uses about 90 percent of brain activity. This allows people with cognitive disabilities to enter a deep state of relaxation that slows theta and alpha brainwave patterns.

Without extra stimuli, floating rejuvenates the brain, and it can be used for other things. Even the effort to remain afloat is removed, thanks to the Epsom salt. With every muscle relaxed, the brain can focus on smaller sensations, which intensifies sensory development for those with Autistic and sensory integration disorders.

Increased Creativity

Many see an increase in creative thinking through floatation. Those with Factor X syndrome or Autism tend to excel at creative thinking and benefit from a “high” during periods of creativity.

The ability to visualize completing a task and reaping the rewards has proven just as positive as actually doing the task. This helps people internally process difficult issues, boost confidence, and decrease anxiety related to the situation.

Benefits to Joints and Muscles

Physical therapeutic benefits of floating are especially noteworthy for those with Cerebral Palsy and Down syndrome. These disorders cause difficulty moving and body aches, which floatation therapy alleviates. All body parts rest on the water independently and don’t rely solely on the support of the skeletal system. This weightlessness and pressure relieves joint pain and heals weak muscles.

A disability should not prohibit a person from experiencing the many revitalizing benefits of floatation therapy. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your first appointment at Northwest Float Center.

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