Brazilian Jiu Jitsu recovery using a float tank, not what I expected

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), where you involuntary get twisted into pretzel like positions and come back for more. For the average person, you do your 9-5, go to BJJ, head home to spend time with your family, then rinse and repeat. So when do you give your body a chance to recover and how?

My (amazing) wife bought me a float tank session at Paramount health in Drummoyne. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, but not for the reasons I presumed. I went in thinking “how am I going to be alone with my own thoughts for an hour without going mad?” Anna walked me through the whole process and away I went.

So here I am, naked in the warm pitch black float tank.

For the first 10 minutes I was trying to get my head around what was happening. For some reason, my mind couldn’t comprehend 350kg of salt in a foot of water would support my head, so I kept trying to raise my head out of the water. I tried the floating pillow, then all I could think about was the pillow on my neck so I ditched it. My mind finally came to terms with what was happening and finally my neck, then my shoulders relaxed . . . and then it got awesome.

Lucid dreams

The next 50 minutes were a total blur,  I couldn’t distinguish between awake or dreaming until a spaz twitch rocked the water, realising I was asleep (or awake, I have no idea). I tuned out from work, my responsibilities and was even able to switch off the BJJ “what-ifs”. To my surprise, I couldn’t believe an hour was up so fast!

A sense of calm

Though this might sound terrifying to some, the tank felt like I was floating in the warm ocean at night, it was only when I touched the side of the tank that it snapped me back into reality.

What about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu recovery?

I went in with a stiff neck and thoracic and come out feeling more relaxed. Why? I’m not sure, though it’s only been a few hours so time will tell how this works with my recovery. Much to my surprise, I came out feeling stress-free, though I’m sure one day back at work will solve that.

Would I do it again?

100% but for a different reason. Being weightless felt great on the body and I appreciated switching my mind off for the hour. Next time I will do a few things differently:

  1. No music – when I floated into the walls of the tank I could feel the vibrations from the music, which reminded me of my phone
  2. Less light – I would ask to even turn the small side lamp off to go as dark as possible

Again, I was pleasantly surprised with the experience. Give it a try, your BJJ body will thank you for it!


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