Floating Vs. Getting A Thai Massage

Should you float or get a massage? The answer is both.

If you were to come across Theta State Float Center’s profile on Trip Advisor, you’d find it in the ‘Spa and Wellness’ category.

This category is deceptive in that almost every establishment listed is involved in the health arena in one form or another; however, the experiences vary significantly.

Ours is the category one would scroll through if they were looking for an herbal facial treatment, a Reiki energy healing session, a Muay Thai boxing lesson or a two hour Thai massage.

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It’s safe to say that many of our first time floaters may have been searching for something else before discovering our profile.

Floating and receiving a Thai massage are both on different ends of the spectrum.

That said, we could not be prouder about the fact that we have consistently held the number 1 or 2 spot on top on Trip Advisor for over a year now.

Floating vs. Thai massage

Living in Thailand, getting a massage is a weekly activity for most.

Massages are tremendously therapeutic and usually leave you feeling relaxed and invigorated.

Massages are the number one activity most commonly associated to floating because they help reduce stress and feel better.

The problem with a massage is that the experience can vary dramatically between one visit and the next.

How many times have you had an amazing massage one week, followed by a terrible one the next and left feeling worse than when you arrived?

There is of course the added stress over wasted money to make things worse.

One week you might have a veteran masseuse and the next, someone with limited experience; there’s usually no guarantee that you’re going to get the therapist you want on any given day.

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I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but it can be a struggle to find the balance between pain and pleasure when getting a massage.

I often grit my teeth and ‘muscle’ my way through a session that leaves me feeling relieved afterwards, for the simple fact that it’s over!

This is one of the differences between floating and getting a massage, one completely removes all muscle tension from your body (floating) while the other can often contribute to it (massage).

Typically, a massage parlour is serene with deeply relaxing music and lovely aromas.

Well, that’s not always the case; sometimes you have people continuously walking past you on their way to the restroom, or worse, you overhear distracting conversations between the customers and staff.

If you are not at your regular spot, and you take a chance on a shop that appears clean from the outside, you might learn otherwise when you ascend the shop-house stairs.

You might leave a massage feeling loose, but it’s less likely you will leave feeling as if you’ve just had a meditative break through which can be the case with floating.

This is another big difference between the two, floating provides a place for you to think deeply as you feel un-tethered to your body; a massage allows for you to escape thought while focusing solely on your body.  In no way are we suggesting a float is better than a massage, as there is a time and a place for both; the question then becomes, what are you looking for?

What you get with a float

Unlike a massage, floating at Theta State can ensure consistency.  You’re experience will be deeply private; you will not be disturbed by anything more than the melodic sound of your heart beat and breathing.

Your physical comfort is guaranteed as you lie weightless on a pillow of water for the duration of your float.  Nothing happens inside the float tank, a blessing for some and a challenge for others; one thing is certain though, you will be alone with your thoughts long enough for them to actually start working in your benefit.


Lastly, our facilities continuously receive high praise on public forum for our total commitment to cleanliness.

Yet, nothing I’ve mentioned so far even comes close to explaining where the true benefit of floating comes from, which is our ability to facilitate deeply relaxing states of mind usually only available to those experienced in traditional meditation.

For those of you who keep up with the latest health and wellness trends, you are likely familiar with the concept of a ‘hack’; floating is the ultimate self-discovery hack.

How does floating achieve this? It’s all about the Theta State.

What a 1 hour float does to the body

Floating allows your brain wave activity to slow it’s pace.

When awake, we typically find ourselves in Beta which resembles a narrow pointed mountain range on an EEG read out:

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When we sleep, we produce Delta waves which would have the appearance of slow rolling hills, etc.

Floating naturally lowers most people halfway between the two, into what we refer to as the ‘Theta State’:


Theta is best known for being a hypnagogic state of transition on the way from wakefulness to sleep where lucid dreaming occurs.

Theta is associated with meditation, intuition and memory. Floating often yields flashes of dreamlike imagery, sensations of expansion beyond the boundaries of your body and the triggering of long forgotten memories, so you could imagine why Theta is the most sought after and elusive of all the states.

We stress that an hour in our float tank might not really equate to an hour of someone rubbing your feet.

Both will likely leave you feeling great, there is no argument there; it’s just a question of what you’re actually looking for.

The closest thing to floating that one could ever achieve is tapping into a ‘flow state’ through traditional meditation, Thai Chi, playing an instrument or even advanced Yoga.

Actually, when comparing with Yoga, floating most closely resembles the last five minutes of the class where you quietly assume the ‘corpse’ position and lie perfectly still – super shivasana we call it!

Floating offers liberation beyond convention, so go ahead and get that massage and have that soak at the Onsen, but do them in conjunction with floating, not instead of.

Come down and check us out, and determine whether or not floating is a good fit for you.  Floating truly might be the spark you’ve been looking for to improve the quality of your mental health and to do that soul searching you’ve been meaning to get around to!

Call us on , email us, pop in for a free consultation or click the bottom below to book your first ever float:

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Harvie SinghFloating Vs. Getting A Thai Massage