What is floating?
Floating is a short form for ‘Floating rest’, or as science refers to the relaxation method – Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST). Also known as sensory deprivation (removal of stimuli from the senses), floating is essentially a shortcut to deep relaxation. When floating, the body lies in a tank of salt water maintained to body temperature where sight, sound and gravity are removed. This leads to a feeling of zero gravity with no real concept of up, down, time or space.
What does floating do to you?
The feeling of weightlessness allows all your muscles to relax, and the brain gets rest from the sound and light of our usual surroundings. All this calms the nervous system and helps give you what you need.
How are you able to float in the water?
You are lovingly suspended in 1000 litres of water with nearly 500kg of dissolved Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) in each tank. This raises the density and buoyancy of the water so you float easily, no matter your body type.
Can I bring a friend (or two)?
Absolutely! We have 3 tanks – a wonderful opportunity to have a shared experience with friends and family together. Floating and meeting afterwards in our chill-out area for a cup of tea is a wonderful way to connect. Many of our members have introduced others to floating and help to grow the float fam!
Is there anything I should do to prepare?
Don’t drink coffee for several hours beforehand (it can make your system jittery). Also, don’t shave or wax since the salt water can irritate your skin. Eating a light meal about an hour to 90 minutes ahead of time stops your stomach from sounding like an angry monster while you float. Other than that, there’s no specific preparation needed.
Can I float if I’m menstruating?
Yes. Just follow the same protocol you would for a swimming pool.
Can I float if I just dyed my hair?
While there is no guarantee that the salt won’t strip some colour from your hair, we recommend that you check if the water running through your hair in the shower at home is fully clear. If there is still some colour coming out you should wait a couple of more days/showers.
Can I float if I’m pregnant?
Of course you can! There is even a special position you can float in that relieves all of the weight of the baby off of the mother’s body. If you are in your third trimester, or have any concerns, please consult with your physician before coming in.
Do I need to bring anything?
If you have longer hair, you may want to bring a comb. Also, something to put your contact lenses into while you’re in the tank. Other than that, we provide everything you need (towels, earplugs, body wash/shampoo…) you go into the tanks nude, so there’s no need to bring a bathing suit.
How long will I be in the tank for?
1 hour in the tank is a regular float, and some people like double that! Just ask us if that sounds interesting to you.
What if I’m claustrophobic?
Being in the tanks is more like floating in outer space than being shut in a box. You’re always in control of your environment, and even people with extreme claustrophobia have reported having no problems with their time in the tank.
Is this new-agey mumbo jumbo?
Floating has been around for over 40 years and has oodles of published research to back it up. No mumbo or jumbo here.
How long have float tanks been around?
The first float tank was developed in 1954 by Dr. John C. Lilly, a neuropsychiatrist interested in the effects of sensory deprivation on the brain. These involved full submersion in water and a breathing device that completely covered your face. The first lay down, commercial tanks were invented in the early 70’s. Floating has been well known among athletes for many years and interest within the medical profession is growing every year.
How do you clean the tanks?
The tanks are disinfected at the start of the day and after each float with H2O2, and the water is filtered between each float, passing through a physical micron filter and UV light. Epsom salt is naturally antimicrobial too!
Do I get dehydrated from soaking for so long?
No- your skin doesn’t even prune up, but it does become silky soft afterwards thanks to the exfoliating properties of the Epsom salt.
Can I drown if I fall asleep in there?
Nope. Some people fall asleep, but the water is so buoyant that you stay afloat. The worst that can happen is getting woken up by a bit of salt water in your eyes.