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, floating is essentially a shortcut to deep relaxation. Sensory deprivation is the removal of stimuli from the senses. In a float tank, sight, sound and gravity are removed. The air and water are also heated to skin temperature so it becomes impossible to know where your skin ends and the water begins. This leads to a feeling of zero gravity with no real concept of up, down, time or space.
What does floating do to you?
When floating, the body lies in a tank with 25 cm deep salt water that maintains body temperature. Air, salt water and skin have the same temperature inside the tank. This creates a feeling of weightlessness and all the muscles in the body are allowed to relax. The brain gets rest from the sound and light of the surroundings. All this calms the nervous system and makes the muscles relax.
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). This raises the density and buoyancy of the water so you float in the water easily, no matter your body type.
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?
A standard float is 1 hour in the tank.
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. 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.
How do you clean the tanks?
The tanks are disinfected at the start of the day and after each float, and the water is fully filtered between each float, passing through a physical 10 micron filter, UV light and H2O2. 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.