Frequently Asked Questions
Might I be bored or frightened?
Anyone who floats regularly will tell you how blissfully comfortable and deeply relaxed they feel whilst floating. You’re as close as you’re ever likely to be to an experience of weightlessness; and, surprisingly, there is no feeling of being confined in a tight space.
But what if I’m claustrophobic?
This is a common initial concern. The float tank light and door are controlled by you, so you can choose to float with the door open and the light on if you prefer. Usually once people realise that they are in total control, their fears subside and the vast majority will go on to close the door and turn off the light! The tank is such an excellent place to go ‘through’ claustrophobia that if you want to get rid of yours, it is probably the best place to do it. Use the tank in the way most comfortable for you.
Will I have enough air?
Yes, of course. The air inside is warm and it rises by convection. There is a vent at the top for the air to leave and fresh air enters near the water line.
What if I can’t swim?
That’s OK. Floating is as easy as taking a bath. You just step in, sit down, and lay back. You can touch the bottom with your hands. There is no skill required, you just let the salty water do the work – you’ll actually float like a cork and it doesn’t matter what shape or size you are
Can I accidentally turn over in the water?
No. The water is very shallow and is much heavier than ordinary water because of the added Epsom Salts, so you float very easily and much higher in the water than in a swimming pool. You float on your back with absolutely no effort and there is no tendency to roll over. People often sleep in float tanks and there is no risk of rolling over even if you are asleep.
Is it true that floating cures jet lag?
Yes. Research shows that floating is much more effective than bed-rest.
Will I get cold, like staying too long in a bath?
No, the tank is heated all the time. The temperature of the water feels warm when you get in, but in fact it is at normal skin temperature, and this is exactly right for floating for a long time. The correct temperature is important for feeling comfortable and relaxed for an hour or so.
What effects does floating have on the body?
In the gravity free environment the body balances and heals internally as all the senses are rested. Research shows that floating measurably reduces blood pressure whilst lowering the levels of stress related chemicals in the body. Old injuries and aches, (especially backache) experience relief as floating helps reduce signals from the brain. Floating is used widely in the treatment of stress, anxiety, jet lag and to improve concentration and creativity. Sports performance and ‘wind down’ is also enhanced during floating.
What effects does floating have on the mind?
During a float you produce slower brain-wave patterns, known as alpha and theta waves, (normally experienced only during deep meditation or just before falling asleep). This is usually accompanied by vivid imagery, very clear, creative thoughts, sudden insights and inspirations, or feelings of profound peace and joy, induced by the release of endorphins, the body’s natural opiates. Because of these effects floating is used effectively in the treatment of depression and addictions, including smoking and alcohol. It is also used in schools and universities as a tool for Super Learning.
Is floating successful for everyone?
You may need to float a few times before you are able to relax completely, both physically and mentally. Depending on your own journey through life, a float might provide an hour of total physical relaxation – or a profound healing experience, emotionally and spiritually transforming….. Floating can be a wonderful aid to opening doors into your inner world, gradually allowing access to those deeper levels at which real changes take place.
How is water hygiene maintained?
Obviously we need to comply with stringent health and safety regulations. All floaters must shower before and after they float. Between each float session all the water is pumped through a filter . But more importantly the solution is sterilised to ensure it’s totally clean. The water is also tested regularly.
Is it private?
Floating is a very private experience. The flotation tank is housed in an area with its own adjoining bathroom facilities. You shower before entering the tank and then again after your float to remove the salt solution. Most people don’t wear anything when they float – just think of the tank as a big bathtub – though you can wear a swimsuit if you prefer.
Will my skin wrinkle?
No. In a bath, water enters the skin and makes it turgid (osmosis). In a float session, water leaves the skin (reverse osmosis) and leaves your skin soft and silky because of the Epsom salts.
What about my hair?
Your hair should be shampooed in the shower before floating, and swimming caps do not work, so hair colours, lacquers and hairpieces are not allowed in the tank. Wetting your hair before a float helps protect it from the salt water.
What is Epsom Salts and why is it used?
Epsom Salt is Magnesium Sulphate. It is found naturally in many spa waters. It is very different from sea salt or table salt which is mainly Sodium Chloride. Epsom Salts has been used for centuries to treat skin complaints and assists the body in detoxification. It is non toxic, although it has an unpleasant salty taste. We use it for two main reasons. Firstly it raises the density making it much easier to float. Secondly it softens your skin.
Can I use the tank if I’m menstruating?
Yes, if you use a tampon or menstrual cup.
Is anyone not supposed to use the tank?
We don’t recommend tank use for epileptics whose epilepsy is not under medical control; for people under the influence of alcohol, drugs, those with infectious diseases, open skin wounds, or those with suicidal tendencies.
I’m pregnant. Is floating safe for my baby?
Absolutely! In fact heavily pregnant women probably get more relief from the float tank than anyone else. Just lying on a bed can be extremely uncomfortable for women in the later stages of pregnancy due to the massive gravitational strain placed on the body. The float tank is a wonderful haven to which pregnant women can escape. Floating during pregnancy also offers an opportunity for you connect with your baby on a deep level, in this unique womb-like environment. We do however recommend that like most activities floating should be avoided in the first trimester.
How long do people usually stay in the tank?
Some people use the tank for shorter sessions and others find 2 or 3 hour sessions very valuable. Normally, commercial floats are one hour.
What will it be like for me?
We don’t know what it will be like for you since it is such an individual experience. The most common reports are profound peace and relaxation, deep concentration and creativity. We like to avoid saying too much before people use the tank, so that they aren’t influenced by what someone else says. Not only will it be different for you than it is for anyone else, it can be different each time.
Is there a best time to use the tank?
No. This is a matter of individual preference. Some people prefer morning, some prefer night. The best way to find out what’s best for you is to experiment by using the tank at different times of the day.
Do I need to float more than once?
That’s up to you, though yes, if you want to make use of the potential. For us floating is not a finite experience. It touches the infinite. Most people, but not all, get a sense of what floating will be like after they float 3 to 5 times. Those who see the potential the first time want to return again and again.
Should I eat before I go into the tank?
You can eat. If you eat a very heavy meal you may spend a lot of time listening to your digestive juices. And, on the other hand, if you get very hungry you may spend a lot of time listening to your digestive juices. Moderation works.
Will I be able to resume my daily activities when I get out?
Yes. And it may be good to arrange your time so you don’t have to rush. Many people enjoy savoring the peace and quiet before jumping into something hectic.
Is there a cumulative effect of using the tank on a regular basis?
Yes. There is a cumulative effect with consistent use of the tank. Floating uses sensory isolation as an induction to the “relaxation response” which equates with meditation. Simply be floating, you train this response and become skilled at accessing it.
Is this sensory deprivation?
The term “sensory deprivation” describes areas of scientific research that consider the effects of reduced environmental stimulation. The words are an unfortunate choice for those of us who are presenting the floating experience as something pleasant, attractive and relaxing. As a result we are careful to point out that the senses are fully operational and in fact, the senses are very pleased to be relieved from the prevalent atmosphere of sensory overload. Stimulus reduction or sensory isolation is an accurate description of the tank environment.