Won’t I feel claustrophobic inside?
No! The inside is rather like a tent, it’s warm, the inside of the tank is lit, there is good ventilation and the door is not locked.
But isn’t it a sensory deprivation tank?
Not really. It’s a privacy tank perhaps. You can listen to music, you can feel the warm water, you can touch the sides, you are not isolated from sensation at all. You will in fact have heightened sensation in some ways.
What about being in the dark?
That’s up to you. There’s usually a light switch; you control the lights all the time. You can leave them on all through your float session. You can have music playing all through too if you like, and you can choose the music in advance. Floating is the best and fastest way to relax and many people find that silence and the dark help relax even more. But it’s up to you, either way, floating is wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable.
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.
Can I accidentally turn over in the water?
No. The water is very shallow, usually just 25 cm or ten inches deep. Also it 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.
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 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.
Might I be too heavy to float?
Can I catch a disease from someone using the tank before me?
No you can’t, so long as the tank is operated properly. Between each float session all the water is pumped through a filter which removes every particle . But more importantly the solution is sterilised to kill bacteria and viruses. Different operators use different technologies. The risk of infection is much lower than in the situations that we all face when working with and meeting other people every day, or in swimming pools.
Why do I have to pay to float when I can have a bath at home?
The float tank is big enough for a tall person to float stretched out and the Epsom Salts make a huge difference. The water is heated silently so that you can float for an hour or more in perfect conditions. The enclosed tank keeps you warm and ensures privacy while you relax. The tank operator has to make some money to stay in business, and the costs will compare with, say, sun tanning beds. Of course you can buy your own float tankŠ
What are the benefits of floating?
The big deal is that floating gives you more than just floating! Here’s how it works: the dense water makes it easy to float, so you can relax. The temperature is just right so that you can really relax. That means your postural muscles don’t have to work at all. The muscles send a chemical message to the brain saying in effect “You can relax too, the environment is friendly” The blood vessels near the skin relax allowing more blood flow. Within a few minutes you feel better, less stressed, your body and mind become more relaxed more quickly than in any other natural state. The increased blood flow and freedom from pressure promotes healing of muscle strains and relief from joint pain. Research has found that floating brings on brain waves associated with deep relaxation and meditation. Some people meditate on their feelings, some have wonderful daydreams. The more you float the better it gets. Research has also shown consistent improvement in performance after floating, in all kinds of activities from rifle shooting to jazz playing…
Is it true that floating cures jet lag?
Yes. Research shows that floating is much more effective than bed-rest.
Is there a limit to how much you can float?
Some people have their own float tanks and sleep in them regularly. They claim that they need less sleep that way than in normal sleep. You could certainly float every day without harm. We also find that the relaxing effect of a one hour float lasts all day and more, so that a session once or twice a week can be enough to satisfy your desire for floating.
What about my hair?
Your hair should be washed in the shower before floating, and swimming caps do not work very well, so hair colours, lacquers and hairpieces are not allowed in the tank. Ask the operator’s advice if you are not sure.