There are many small things you can do to enhance your floating experience during your first-time in a floatation tank. These things may not seem significant on the surface, but they can have a major impact on how much you enjoy floating and whether or not you will come back for more. Before floating – Avoid consuming energy drinks, coffee or caffeinated sodas. Caffeine is a stimulant and will make it more difficult for your nerves and muscles to relax inside the floatation tank. Cover any minor cuts or scrapes before entering. Open wounds will sting and can become irritated by the Epsom salt. If you wear contact lenses, remove them and put the lenses in a safe place outside the tank. During floating – Avoid touching your face. Saltwater can cause irritation if it gets in your eyes. Ease into the tank. Use safety bars to help lower your body into the tank and position it in the water to avoid injury. After floating – Sit up slowly and exit the tank slowly so your body can readjust to moving out of weightless environment. This will help you maintain your balance. Stand in the open tank for a few seconds and use a towel to wipe excess saltwater from your skin and hair. Shower as soon as possible to get rid of the remaining saltwater.
If you have never floated in an isolation tank, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start now. Floating is equal parts relaxing and therapeutic. The physical, mental and emotional benefits from this activity are countless. What should you know before you experience your first floating session? Don’t worry about claustrophobia: The tank is not as dark and cramped as you might imagine. There is plenty of room for comfort inside the tank. You can also leave a light on inside the tank so you are not immersed in complete darkness. The bottom line is you are in a place designed to calm you, not scare you. Give yourself time to relax: Some of your muscles may take a few minutes to relax. The human body needs time to adjust to new surroundings. Allow yourself time to soak in your new environment with your senses. The relaxation will come. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and let the tank do its job. Experiment with floating: Find the position where you will feel most relaxed and comfortable. Some people enjoy floating with their arms at their sides. Others prefer to put their hands behind their head. The most important thing is to relax your neck and shoulders and allow your body to assume a floating position that best promotes relaxation.
Are you running low on funds, but you still want to build an isolation tank? Here is a creative way to get your tank built. Artists have always had a fascination with sensory deprivation and for good reason. Great art is created through focus and concentration, two abilities a floatation tank enables the user to harness with uncommon strength. However, due the cost of building a tank and the extra cost of having somewhere to store it, many people who would love to have a floatation tank simply cannot. This is where a bit of ingenuity comes in. (by the way, I know this works because I did it) Try contacting your local art gallery and propose an exhibit of work inspired by time spent inside a sensory deprivation tank. Trust me, they will jump on it. Galleries are always looking for some kind of hook to snag new visitors and nothing garners interest like a floatation tank. This idea first came to me from Float On, a brilliant float centre in Portland, who put together an exhibit and eventually published a book of floatation inspired art, “Artwork from the Void.” Check it out on Amazon. So how do you get the gallery to pay for the tank? Galleries often have funds put aside for exhibits and artists. Ask them to pay for the materials and tell them you will document the construction phase. This documentation, video and photos, can then be used for introducing your exhibit. If the gallery is strapped for funds, there is also the possibility of making the exhibit into a silent auction. As long as the art is tangible (sorry musicians) you can auction off the work to highest bidder. Artists are surprisingly open to this idea. Most are just excited about getting in the tank and don’t really mind what happens to their paintings. You can then use the funds from the sale of the art to pay for the construction of the tank. Or, if the thought of paying for the tank before you have sold any art makes you nervous, you can sell the art first by setting up a campaign on indiegogo or by advertising the idea to art gallery goers. Make a promise that donors to the project will receive a piece of art after the exhibit closes. The wonderful byproduct of this method is that everyone who sees the exhibit will want to get inside the tank. If and when you take the tank home, you will have a line up of potential clients for your float centre.
The major obstacle keeping people from enjoying the benefits of floating is simply a lack of information. They are unaware of how safe and healthy floating can be for the human body. No one should miss out on spending quality time in an isolation tank. It is time to set the record straight and offer up some helpful answers to common floating questions – Q: How clean is the water in the tanks? A: Up to 1000 pounds of Epsom salt is dissolved into the water in a typical flotation tank. This is enough to prevent the growth and spread of microbes and bacteria. Water used in floating is filtered out and sterilized after each floating session before being reintroduced into the tank. Epsom salt is the perfect antiseptic and it makes a isolation tank cleaner than the average swimming pool or hot tub. Q: Is the tank dark inside? Isolation tanks are designed to provide an environment where a person can relieve stress through relaxation or meditation. Blocking out light helps the body to block outside distractions and reach a true relaxation point. Some people who feel nervous or scared in darkness can prop open the door to their tank with a towel to permit some sunlight to enter. Many tanks also feature a soft light below the water. Q: Is there any danger of drowning? No one should ever be afraid they will drown while inside an isolation tank. The high quantity of salt makes a person float on top of the water and stings the eyes when it comes in contact with their face. A typical flotation tank is filled with about 10.5 inches of water. It serves as a tool to relax the muscles and let a person float peacefully while meditating or relaxing. Q: Who can float? Flotation tanks are designed for people who are a variety of shapes, sizes and ages. It poses no danger to anyone, expect people with severe medical conditions. If you have a chronic disease or are pregnant, you should contact a physician before floating. Otherwise, hop in and enjoy.