Frequently Asked Questions
*For any other questions not contained here or for specific questions about medical conditions and floating, contact Dr. David Berv: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Floating?
To float, an individual enters a float pod filled with about two hundred (200) gallons of waters (about 10” deep) and one thousand (1000) pounds of Epsom salt kept at skin temperature (93.5-95 degrees). The buoyancy created by the dense solution removes the effects of gravity on the body and brings you to an experience of total weightlessness.
Floating weightlessly, your body is perfectly supported and freed from the sensations of gravity, temperature, touch, sight and sound you conserve and redirect vast amounts of natural physical and mental energy.
With no commands needing to be sent out, the logical side of the brain slows down and attempts to synchronize with the creative side. This leaves the individual in a dream-like but alert state, akin to the feeling experienced just before you sleep. In this state, the brain releases vast amounts of endorphins. The brain gradually shifts from its usual “beta” (stressful) state to generate theta waves, the state-of-mind that you typically reach through hours of meditation and years of training. You can achieve this in an hour of floating.**
Who can (or cannot) Float?
In general, most people can float and we believe floating is beneficial to certain aspects of your life. Unfortunately, there are certain medical conditions which may prohibit you from floating. Please review the list below if you have any questions or concerns.
Do not float if you suffer from uncontrolled seizures or epilepsy.
Do not float if you have an infectious disease or active widespread skin discorder like excema, psoriasis or shingles.
If you are considering a float and have a medical condition or are receiving any medical treatment please consult your doctor prior to floating. These conditions include but are not limited to:
• Anyone with acute medical conditions (These conditions include, but are not limited to, low/high blood pressure, heart bypass, open wounds, a history of heart attack and cancer.)
• Anyone with kidney disease, insulin dependent diabetes, or any other medical condition that may prohibit you from floating.
• Anyone who has recently had an invasive medical procedure or surgery.
• Anyone with tubes in their ears. However, wearing earplugs while floating is always recommended.
If you have any medical conditions not listed here, please consult a physician before your float session, and bring it to the attention of one of our staff members before you float.
What to Know Before Your Float
Arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time to receive a brief orientation and to complete a pre-float questionnaire.
Do not consume caffeine or stimulatory vitamins shortly before floating.
Do not float if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Do not float if you have just shaved or waxed your body.
Do consult with your physician if you have any medical conditions or received recent medical treatment that may prohibit you from floating.
Do wear or bring comfortable clothing for before and after your float.
The Float Zone provides the following amenities for your float: Dr. Bronner's soap, shampoo, conditioner, earplugs. vaseline, towel, washcloth, makeup remover, comb, q-tips, hand lotion, and a hairdryer. Bring any unique personal care items you might require like a contact lens kit, specific brand of shampoo or soap, or flip flips.
Do come peacefully with an open mind to focus and set your intentions for your float.
Do not float if you have recently (past 48 hours) had your hair dyed or colored. We do not want to ruin your treatment or add unnecessary chemicals to the float tank. Also, remove hair extensions prior to floating.
Can a Minor (Under 18 years old) Float?
While we do believe floating is for everyone, based on our research and experience, floating can be an overwhelming experience for minors, even those who appear prepared. We ONLY allow a Minor child to float after a discussion with his/her legal guardian and the Minor floater. Please contact us for further information.
For any Minor floater, we do ask that the legal guardian remain on premises for the entirety of the float. Floating is not advised for children under the age of 16.
Is floating safe for pregnant women?
Yes! We do recommend that prior to floating the pregnant woman, especially if in her first trimester, consult with her physician.
Once the doctor gives the all clear, floating is ideal for pregnant women as it alleviates pressure on the skeletal system and joints and assists in relieving muscle tension.
Enjoy some specific information about pregnancy and floating:
Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt)
Epsom Salt will decrease aches and pains that come with pregnancy. Magnesium is completely natural. It reduces inflammation, relaxes muscles that are responsible for contraction, repairs body tissues, interferes with pain receptors, regulates blood sugar levels, and helps to increase serotonin (the feel-good hormone). Magnesium will help your sweet baby too, as it is an essential ingredient in healthy bone and organ formation. Plus, magnesium is one of the main components of mother’s milk!
Weightlessness, renewal, and pressure/pain relief
The weightlessness effect is especially relieving to women in their second and third trimesters. Gravity puts tension and pressure on your pregnant body – imagine 60 minutes of total relief for both you and your baby!
Floating will absolutely improve the quality of your sleep. Many women report that their baby is more restful after a float.
Pregnancy (and the post-partum period) sometimes brings intense and uncomfortable emotions. The floating environment can help emotions shift. You will have space to relax, drift away from fatigue, anxiety, and frustration, and towards a greater sense of calm. Plus – for those who are curious about a deeply connecting experience with their baby – remember that the womb-like structure of the floating tanks mirrors your baby’s environment.
Are there issues a woman should consider before a Float?
The following information is pertinent to the female body and the float experience. There are recommendations that address menstruation and contra-indications for vaginal irritation and infections. Our hope is to ease any embarrassment you may feel around these topics. Feel free to ask us questions at any time but do note that we are not medical professionals. We make the following recommendations based on our research and personal experience. As a general rule, please contact your medical professional if you have additional concerns in any of these areas.
Floating is perfectly normal during your menstrual cycle. For sanitary reasons, please use the same precautions you would use if you were going to the pool or in water.
Floating can enrich your menstruation experience. We are aware of rituals in which women experience their menstruation in solitude. They honor their body’s cycle, heed their inner voices, and search the deepest parts of their being. Floating is the perfect environment to honor yourself in this way.
As part of your float experience, it is absolutely not uncommon to experience vaginal irritation during a float. We find that when this happens to women, they often end their float early, and rush out the door, feeling embarrassed! The water in the pods contain a high concentration of a salt, magnesium sulfate. Some peri- or post-menopausal women may experience an increased burning sensation due to increased sensitivty and dryness in this area. Burning can also be a result of small fissures that may occur due to sexual intercourse or using certain types of contraception. Other times, burning may mean that your menstrual cycle is about to begin, or that your body is staving off a UTI or YI (see below). Sometimes, the irritation subsides after a few minutes like small nicks on the arm or legs. Other times, it persists. If you are uncomfortable and do not want to continue your float, please exit your tank, and we will help you find another time to come in (free of charge). Applying petroleum, or other skin-safe jelly, to the vagina or other sensitive areas will greatly reduce and or/eliminate the issue. One can even do this mid-float by rinsing and applying, then returning to the float.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) & Yeast Infection (YI)
These medical conditions will disrupt your float experience. The Magnesium Sulfate exacerbates the burning sensation and other uncomfortable symptoms associated with these infections. If you have a UTI or YI, please call us to re-schedule your float.**
What if I am claustrophobic?
Our float pods are spacious (8.5 feet long, 5 feet wide and 4.25 feet high) allowing one to put their arms over their head, out to the sides, and sit up in the pod if necessary. It is large enough to enter and exit the pod while in a standing position. Although many choose to float in complete darkness, inside lighting is available, and the door to the float pod can be opened at any time. The thought of being in a dark space can be frightening to some. However, as with your eyes closed, total black does not create an enclosed, confined, limited, or restricted feeling; it actually seems vast or unlimited. You are in complete control of your surroundings and you can exit the pod at any time. This is not at all like an MRI where you have to sit perfectly still, amongst a tight enclosure.
What should I wear to float?
Nothing. A bathing suit detracts from the experience and detergent in your clothing can affect the pristine water. Photos of pods show people wearing bathing suits for obvious demonstration reasons. Rest assured that our float rooms are completely private and there are showers within the private rooms for pre and post float showering.
Is the water sanitary?
Yes! Salt is a natural anti-microbial and antiseptic, especially at the high concentration present in the floatation pods. The water in our pods are completely filtered three times in between floats, through a high-tech filtration system which filters down to 1 micron and is then put through ozonation and UV filtration. Hydrogen Peroxide and other natural enzymes are added daily as part of our daily cleaning process. The water is many times more sanitary than a swimming pool or spa.
What if I cannot swim?
The float pod is filled with only 10-12 inches of water and has such a high density of Epsom salt that any individual, big or small, will float like a cork atop the water.
What is Epsom salt?
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is a chemical compound containing magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. Combined with water, it raises the water’s specific gravity, resulting in a dense solution in which a body can float effortlessly. Epsom salt has been proven to be highly absorbable by the skin resulting in countless benefits to the body including detoxification, strengthening of the immune system, heightened endorphin release, and relief from physical, mental, and emotional stress and fatigue.
What effects does floating have on the body?
**The anti-gravity effect of floating allows the body to instantly go into relaxation and recovery mode. Our body contains natural painkillers called endorphins, which elevate your mood and reduce stress. Relaxation causes the brain to release these endorphins, which control pain. By creating the relaxation response, blood flow is increased to all systems of the body, including the brain, creating a whole body effects. Floating provides relief from the constant downward push of gravity, the biggest cause of wear and tear to bones, joints and body tissue.
Floating is used for recovery by pro-athletes, swimmers, runners, and cross-fitters, all the way down to regular people seeking personal fitness and wellness. **
What effects does floating have on the mind?
**Floating allows the brain to produce a greater amount of theta waves, generally resulting in an increase in mental clarity, creativity and memory function. It is said to increase the release of endorphins, which leads to elevated mood states and alleviation of anxiety, depression, and negative mental habits.
Floating is such an individual experience. The most common reports are profound peace and relaxation, deep concentration, creativity and pain reduction.**
Do I need to float more than once?
Yes, if you want to gain any lasting benefit. Most people get a sense of what floating will be like after they float 3 to 5 times. Most people also see the potential for how floating will be of value after the first time, and want to return.
Is there a best time to float?
No. This is a matter of individual preference. Some people prefer morning, some prefer night. The best way to find out is to experiment by floating at different times of the day.
Will I be able to resume my daily activities when I get out?
Yes. However, it may be wise to arrange your schedule so you don't have to rush out after your float. Many people enjoy savoring the peace and quiet before jumping back into the daily grind.
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. We notice that people run away from us when they hear the possibility of any form of deprivation. As a result we are careful to point out that the senses are fully operational and in fact, are refreshed when relieved from the everyday atmosphere of sensory overload. Stimulus reduction is an accurate description of the tank environment.
Who invented the float tank?
In 1954, John C. Lilly, M.D., a neuropsychiatrist, invented the first isolation or float tank, which was simply an 8 foot cube filled with ocean water. Completely submerged, wearing a mask with oxygen, he used this prototypical tank to further his exploration of the limits of human consciousness. By the late 1960’s, Dr. Lilly had the idea of floating in a supersaturated solution of Epsom salts. This solution was found to be non-irritating to the skin, while at the same time buoyant enough to keep the body naturally at the surface of the water, eliminating the need to wear an oxygen mask. By completely enclosing the water, maintained at skin temperature, Dr. Lilly was able to create a unique environment for meditation and scientific research.