We’ve gathered pro tips, pointers and ideas from our staff (who float a lot!) and other float center owners we know. There’s always something new to discover, so please let us know about your best float tips – you can email us, or catch us on social media (we’re @FloatBoston on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter).
Ready? Here we go…
Before your float
The time of day, combined with how much sleep you’ve had, can really affect your experience. If you want to work through a problem, pick the time of day you’re normally alert. On the other hand, if you’re having trouble relaxing in your floats, you’ll want the opposite. Some ideas to try: first thing in the morning (save your coffee for after!), “nap o’clock” (late afternoon), or the last float of the day at 9pm.
Don’t forget to avoid caffeine for the four hours prior to your float. Some people enjoy rolling out of bed for an early float before their morning cup of coffee.
Consider eating a small amount of food before your float. Either too much food or an empty stomach will lead to a noisy float!
During Your Float
If you find yourself bumping into the sides, use both hands and hold yourself in the middle of the tank for a minute, until any waves have died down. Then let go gently.
If your floating position doesn’t quite feel right, play around with it. You probably already know to mix up your arm positions, but try out the provided floating aids as well. A feeling of tightness in your lower back can be eased by putting the pool noodle under your knees. The Halo float is specially designed to support the natural curve of your neck, while feeling as unobtrusive as possible. We have extras of both the Halo floats and the pool noodles, if you want to double up. We also have NekDoodles available by request, if you want to try a sidelying float, or floating with your ears entirely out of the water.
If you want, you can do breathing awareness exercises, or your meditation practice, but don’t feel like you have to. Other people prefer to mull over creative problems, explore an imaginary setting, or just let their thoughts run free.
It’s not unusual to reach a moment of agitation early in the float when your body or your brain resists relaxation. Notice it happening, but don’t worry about it. Getting through that point is what you’re here for. If you want, here are some tricks that might help:
- Breathe deeply.
- Feel your body. You may be able to hear your heartbeat.
- Do a body scan: check all your muscles for tension and let them go. Try again in a few minutes — you’ll probably find more.
- It’s okay to splash around if you want.
- But you don’t have to do anything! Just float.
If you feel restless and agitated and can’t seem to settle down, try this: get out of the tank and get in the shower. As you rinse, visualize whatever it is that’s keeping you from relaxing – your stress, tension, negative energy – and see it detaching from you, washing off your body and swirling down the drain. Imagine cool, clear white light pouring onto and into you from the shower. Settle into this visualization for a few minutes, and then try floating again.
It’s hard to find the perfect float – we’ve all had that moment when a ceiling drip or a weird thud threatens to break our flow. Instead of letting it ruin my time, I like to use those moments to practice mindfulness: observe what happened, let it go, and float on!
After your float
Salt inhibits lathering, so don’t be concerned in your post-float showering. Soap up well and shampoo your hair before getting in the tank, and then after your float, concentrate on rinsing off really well. (We have spray conditioner by the hair dryer to help with your fluffy post-float hair.)
It can be interesting to keep a float journal – especially if you’re tracking pain levels or your general mental health. Jot down any big revelations you had during your float – or just draw some pictures.
Not remembering anything about your float is normal and fine. It likely means you lost yourself for a little while, in a good way.
Hopefully one of these tips will help your next float be the best one yet!
Stay salty, and happy floating!