How to float
You get in the tank. You float.
That's 90% of it, right there. But if you haven't done it before and you want to know the minutia, here you go.
First, please watch our orientation video to learn what you'll need to know when you float. Here is our Covid Safety Plan so you know what to expect.
Want more detail? Let's go through it.
- Book your float time in advance.
- Avoid caffeine or nicotine. If you've got a heavy coffee habit you don't want to give yourself a withdrawal headache, but you'll have a better float if you're not wired when you get here.
- Avoid shaving or waxing. If your skin is still irritated when you get in the tank, the salt water will sting. (Fresh tattoos are also not recommended.)
- Have you dyed your hair? If it's not safe in the shower or swimming pool, it's definitely not safe in the tank. We'd hate for you to bleach expensive work. Please make sure you've washed it a few times before floating.
- If you wear contacts, bring your glasses and your solution.
- If you have long hair, bring your brush.
- If you use any special toiletries, bring those, too. We provide soap, shampoo, towels, and a blow dryer.
- You have a private room. Bathing suits are not required.
- Don't let your stomach distract you. You don't want to arrive starving, and also not to arrive with indigestion from a heavy meal.
- It's awesome to get a little exercise before floating, whatever works for you.
There are a few circumstances where you should consult your doctor before floating. These include pregnancy, diabetes, epilepsy, antibiotics, muscle relaxants, or kidney problems.
Arriving at FLOAT
- Please try to be 5-10 minutes early so we can check you in.
- If you're driving, we have a parking map for you.
- If you haven't floated before, we'll show you the tanks and give you a quick orientation.
- As soon as your room is ready from the last client, you can shower off and get started.
- You can lock your clothes and possessions in the private float room with you.
- We provide silicone ear plugs to reduce the amount of salt that gets in your ear canals. To use them, roll them in a ball and press them flat like a pancake to get a seal in your outer ear. Don't try to jam them into your inner ear.
- If you have any cuts or scrapes, cover them with the petroleum jelly we provide to reduce stinging. Often you won't discover a scratch until the saltwater gets into it, but don't worry, the burn will subside in a minute or two.
- Dry your face well before you get in the tank. Moisture tends to draw salt, and you don't want to feel the need to wipe away a tickling drop of water.
In the tank
- Be careful of getting saltwater in your eyes or nose. It won't do any actual damage, but it will sting. If you get an itch, try to avoid touching it – after 30 seconds it will usually go away. We provide a freshwater rinse and a spare towel just in case.
- Some people find it awkward letting their neck relax and trusting that their head will float. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, go ahead and experiment with floating in different positions:
- Hands on your stomach,
- Hands above your head,
- Fingers laced behind your neck, or
- Small float pillow under your head.
- 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 you want, you can do your meditation practice, but don't feel like you have to. Other people prefer to mull over creative problems, 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's some tricks that might help:
- Breathe deeply.
- Feel your body. You may be able to hear your heartbeat.
- 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.
- Our music will come up softly when your time is up.
After your float
- You'll want to shower again to rinse off the salt.
- When the salt dries, you may find you have faintly crackly crystals in your ears. You can rinse with plain water, or use the old swimmers' trick of 50/50 dilute white vinegar.
- Sit in our lounge and let yourself come back to the world. Take your time. Enjoy the bright colors and floaty feeling!
- We have water, tea, and writing materials for you. Color in one of our mandalas, if you like.
- Use our blow dryer if you like.
- Pay attention to how you're feeling. Is it like before you went in?
- Sometimes people come out of the tank in a very trance-y, sleepy altered state, and need some time to come back to normal before being ready to drive. We encourage you not to be in a hurry to get out the door after your float.
- Your float isn't over yet. Sleep really well tonight!
Got more questions?
See our frequently asked questions page.