How to Make the Most of Your Time in a Float Tank

Salty Musings from a Frequent Floater

Contained within the majority of the marketing for almost any float center is one word: “Nothing”. Do Nothing. Experience Nothing™. Get Your Parents Nothing. The notion of doing nothing runs rampant within the Float Community. You simply lay back, close your eyes, and there we go… nothing.

But if you’ve floated a few times, you know that this isn’t always the case; you know that there’s a little bit of work involved. What kind of work would be involved with doing nothing?

Preparation, that’s what. There’s a few things you can do to prep yourself adequately for your float.

The most important one being to abstain from caffeine, preferably for that entire day (depending on what time you’re floating at). One time I drank a coffee and about 2 hours later I was floating. I only stayed in the tank for 45 minutes and I could not keep still during the entire session. And it was no one’s fault but my own.

Leaving a buffer zone from when you have last shaved or waxed any part of your body is also key. Again, coming from personal experience. Wait at least 12 hours after shaving and 24 after waxing. Trust me. I know.

Booking a time that works best for you will allow you to decompress from the outside world more effectively that choosing a time that kinda works. If you’re rushing to relax, the experience may not be as effective. Choosing a time that allows you to show up to the center early, and perhaps even stay a little afterwards, will be of great benefit for your overall experience. Rushing back to work, school, or any other engaging activities is the last thing I want to do after I float.

Getting some muscular movement in before rather than after a float will also aid in having an excellent float. Doing some yoga, stretching, or even going for a walk will help lengthen your muscles and loosen you up a bit. Doing those things after a float is fine too, but you may notice that you’re not as strong as you normally would be.

Eating an adequate amount before a float can help curb the grumbles in your belly which can be amplified during your time in tank. Finding the right balance of amount and type of food will be your own experiment to run. Allowing yourself time to digest the food before getting in the tank should keep the grumbles at bay. Conversely, don’t starve yourself before a float either.

If you have vibrant hair, tape-in extensions, a weave, or even a birth control patch, you may be refused service at some centers not only because of the effect that the dye, patch, or glue could have on the water, but also the effect that the water could have on those items, which could damage them. Vibrant hair will bleed and possibly stain the tank. Tape-in or glue-in extensions users usually have to use sulphate-free shampoos so it’s not the best idea to dunk your head in 1000 pounds of sulphates (and swimming caps are usually a no-go depending on which center you are at). Birth control patches could be rendered ineffective by the salt so it would be safer to come on one of the last days of your period with either a tampon or menstrual cup.

Another important thing is to refrain from booking someone an appointment as a surprise gift. From my short 10 months of working the front desk and seeing people bring unsuspecting guests I have one piece of advice: please don’t. Floating can be a highly personal thing and surprising someone with a float is similar to taking them to the gym when they didn’t eat properly. It’s highly inappropriate and it won’t give them the best experience of the service.

And the last and most important piece of advice that I can offer you is to listen to respect the building you are floating in. There is no need to clean up after yourself, but there is something to be said about being a great client that people want to have around. Be kind to the operators who are facilitating your float. Listen to them while they are giving the orientation. Refrain from getting undressed while they are talking (yes it happens). Use the bathroom before you float. Leave the tank the way you found it. Be aware of your noise level when speaking in the lobby. Bring friends with you who can do the same. You don’t need to be a walking billboard for floating, but if you can be a kind individual that respects the space they are in, you will add immense value to the excellence that is floatation.

-Gina Falcetta