Updated: Jun 27, 2021
Have you been seeing this crazy new thing in the health and wellness space? It has to do with putting your naked body into a pod that completely deprives you of all of your senses?
Well if you haven’t and I just totally freaked you out, let me preface: this therapy is completely safe and regulated.
And if you have heard, then you already know I’m talking about floating.
Or maybe you know it as “float tank”, “float pod”, “sensory deprivation tank” or as the leading floating influencer, Dr. Justin Feinstein calls it, “internal sensory enhancement.”1 This funny-looking covered bathtub is prepared to offer you benefits ranging from mental relaxation to physical healing.
As something that has been around since the 1960s, floating has become one of the latest trends in the U.S. health and wellness world. Yoga and fitness studios across the country are beginning to obtain their very own float tanks to bring its benefits to their members.
But before we get into the benefits that a float tank offers you, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what a float tank is and how it deprives you of your external senses while heightening your internal senses.
What Is a Sensory Deprivation Tank (Float Tank)?
A float tank is an individual-sized or two-person pod filled with water that’s loaded with epsom salt – I’m talking about 1,000 lbs of it in most cases…
The high concentration of salt makes it feel like your body is weightless. And with the water being a close temperature to your skin, it feels like you’re suspended in the middle of nothing.
Without leaving Earth, you’re experiencing the effects of antigravity. WHAT? How cool is that?
With most pods, both open pods and pods with lids, the facilities using them design the room to block out light sources. The special designs are also completely soundproof. Being in an enclosed space allows you to temporarily lose the ability to smell and feel touch — hence the name deprivation.
What to Expect When Floating For the First Time
When you first arrive in your float room, there’s going to be a pretty standard setup: the pod, a shower, a towel, and a place for your belongings. Before entering the concentrated saltwater, you’ll wash off your body and hair.
It’s most common to float completely naked, but if that feels way out of your comfort zone, you can wear a comfortable bathing suit or a large shirt.
Upon entering the float tank, you’ll feel the temperature of the water is extremely similar to the temperature of your skin. For some people, this tends to leave them feeling like they aren’t in any water at all. You may notice it’s a different sensation than you’re used to feeling.
Once the lid closes, then the real magic happens.
No sense of gravity.
All of your feelings disappear.
On top of that, you can’t really feel the water because it’s the same temperature as your skin.
A study was done in the 1960s where test patients were placed in a tank that would “deprive” them of the ability to hear and see what was around them — the very first type of float pod, if you will.1
Some of them had incredible results. One man even heard his own aortic valves closing with each pump of blood…without a stethoscope. Can you imagine what that must feel like?
Adding more clarity, every instructor is professionally trained in the operation/safety of the float pod and will be here to answer any concerns or questions you have — don’t worry, they won’t go into the room with you.
While there are pieces of this experience that will mentally feel out-of-this-world, your body is also reaping the benefits.
What Are the Benefits of a Float Tank/Pod?
Besides bringing a sense of euphoria and total relaxation to your body and mind, float tanks also offer unique physical/psychological benefits.4
Float tanks have had a great release to the gravity-related stressor that chronic and acute pain brings upon the body.2 Feeling like you’re weightless allows your muscles, bones, joints, and tissues to fully relax. In this state your body doesn’t have to worry about walking, laying down, driving, or anything else.
Different research groups and studies have shown that some other benefits of a float tank include: 3
Increased sleep quality
Shortening of depressive episodes
Increased sense of sedation and euphoria.
Sounds like… the most relaxing bath of your life — minus the rubber duck, bubbles, smells, light, sounds… you catch my drift.
If you could live your life generally happier and less stressed, with one easy fix, would you do it?
Have More Questions or Concerns About Floating?
Okay, so we’ve talked about what a float tank is. And we’ve talked about how a float tank will benefit you.
Here are some other commonly asked questions about the therapy of floating:
Will I feel Claustrophobic?
If just thinking about putting yourself in a small space is making your palms sweat — fear not. You aren’t the only one.
While floating is an incredibly individual experience — and many people that suffer from a fear of small spaces have been able to float with no problems — there is no 100% guarantee that you won’t feel claustrophobic until you try it yourself.
That being said there are centers where there is no lid to the float tank, leaving you completely open and exposed to the rest of the room you’re in. If you opt to try the float tank with the lid, the cover is powered by hydraulics and can be opened with the slightest nudge.5
Is it expensive?
Depending on where you live, the use of float tanks range from single day uses to unlimited monthly memberships.
While it’ll be less expensive in the long run to opt-in for a monthly membership (you’ll typically get a discounted price on all floats), if you’re feeling skeptical talk to your studio about a first time floater’s discount!
Yes… that’s a thing.
Do you have to pay for multiple sessions to reap the benefits, or is one enough?
Since this is a rare experience, you might find that every time you enter a float pod will be different than the last time you were there.
Just like in a yoga class, there are days where you’re totally in it. And then there are days where you’re totally not in it, but you show up anyways.
It is 100% possible to experience feelings of relaxation, decreased stress, and lowered anxiety from just one floating session.5
Ready to Take the Plunge (or Step Into) a Float Pod?
So, here we are.
You’re either thinking that you’re ready to take the figurative plunge (and literal step) into trying a float tank for the first time…or you’re feeling hesitant.
Are you ready to gain a sense of clarity that you never realized was possible? Or are you content with settling with the life you have now?
Feeling like you want another form of self-care to add to your regimen?
Let’s be real — you deserve a break.
You deserve to better yourself in the one of the most natural ways possible.
And when you feel the call, you’re ready to try a float tank.
And we’re so excited to host this journey for you! At Sacred Moon, we offer an individual room with a private pod and private shower.
Everything you need to experience complete sensory enhancement.