Q:How do you keep the water clean?
A: Due to the concentration of salinity, and with the addition of hydrogen peroxide (we use a plant based solution called PeroxyZen check them out!) every evening, the water in the tank environment is extremely clean and hygienic. Like the Dead Sea in the middle-east the dense salt concentration is not conducive to microbial life. We also require our clients to shower before each float. In addition to these measures the water is also automatically filtered through a one micron filter between each session and continually throughout the day when not in use to ensure perfection.
Q:Do you wear anything while floating?
A: Since floating is a private experience most people don't wear anything. What you wear would probably be a distraction and the less sensory input on the body the better. So you don’t need to bring any kind of swim suit etc.
Q:What effect does salt water have on skin and hair?
A: Epsom salts are made up of a naturally occurring mineral that is found in water, more properly known as magnesium sulfate. Epsom salts are easily obtained at any drug store or supermarket. Inexpensive and versatile, the salts can be used for a number of different applications around the home. Many of the applications have to do with expediting healing, as well as improving the quality of the skin and help with basic grooming. In other words there are no detrimental effects on hair or skin. More information about the wonderful benefits of Epsom salt can be found here: http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org (If you have recently dyed your hair you must wait at least a week before floating)
Q:I'm a bit claustrophobic...
A: Fairly common concern and we’ve found mostly due to lack of information and encountering an unknown experience. The tank experience can be completely controlled by the user. The lighting and lid height can be adjusted to any comfort level from inside the tank and there are no locks or latches to be concerned with. What’s unique about the tank is that even people who are extremely claustrophobic are eventually able to fully use the tank with the light off and lid closed usually after just one session. The tank is quite large and most people are actually surprised how big they actually are once they see them in person. Once over their initial hesitations most people report feelings of expansiveness and lightness.
Q:Do I need to prepare in any way?
A: Not really but there are a couple of things worth mentioning. We advise that you avoid shaving on the day of your float. The high salt content can be very irritating to freshly shaved skin. We also provide Vaseline for any small cuts or grazes. The other thing we advise is to not eat a heavy meal before floating. If it’s your first time you might consider scheduling an appointment on a day where you don’t have any other commitments. Everyone’s experience varies a little but you’ll have a much better idea about everything after your first session.
Q:Are there any restrictions on who can float?
A: Virtually anyone can float but we do need permission wavers signed for anyone under 18 and a parent must be present for those under 16. There is a weight limit of 350lbs. People with kidney problems are unfortunately unable to float due to the magnesium. Special considerations are always taken into account with a consultation.
*No one under the influence of any illegal substance will be allowed to float and any one suspected of being so will be asked to leave and may risk being asked not to return.*
Q:Is there any risk of drowning?
A: The high buoyancy of the water makes it basically impossible for the individual to go beneath the surface. Once settled it is only possible to touch the bottom of the tank with a great deal of effort. Many people actually fall asleep during their sessions without any danger of drowning. There is also an attendant call button inside the tank if there is any kind of assistance needed.
Q:Is there any literature on the benefits of floating?
A: Yes. There is a wealth of material available regarding flotation and its effectiveness in a wide range of applications, particularly in a sporting and medical context. The following is just a small selection of publications that reveal some highly interesting data (well, as interesting as research data gets!), and even if you're a regular float devotee, some of these results will startle you. All of the clinical trials have been conducted by eminent scholars in their respective fields, running control experiments in tandem to ensure the accuracy of the results. In every instance, no matter what the scenario, subjects who have used the floatation tank prior to these tests have shown vastly superior results to those who did not float.
One of the best places to find plethora of concise and organized material on flotation is the definitive book on flotation, "The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea" by Michael Hutchison. Michael Hutchison's acclaimed book covers every aspect of flotation tank therapy, and is essential for float tank operators and regular customers alike. It makes for an invaluable tool for researchers and those of you who wish to be better informed before trying the tank for yourself.
Having been out of print for many years, this book has been republished, and is still considered to be the quintessential text on all aspects of flotation tank use. Included are step by step instruction to deep relaxation, improved athletic performance, control of habits & addictions, weight loss, reduction of anxiety & depression and accelerated learning techniques.
Hutchison has conducted extensive research, and he summarizes his findings for floating as an aid to health, wellness and deep relaxation.
A new chapter included in this latest edition tells of the author's own story of a miraculous recovery from complete paralysis, through his own application of the principles of floating, meditation and the concentration of willpower.
This is a thoroughly absorbing summary of the healing and therapeutic uses of the floatation tank.
R.E.S.T. (Restricted Environmental Stimulation) Research
In 1982, IRIS (International R.E.S.T. Investigators Society) was founded in order to give the increased number of R.E.S.T. researchers a platform to share their research findings. The goal of IRIS is to make a communication network available to R.E.S.T. researchers and those interested in R.E.S.T. and to organize an International R.E.S.T. conference every three years. The research papers which have been presented at these conferences have also been published in books. If you are interested in certain research topics concerning the effects of Floating (for example the effects of Floating on the enhancement of creativity, enhancement of sporting performance, stress management, biological effects, psycho physiological effects, hypnosis, skin disease, treatment of habit disorders or treatment of physical and psychological disorders such as anxiety, children with autism, pre-menstrual syndrome, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis) feel free to e mail us to request the relevant research documents.
The History & Development of the Flotation Tank:
The first flotation tank was developed in 1950 by the American neurophysiologist Professor Dr John C. Lilly while working at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Together with his associate Dr. Jay Shirley, Dr. Lilly became intrigued by the question of the origins of conscious activity within the brain. The question was whether the brain needed external stimuli to keep its conscious states active. Lilly and his associate set to work trying to devise a system that would restrict environmental stimulation as much as was practical and feasible. Lilly's first tank was one in which the floater was suspended upright, entirely underwater, head completely covered by an underwater breathing apparatus and mask (now you know where the producers of "Altered States" got their ideas!). Over the years Lilly continued his experiments with flotation, simplifying and improving the general design of the tank. Dr. Lilly found that he could float in a more relaxing supine position, rather than suspended feet downward in fresh water, if more buoyant salt water was used. Other refinements, such as water heaters with thermostats sensitive enough to keep the water at perfect temperature, an air pump to keep the air in the tank fresh, and a water filter for the re-use of the Epsom salts, were added over the years. By the early 1970's, Lilly had perfected the flotation tank in much the design used today.