What is Floating?
Floating is letting go of all of your senses…resting your body; exploring your mind and soul. -Dylan Schmidt
Floating is a way to pause the hectic, saturated world and enter a state of deep mental and physical relaxation. By giving yourself a break from the endless input of sensory experiences, your mind has a chance to recharge, rest, and emerge to face the world with renewed perspective and energy. Otherwise known as floatation-REST (restricted environmental stimulation technique), floating is backed by research and offers immense potential for personal growth and healing.
How It Works
During a float, you step into a quiet, warm, private spa called a float tank and lay back on water in which 1000 lbs of Epsom salts have been dissolved. The water is more dense than the Dead Sea, so you will float right on top—we promise! This means that, after normalizing to the silky water, you will have no tactile input on your skin and no pressure points running along your body. You will be fully supported, and you will expend no physical energy to maintain your position in the water. The water is kept at a constant temperature of around 94.5 degrees, which feels warm at first but soon becomes almost imperceptible. The line between the air and the water becomes blurred. When you choose to turn out the lights, your eyes can rest in a comforting darkness that is the same if you open or close them. External sounds are kept to an absolute minimum through extensive soundproofing throughout Rivers Relaxation, earplugs, and the design of the tanks themselves.
Without the need to pay attention to changing stimuli, keep yourself vertical, navigate traffic, or have a conversation (unless with yourself), resources which are otherwise devoted to these and other tasks are free for use in problem solving, creative exploration, learning, or simply meditation, rest, and relaxation. Floating is a 60 minute savasana in a powerfully relaxing environment.
Emerging from a float is an experience in itself. Senses are sharpened, the mind is refreshed, and the world may appear more vibrant. The feeling is often one of peace, relaxation, happiness, and calm attentiveness. We encourage you to explore this state in conversation with our staff and others coming out of floats in our lobby. The effects of floating last for hours to days afterwards, and have the potential to last much longer.
What if I fall asleep?
It is completely safe if you fall asleep, you cannot sink because the density of the water holds you up. Once you let go and fully relax you may slip into the theta brain wave state, the state that feels dream like. Theta brain wave patterns are usually achieved through practiced meditation.
Will I feel claustrophobic?
The sensation of floating in the tank is more like floating in space than in a confined area and the Float Pod area is 6 feet wide and 9 feet long and has a spacious dome above. You are in complete control, if you want a light on or the door open until you are comfortable, you can. Once inside the tank, you are able to lose awareness of the walls around you and this allows you to rest in an experience of formless spaciousness. When your sense of space and time are not a factor, it is difficult to feel claustrophobic.
Is there anyone who should not float?
You should not float if you have epilepsy that is not under medical control, seizures, extreme low blood pressure, any communicable or infectious diseases, an active skin condition, open wounds, kidney problems or have incontinence or diarrhea.
You also should not float If you have gotten a tattoo or piercing that has not fully healed or have recently colored your hair that has not set, have hair color that does not run clear in your shower, or have recently applied self or spray tanner.
Can I float while menstruating?
Since everyone is different, use your discretion – if you would feel comfortable swimming in a public pool, yes. If not, wait until you feel more comfortable.
Can I float if I'm pregnant?
Absolutely! With the okay from your physician or midwife, you may float in your second or third trimester. Many pregnant women find floating helps relieve the joint pain and inflammation associated with carrying additional baby weight. Floating has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and boost endorphins which may help counteract the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy which can result in insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
Is there an age restriction?
At Rivers Relaxation and Wellness, we require written parental consent for anyone under the age of 18 to use our float rooms, anyone between the ages of 12-17 must have a parent on premises during the float session.
Can I bring my kids?
No. Floating is a personal experience with the point being to escape from outside stimuli. You will not be able to attend to your child’s needs during your float.
How is the water kept clean?
When your float is over the float pod will begin its state of the art cleaning cycle. The water is filtered through a continuous flow filter system, sanitized with ultra violet light and ozone. The salt density of the water in a float tank is higher than that of the Dead Sea, which makes it extremely difficult for germs or microbes to live in. We test our water daily to ensure that your float will be safe and comfortable.
How are the tanks kept clean?
The highly sterile salt water in the tanks is kept clean with a triple filtration process. First we use a 1 micron filter (Class 1 filtration) that is FDA compliant for drinking water. Second a combination of ozone and germicidal UV light disinfection creates a powerful oxidant that instantly oxidizes contaminants in the pool. Then we run this filtration through a total of 3 complete returns.
Why is it necessary to shower before and after my float?
Showering before the float helps to rinse and cleanse your body of product before entering the tank. Showering after the float helps to remove any Epsom salt from your body before you dress. Also, showering before and after functions as a nice sensory transition for entering and exiting your float experience.
What do I wear?
You can wear a swimsuit if you like but for full sensory deprivation we recommend floating in just your birthday suit!
What should I bring?
You will want to bring a hair brush and any cosmetics that you will want for after your float session. If you wear contacts, bring your contact case and solution. Rivers Relaxation will provide you with towels, ear plugs, a blow dryer, Vaseline to cover any scratches that you may have, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner for your shower.
Anything I need to know before I come in?
Avoid shaving before your float. Any cuts will be distracting due to the Epsom salt sting. If possible, eat a light meal 1.5-2 hours before your float, but avoid big meals. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants before floating. The float tank is trying to reduce stimulation and elicit the 'relaxation response'; stimulants like caffeine and nicotine will have the opposite effect.