Float Tank

Try Floating 3 Times, And Then Tell Me You Still Don’t Like It

I remember the first time I heard about floating. My brother described it to me by saying, “You lie in a giant bath tub and you can’t hear or see anything — it’s great!” ...Huh??

I thought he was crazy. In no universe did that sound enticing. Fast forward a few years and now my brother is running Zen Float Co. — an entire business developed around making float tanks. How is this working? Why do people like it so much they are willing to buy their own float tank? Still confused at why people enjoy this alien activity, I thought maybe I should try it.

Let me pause here for a moment and tell you a little bit about myself. I recently graduated from college and am working as a part-time yoga instructor. While I was in college, I had your typical existential crisis and was endlessly searching for my “purpose”. That is when I found yoga. It was a meditation that allowed me to look inward in a way that I never knew how to do. It built my confidence and developed a trust in myself, showing me that I do know what I want in life.

Why is this important? Because I thought I already had it figured out. My mental game was strong, I knew how to meditate and my anxiety was under control. I didn’t think I needed to float, I didn’t think it would bring me anything new. But considering my brother is a floating guru, I was urged to try it.  

So here I go, about to float for the first time. And I should mention — my brother made me promise him I would try it at least 3 times before I made up my mind about it. I rolled my eyes at him, “yeah, yeah, floating 1 time versus 3 times won’t make any difference, but sure”.  

So there I was, standing in the float spa, ready to go. Calming music played overhead, it smelled like essential oils, and the room felt peaceful and inviting. I was starting to like this place - it reminded me of being in an actual spa. So I stepped inside the tank and the water felt good. But then I shut the tank door. The light and music disappeared, I was left floating in this dark abyss, and I completely lost my mind. I became so disoriented, it felt like I was spinning and spinning and spinning in circles. Feeling trapped and lost, not knowing where the door to get out was, I felt the onset of a mini-panic attack. Quickly, I jumped out of the tank, my mind racing, I stared back at it trying to get my bearings.

After a few long, deep breaths, I regrouped and climbed back in the tank — this time leaving the door wide open. With the door open I could orient myself and got more comfortable in the tank, but I never got into any type of meditation.

Finally, my first float was over. I left feeling so angry and frustrated. Why wasn’t I able to relax? How is sitting in a dark, claustrophobic pod good for anxiety? I didn’t understand it, I didn’t connect with it, and I simply decided I didn’t like it.

I thought about the promise I made to my brother — I will go three times before I make up my mind about it. So I showed up to float a second time. I tried to keep an open mind, but was very reluctant to go as I remembered how scary it was the first time. I  thought to myself, “just get three floats out of the way and then you can be done”.

I climbed inside the float tank and didn’t even attempt to shut the door. I left it cracked, so only a little bit of light was shining through. And though it was a lot darker this time, I wasn’t completely disoriented. My body was able to relax and slowly my mind followed. I was able to get into somewhat of a meditation, but nothing profound happened, my life wasn’t changed. The float was over and I didn’t leave feeling completely discouraged. I just felt calm and pretty indifferent about floating.  

So now it’s my last time having to go. I was both excited to try it again and anxious to get it over with it. As soon as I stepped into the water, I knew it was going to be different. I felt instantly calm. I was immediately relaxed and all of my anxieties and stressors so easily melted away. I shut the door completely, so no light was getting in — and no disorientation! With all the noise and light that usually distracts me gone, I drifted off into another world. I got into the deepest meditation I have ever been in.

Ready to learn how to free yourself of stress, anxiety? Claim your free copy of this Amazon Best-Selling book before they're all gone!

Ready to learn how to free yourself of stress, anxiety? Claim your free copy of this Amazon Best-Selling book before they're all gone!

I lost all track of time and don’t remember what happened between the moment I first stepped in and the moment I got out. It almost felt as if I was sleeping, yet I was fully aware and in tune. I didn’t feel any sensation, in my body or my mind. All of my worries and my thoughts disappeared. I was completely free — free of pain, free of doubt, free of worry, free of fear. And afterwards, I felt so light. I walked out of the building like I was walking on clouds. I was glowing and beaming, feeling so much joy within myself.

Now I understand why my brother made me promise to try it at least 3 times. Removing all of our senses that usually distract us from what is really going on inside can be scary. As all your thoughts and pains release, emotion comes up and it can be terrifying to become aware. But slowly, you get used to darkness and the quiet, and eventually you crave time that is free of all sensation.

To this day, I still float. It gets me into a meditation state that I am unable to access in any other circumstance - even when I am practicing yoga. My body feels better, my mind is lighter and I can think more clearly. It is amazing what you can achieve in one session of floating compared to hours spent on other forms of meditation. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t like you’re first time. And, from the wise words of my brother, promise me you’ll try it three times before making up your mind.  

 

 

Behind The Author:

My name's Monique! I recently graduated from college and am currently a yoga instructor who will complete a 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training in August 2017. I also co-founded ZenAF, a space dedicated to helping millennials learn how to meditate and create their most badass life. 

Floating and the Red Carpet

A couple of weeks ago our company had a cool opportunity to go and setup a Float Tent on the red carpet in Hollywood, for E! Online's Live From the Red Carpet Oscars 2016 show. It was live to millions and we were beyond excited to get to show our product off on National Television for the very first time.

To represent our company we sent our co founder, Shane, and Jaymie, our head of marketing, to talk about our product and demonstrate how it works. 

Watch the clip below for a full replay of the segment:

 

If you haven't tried floating yet, what's stopping you? Book a float now at a center near you.

Or find out more about our home float tank setup by clicking here. 

The Zen Float Tent: Everything You Need to Know

The Zen Float Tent is an isolation tank. Ever seen the movie Altered States? Well…it’s nothing like that. Now that we got that out of the way, let me give you a quick rundown on what exactly an isolation tank is. Also known as a sensory deprivation chamber, it does exactly that…deprives your senses.

Zen sensory deprivation tank.jpg

How does it do this? The tank is well, a tank. Picture a rectangular box about the size of a twin bed. Got it? Now imagine roughly 12-inches of water completely saturated in Epsom salt.  The user gets into the tank and lays down, much like you would in say, a tanning bed. The interior of the tank is completely dark (depriving you of sight), and totally soundproof (depriving you of sound). The high proportion of salt in the water renders the user weightless (depriving you of touch). And lastly, both the air in the tank and the temperature of the water are set to match that of the human body, making it difficult to differentiate one from the other. By removing these external stimuli, the mind is then free to operate without restriction.

Isolation tanks were first introduced in the 1950s by a man named John C. Lilly. Lilly used the tanks in sensory deprivation research and its effects on the brain. If you short circuited reading that last sentence, just know that essentially Lilly was researching human consciousness. Groovy right? Other researchers like Peter Suedfeld and Roderick Borrie hopped on the bandwagon and continued isolation tank research through the 1970s. And yes, they did what all scientists in the 60s and 70s would do…experimented with mind-bending hallucinogens.

However, by the early 1980s isolation tanks had pretty much dropped off the grid. They remained in the shadows, used only by diehard enthusiasts until recently. Within the last 10 years, isolation tanks have seen a resurgence in private and commercial usage.  Up until now, if you wanted to float you could either fork over $15K-$30K for your own tank, or drop $50+ for a single-use session at a float spa. Now, most of us don’t have multiple thousands of dollars hanging around in our bank accounts so purchasing a private tank has only worked for a small fraction of the population. And unless you live in a progressive, free-thinking city (i.e., New York, Los Angles, Portland, Denver etc.) that actually has float centers, well then…you’re screwed.

By this point in the article your interested should be piqued just enough to want to know the essential question: Why float?

I could go on and on about the positive benefits associated with floating, but that might give me carpel tunnel trying to type it all out and you might get bored, so I’ll only give you the highlights. The first and probably most common reason to float is relaxation. The isolation tank gets rid of worldly distractions to allow your mind time to rest, think, and recharge. It’s pretty much like meditating….but way better. Folks who regularly float often report they feel more calm, centered, happy, and balanced.

In addition to experiencing all those feel-good emotions mentioned above, floating is also a helpful tool for pain management. Remember how I said the water is saturated with Epsom salt? Well, Epsom salt contains a high proportion of a compound known as magnesium sulfate. In an environment like the tank where the user is immersed in a magnesium rich solution, the salty water has the ability to draw toxins from the body, reduce swelling, relax muscles, aid with skin problems, lower blood pressure, increase the effectiveness of insulin (for folks with Diabetes), and can even help ease problems associated with the common old and congestion. Bottom line? Floating is good for your mind, body, and soul.

So now that you’re jazzed on floating, let me wrap up by bringing this whole thing full circle and coming back to the Zen Float Tent. The Float Tent is what it sounds like. It’s a sensory deprivation tent. It maintains all the traditional elements of the isolation tank, but in a new revolutionary design that is affordable and intended for home-use. For less than $1,800 users can purchase the Zen Float Tent and not have to worry about expensive plumbing issues, or time constraints. Set up the Float Tent in any part of your home and float as many times a week as you wish, for as long as you want.

This is cool not only for me as a writer, but for everyone in the floating community and industry. It is the first time that floating has been made available to the masses at a cost effective price. Think of the people who can now afford to float…and all the positive rewards from floating they’ll now be able to reap! Don’t know about you, but I’m excited for better vibes to be brought into the world. Many thanks to the creators of Zen Float Tents for making it possible.

Here is a link to our Kickstarter which will run until May 29th, 2014http://floatathome.com

Date Night Floating and the Benefits For Couples

Floating is a perfect bonding activity for couples.

Date night sensory deprivation tank.jpg

Picture the perfect date night: dinner, shopping, a movie, a concert or something as simple as a walk in the park. For extra romance, a date night may even include a couples’ massage or a night’s stay in a hotel.

Now you can add floating to an already perfect date night mix. It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but floating really can be a perfect activity for couples. Floating sessions are an individual activity, of course, but two tanks can equal a perfect date night activity.

blue sensory deprivation tanks.jpg

Many couples will schedule a couples’ massage to relax and connect through a shared experience. Floating can produce the same relaxing effect and offer the same avenue for connection through a post session discussion.

Every couple faces stress from work and home. Often stress found in work and family life creates roadblocks for a couple trying to have fun and relax. It can magnify problems and create friction and fighting in a relationship. Floating may not repair a relationship, but it does offer therapeutic effects. This can be in the form of both positive mental and physical energy.

Floating sessions calm frayed nerves and harried thoughts. Floating sessions relax tired bodies and minds. People will come out of the floating sessions calm, relaxed and refreshed. The rest of the night can be freed from stress and the couple is liberated to enjoy each other and to build their relationship.

girl in sensory deprivation tank floating.jpg

Floating can also be a good activity to add to a girls’ day out. Many women already go to spas and undergo different treatments like massages, facials and body wraps to rejuvenate their skin and body. Adding a floating session to regular spa activities will create the ultimate girls day out. A floating session is also a perfect way to start out the weekend. Doing a Saturday morning floating session, for example, allows people to recover from a work week and start out the weekend with their batteries recharged.

When it comes to floating the possibilities are endless. Floating has so many health benefits, that it is really the perfect fit anytime someone needs to rejuvenate their body and mind.

Mainstream media vs floating

Media promotes inaccurate stereotypes about the nature of floating. 

happy after sensory deprivation tank float.jpg

What do you see in your mind when you picture an isolation tank? What words enter your head when you think of floating?

If popular culture exerts a powerful influence in your life, there’s a good chance those thoughts and words are not positive. Mainstream media has never approached floating or float tanks with an open mind. The whole concept is treated as mysterious, dangerous or odd.

Zen Float Microphone.jpg

Floating traces its roots to ancient cultures and has improved the lives of thousands of people all over the world. Such a rich history does not seem to matter in mainstream media. You rarely see floating portrayed in a positive light.

Two viewpoints usually emerge when floating is discussed. It is mocked and dismissed as a bizarre new-age ritual by some critics. Other critics shroud it in fear and mystery and work hard to dissuade people from giving floating a chance by convincing them it will cause negative changes to their personality and character.

These stereotypes paint an inaccurate picture of the true effect floating has on the mind and body. Spending even an hour inside an isolation tank produces a multitude of positive changes.

Floating in a sensory deprivation tank.jpg

A person who floats feels better. Stress melts away. Pain decreases. Learning increases. New thoughts and ideas emerge from the unlocked subconscious mind. The best part is it feels good because it is natural to who we really want to be deep down.

Isolation tanks are not objects to be feared or ridiculed because of a lack of understanding. They can serve as the greatest tools for unlocking the mind and healing the body. A person who gives floating a chance can truly impact their own life in positive ways.

Media reports that fail to capture what the true essence of floating is have missed the point of why people do it in the first place.

Making the grade through floating

Floating makes your brain work smart instead of working hard.

Focus and Float in a tank.jpg

There’s a better way to get ready for final exams instead of staying up all night studying. Floating can unlock your brain power and help you get better grades.

What is the connection between a float tank and the classroom? A simple answer is that floating opens the door for improving concentration and retaining short-term memories.

Living in the digital age has made it harder for the human brain to carve out time for deep thinking. A fast food mentality has seeped into virtually every aspect of life. We don’t just want everything right now. We wanted it yesterday.

Floating study.jpg

This fast-paced world is creating a brain strain. A study done at the University of California, San Diego found that the average person living in the United States in 2008 processed three times the amount of information as their counterparts did in 1960. This is one reason why people now seem more rushed and frantic to get things done and less effective in doing those tasks.

Getting away from the noise and stress of the outside world calms the mind. It helps people refocus on what is important. Their brains work better because they become more attentive and improve their memory.

Zen Float taking notes.jpg

Spending even an hour inside an isolation tank is enough to calm your brain. You allow yourself to think more deeply than normal. Doing this will unlock your subconscious mind. It will stimulate creativity and innovative thinking.

After your time in the tank, problems that seemed impossible to solve may finally offer a solution. The mental clarity you get from floating beats a cram session any day of the week. It is like having an internal study aid and tutor rolled into one.