The tank was created by neurophysicist Dr John C Lilly 60 year ago when he was doing research on brain waves and altered states of consciousness.
The float tanks look like a large, enclosed bathtub. They are usually built from fibreglass and are designed to block out all external distractions, such as sights, sounds, tactile sensations and gravity.
The floatation tank contains a super-saturated Epsom salt solution, which is about 25cm deep. This creates an environment similar to that of the Dead Sea, letting you float effortlessly on the surface of the water and enjoy a feeling of weightlessness!
Once you are settled, it is almost impossible to tell which parts of your body are in the water and which aren’t. This will trick your brain into thinking that you’re floating in the air.
The buoyancy created by the Epsom salt solution effectively removes the effects of gravity on the body. This will make you feel weightless, letting every single muscle in your body fully relax.
With earplugs in and (if you choose) the tank’s interior lights switched off, the quietness and darkness will allow your mind to drift into a deep state of relaxation, creating a disconnection from today’s busy environment.
Outside distractions such as sight, sound, tactile sensations, and gravity fade away, so you feel like you're floating in space, losing track of where your body ends and the water begins. Noise from the outside doesn’t get to you. This is achieved by water and air being heated to your body temperature so you cannot distinguish between the air and water thus giving you the floating feeling.
“We had a Zen master who visited my lab once, and he asked to go in the tank for an hour. Most of his life he had meditated every day for four or five hours or more. And he thought the depth of meditation he reached in the tank was on par with a level he reached maybe once a year in his normal meditation environment—which was not exactly the middle of Times Square. He was amazed.” – Peter Suedfeld PHD
The reduced stimulation encountered in the floatation tank refocuses the your attention to internal stimuli. At first this includes the novel sensations of floating effortlessly in darkness and quiet. The sensations of the body become more salient, making the flotation tank a walk-in biofeedback device.
This natural biofeedback initiates a self-regulation process that encourages relaxation. This relaxation is augmented by the full body absorption of magnesium that elicits the release of muscle tension.
As physical sensations become less noticeable, mental activity can come to the fore. For those not used to being alone with their thoughts this can be difficult. However, even unpleasant thoughts become more pleasant as the body descends into a more deeply relaxed state. Eventually even the parade of thoughts subsides and the mind enters a meditative state.
Flotation therapy has been academically studied in the USA and in Sweden with published results showing reduction of both pain and stress. At the moment there have been 80+ studies done on the benefits of floating.
BEYOND REST FLOAT EXPERIENCE
The tank water is fully-filtered 3 3/4 times between each float, passing through a 1 micron filter and the Epsom salts are a natural disinfectant (supersaturated in the tank).
You get your own room complete with a shower for pre- and post-float, towels, ear plugs, robe, clothing hooks and a lockable door. This is your space to enter or exit the tank as you like.
Our staff members are experienced in floating and knowledgeable in the world of sensory deprivation. We've hosted over 30,000 floats, and want you to feel at home while you're here.
You will enjoy a full 60 or 120 minute float in your own private float suite with the spacious state-of-the-art Iso pod. Please allow an additional 15 minutes for pre and post float showers.
Towels and botanically infused shampoo, body wash, and conditioner are provided in the treatment room. Blow-dryers, lotions, and other amenities to prepare you for the outside world are available post treatment in our private vanity area.
RELAX POST FLOAT
Plan some extra time to visit our relaxation lounge to decompress before or after your float. Read a book, take some time to process your thoughts, and enjoy a cup of tea. Chat with other guests in the lounge or curl up by yourself and just be.
BENEFITS FOR YOUR BODY AND MIND
The relaxed state you get into while in the tank is a healing state for many conditions and is reported by researchers to:
- promote total calm and peaceful relaxation
- eliminates fatigue and jet lag
- quicken rehabilitation and recovery
- relieve pain from arthritis, migraines and injuries
- improve sleep, and alleviate both physical and mental stress
- energise and revitalise
- stimulate left/right brain synchronisation creating mental clarity and alertness
- shift brainwaves from beta to lower frequency levels, alpha, theta, and even delta waves
- accelerate learning, increase creativity, improve problem solving abilities
- heighten visualisation, deepens meditation and expands awareness
- enhance hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis.
- enhance the potential for lucid dreams
- increase your motivation and diminish depression, anxiety and fear
- increase your productivity as you are clear and ready to work on whatever it is that is important to you
- facilitate freedom from habits, phobias and addictions
- Improve athletic performance, speed the healing process, and prevent sports injuries.
- boost immune function
- decrease the production of cortisol, ACTH, lactic acid and adrenaline which helps reduce stress, and relax you
- increase the production of endorphins
- increase and improve the circulation and distribution of oxygen and nutrients
- help in healing people with fibromyalgia
- reduce blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption
- increase everyone's overall motivation in the workplace.
Floatation compares well with other stress management techniques such as long vacations. A one hour float is like having a mini-vacation.
Tips & Best Practices
For men, avoid shaving your face at least 6 hours before you float. For women, avoid shaving your body at least 12 hours before your float. Any lesions will be distracting due to the Epsom salt sting.
A super full stomach is not great for floating, nor is the emptiest of stomachs. Having a light, easily digestible meal 1.5 to 2 hours pre-float is probably ideal.
Being dehydrated before the float may not be the best state, particularly for your brain. A healthy daily hydration practice is just good for optimal biology!
Be sure to use the bathroom prior to showering before you float. Talk about a distraction while in the tank.
Smoking just prior to going in the tank may stimulate you too much. Even if you are craving a cigarette being in the tank may very well suppress your craving. However, you’ll need to figure out what the best formula is for you and your biochemistry.
Definitely avoid having caffeine before you float. The stimulation you experience from caffeine is the exact opposite way you’ll want to go when you are in the tank. By the end of your float you most likely will not feel like you need your fix.
+ Coupling activities
Performing physical activity (yoga, cardio, or resistance training) before you float can greatly enhance the floating experience. Your body has expended pent-up energy, muscles and tissues are loose and flowing with blood, your mind is clear and calm. Adding floating to this state can potentially create a deeper state of meditation. Be sure to have a little snack (not junk food) post-activity and pre-float. Nuts, fruit, juice, or smoothies are good options… Just not too much.
IN THE TANK
Your breath can be an amazing tool for calming the mind and relaxing the body. Try to breathe primarily through your nose. At first, you can consciously take deep breaths, but once you settle into your experience try less to manipulate the breath and more to just observe the breath. Your body will always remember to breathe, there is no need to control your breath.
The most important thing is to get comfortable. There are only two real positions in the tank.
With your arms at your side, palms down or arms over-head with your palms up. Play around with the two to see which feels better for your body. Also, try to position your body in the middle of the tank to avoid “ping-ponging” from side to side. To do this, brace your arms and legs against the sides of the tank to position your torso in the middle, and once you feel the water to be calm, slowly and evenly retract your limbs back to the mid-line of your body. Try not to generate any momentum from either side so that you remain in the middle and avoid the distraction of bumping into the side. Once you like your position and feel comfortable try to remain still and consciously relax all of your muscles.
+ Letting go (lack of effort)
Don’t “try” to do anything in the tank, don’t force something to happen, don’t expect something to happen; this is the exact opposite direction from where you want to go while in the tank. You will not fall asleep necessarily, just be present. Repetition of a focus word such as “peace”, “relax”, or “let go” spoken in your mind in unison with your exhalation can help at first, but the message here is to just let go of conscious control.
Being physically still by finding a comfortable position and remaining there combined with stilling your mind through breath awareness or a focus word (mantra) can lead you into a state of holistic stillness. This can generate the perception of timelessness. Your state of being will be extremely relaxed and this is when the body is in a state of healing.
With external stimuli at a minimum, your nervous system will turn up the volume to try and sense anything. Since there is nothing coming in there is a great opportunity to simply sense whatever is left to be felt within your internal body. Feel your arms, legs, torso, head, as intensely as possible. Cultivate as much sensitivity to these parts as possible. Feel the energetic uniform consistency of these parts and observe them without judgment, without limits. Observe your thoughts, emotions and sensations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please review the list below, and if you still have questions, please ask.
+ Do I need to bring anything?
We provide the essentials. A towel, robe, earplugs, hairdryer, cotton buds, natural moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner, body wash. Feel free to bring anything else you may need.
+ What if I’m claustrophobic?
People with claustrophobia consistently report no problems with floating. The pod is 7 1/2 feet long and 4 3/4 feet wide. You’re always in control of your environment, and you can get out at any time.
+ Can I drown if I fall asleep?
Nope. Some people fall asleep, but the water is so buoyant that you stay afloat. The worst that can happen is getting woken up by a bit of salt water in your eyes.
+ How are the tanks kept clean?
The high saline content of the floatation environment plus a tiny amount of disinfectant ensures that nothing harmful can survive within the tank.
The highly sterile salt water is fully filtered three and three quarter times between each float, passing through a 1 micron filter and is sanitised with UV light. Further cleanliness is assured as we tell all customers to shower before and after each float session. See here for more info on how sanitisation is maintained within the tank.
+ Can I bring a Friend?
Absolutely. You can’t float together in the same tank, but you can book floats at the same time.
+ Can I float if I’m menstruating?
Yes. Just follow the same protocol you would for a swimming pool.
+ Is this new-agey mumbo jumbo?
Floating has been around for over 50 years, and has oodles of published research to back it up. No mumbo or jumbo here.
+ Will I have my own private room?
Yes, you have your own private pod room equipped with your own personal shower, which you’ll use before and after your float. For this reason, most people do not wear a swimming costume as this presses against the body and takes away from the experience.
+ What should I do to prepare?
Don’t drink coffee for four hours beforehand (it can make your system jittery). Also, don’t shave or wax since the salt water can irritate your skin. Eating a light meal about an hour to 90 minutes ahead of time stops your stomach from sounding like an angry monster while you float. Other than that, there’s no specific preparation needed.
+ Do I need to bring anything?
If you have longer hair, you may want to bring a comb. Also, something to put your contact lenses into while you’re in the tank. Other than that, we provide everything you need (towels, robes, earplugs, body wash/shampoo,…)
+ Are there any side-effects?
Not in the true sense of the word. Some first-time floaters can emerge from the tank feeling slightly nauseous. This is actually a good sign as it indicates that built-up stress is in fact leaving the body. We very rarely experience any cases of nausea in subsequent visits.
+ Do I get dehydrated from soaking for so long?
No, your skin doesn’t even prune up! You do absorb a lot of magnesium from the Epsom salt though…
+ Do I have to stay in the whole time?
There aren’t any latches on the tank doors, so you can get out anytime. That said, the 90-minutes usually goes by waaaay faster than you’d expect (the average floater usually says it felt like 20-30 minutes long).
+ I’m pregnant. Can floating harm my baby?
Absolutely not. Pregnant women love floating! There is even a special position you can float in that relieves all of the weight of the baby off of the mother’s body. The float tank is a wonderful haven to which pregnant women can escape. If you are in your third trimester, or have any concerns, please consult with your physician before coming in.
Beyond Rest Pricing
60 Minute Float
120 Minute Float