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 500kg of 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.
WHAT IT DOES 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.
before you float
1. Don’t shave or wax before your float – Avoid shaving 12 hours prior.
2. Avoid floating on a full stomach - Have a light meal 2 hours prior to floating.
3. Remove your contacts before floating – because this will increase your eye comfort during your float
4. Don’t drink caffeine before 4-5 hours before floating – because caffeine is a stimulant and this counteracts the process of rest and relaxation
5. Try not smoking just before you float as it will stimulate you too much in the tank.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
+ 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).
+ Can I float while pregnant?
Our pregnant customers 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. Generally, floating is best experienced from the second trimester, though as every pregnancy is different, chat with your physician before coming in to see how floating can best benefit you and you baby during your whole pregnancy.
+ When Not To Float
- If you have just had a coffee
- Before shaving or waxing
- If you have eaten a large meal or nothing at all (you will be distracted by the sounds of your gargling stomach)
- If you are severely sun burnt or have just had a fresh tattoo within the past 5 days
- If you have dyed your hair with a water based dye
- If you are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
- If you are pregnant and you have not received permission from your health care practitioner
- If you are suffering from an unstable mental health condition, such as psychosis or have suicidal tendencies
- If you have kept your contact lenses in
- If you are an epileptic where seizures could endanger your safety in the float tank
- If you have extremely low blood pressure
- If you have impaired kidney disease
- If you have a severe skin condition (eczema) or a contagious disease or infectious skin condition and open/infected wounds
- If it has been less than two weeks since you experienced gastroenteritis/diarrhoea
- Those with asthma, a heart condition, diabetes should seek advise from their health care provider before coming in.
- If you have had chemotherapy (you will need to wait 2 months)
Beyond Rest Pricing
60 Minute Float
120 Minute Float