In April I went down to Vancouver for 4/20 while I was there I finally had my first float at Float House in Gas Town. In this blog post I'm going to talk about the process and my experience from a first timer's perspective
First you might be asking wth is a float tank? Simply put it's a tub with a lid that is heated at your bodies' natural temperature it is filled with 10 inches of water and 800 pounds of epson salts.
The high concentration of salt causes you to float and when the lid is closed there is no light, and it's compeletly silent so you experience "sensory depervation"
Why would one want to hangout in a dark, silent bath tub you ask? Well
- Pain Management
- Chronic Stress Relief
- Decrease Chronic Muscle Tension
- Time to use Visualization
are just of the few reasons see more here
Alright, let's go through my experience
Upon arrival it felt like I was in a spa, the atmosphere was chill and I was greeted by a gentleman behind a desk. I told him this was my first float and he gave me a quick video to watch so I knew what to expect.
Then I had to sign a waiver and pre paid for my float
After agreeing I wouldn't sue them for anything and I'd pay if I wrecked the place I was led to my float room.
Inside the private room was obviously the tank, a shower, bath robe, towel, ear plugs, pre float soap/shampoo and post float soap/shampoo
First I needed to strip down and have a shower, there was shampoo and body wash there to use prior to the float so I showered, I put in my ear plugs and then opened the door.
The water was warm and felt thick, when I touched my skin it felt a bit slick almost slimy but not in a weird gross way. It definitely felt different than being in a bath, I could feel the buoyancy caused by the salt water.
As I was sitting in the tank I splashed the water a bit like a child, did a quick breathing meditation and some positive self talk before laying down. I was a bit nervous about being in pitch black and not being able to find the handle to push the door open so I laid down and kept the door open at first, after a few minuets I was comfortable enough to close the door.
It felt natural, I was impressed with how fast I was able to let go and float into the experience. I'd say like a 1/3 of my body was out the water but inside the tank is warmed to your bodies natural temperature so it doesn't feel cold, there is actually a lack of feeling in the tank, outside stimulus is muted, it's only you for an hour and a half.
At first my mind was pretty busy but it was easy for me to stay still to avoid bumping into the walls. My body twitched a bit and at times it felt like the water in the tank was sloshing around even though I was or thought I was completely still. I have no idea how long it took me to fully relax, you loose sense of time in that tank.
Apparently extended periods of time in a float tank can cause visual hallucinations, unfortunately this was not the case for me.
But I did have an interesting moment, I was in a state of complete mediation, which I often find hard to do because my brain is so freaking busy, I was totally unaware of myself then I felt my heart area or heart "Chakra" if you're into that just bust open. Like a thousand birds in a cage and the door was opened and they all flew out. It jolted me back to consciousness, and took a moment for me to regain my composure. I couldn't fully relax again and couldn't stop wondering what time it was so I opened the float tank door and checked my phone, my hour and a half was almost over.
Since there was still a bit of time and the music hadn't come on yet (the cue your float is over) I got back into the tank and reflected on my experience
I was amazed at how fast the hour and a half actually went by, it's hard to tell how much time I spent aware or unaware of myself. I did spend some of my time thinking about some stuff I'd kinda been ignoring in my life and sort through it a bit but I was also able to mediate and clear my mind.
I felt anew, like a reset button had been pushed.
Then the music came on and I got out to shower. My body felt strange as I took my first step, it was heavy and felt awkward, like what I imagine a space man's first steps back on earth would be like.
As I was showering the tank kicked into self cleaning mode, which made me jump.. kinda wish I had been warned of that. It was a harsh jolt out of the relaxation I felt but I quickly eased back into peace after I realized what was going on. After I was done showering I got dressed and left my private room.
There is a lounge to hang out in, relax after you finish, and also a book to write in. I grabbed a glass of water then sat down on their couch to read other's experiences. As I read others peoples stories I couldn't help but feel connected to them, I cried as I read a few. I'm usually sensitive, but this felt different.. and I wondered if I had opened up my heart chakra. I took a moment to be grateful that I am healthy, happy, and whole.
I felt so calm and at peace, a part of me didn't want to leave and face the busy, chaotic streets of the big city, fearing it might ruin my high. I stayed for about 15 minuets before leaving. When I got outside everything looked brighter, crisper and despite the hustle of the city I was still calm.
Which I think is the main reason float tanks are so popular it's a comfortable escape from the outside world that benefits the mind, body and soul.
If your city has a float tank facility I would suggest you try it, I totally enjoyed my first float. In a couple weeks I'll be going back to Vancouver and I will be going by the Float House for round two.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.
Much Love, Stay High - Ash