What is a float tank you ask?
My good friend, this was my first question when I had first heard about this unique ideology. A float tank [a.k.a. sensory derivation tank] is a tank(with a close-able lid) of around ten inches of body temperature water that is filled with about 900 pounds of epsom salts. The idea of that tank is to lose all sensations of the body by floating in complete darkness. People will float for relaxation, clarity, muscle soreness, regeneration, restlessness, stress, anxiety, addiction, and athletic performance to name a few. By floating your body will absorb high amounts of magnesium through your skin due to the dense salt content. A normal session will last anywhere from 1-2 hours.
Hearing about floatation tanks on the Joe Rogan podcast on numerous occasions had always left me with intrigue.The mysterious structures provide a myriad mental and physical health benefits. The tank seems something a bit futuristic but has been around for many decades.
Having meditated for the past couple of months floating seemed like a ideal place where one could kill(silence) the mental chatter that we rarely deal with in the crazy world that never seems to slow down. Just by reading up on information about floating it appears a lot of people could benefit from it.
Date back to last week – I was on facebook and I came across this post from onnit labs (a company that sells optimal nutritional supplements) which stated they were teaming up with float sites around the nation to sell their goods(I am a frequent customer of theirs and enjoy the products they make). This lead me to the Floatations Locations Site, that would lead me to The Float Studio located in Ocean, NJ. – I made the appointment online.
So after googling: first time float tank use, I got the gist of what I was getting into, but importantly I went into it with no expectations!
I arrived ten minutes early with feelings of excitement and curiosity, then was greeted by Pete the owner. He was a very down to earth and knowledgeable. Then I got shown the room I’d float in and given the rundown of how things worked. There is not really much to it. You take a pre-float shower> put earplugs in> get in the pod> shut door> turn light off> and relax.
The ambient music playing for the first five minutes gets you in a relaxed state. Once enclosed in the pod I turned the light out and began to lie down. I saw red lights as my vision adjusted to the darkness. Floating with zero effort was a strange feeling. The water felt real silky and smooth. Once I was floating, I started to enjoy the feeling of weightlessness and was unlike any experience I had ever had. Trying a couple of different body positions before finding that leaving my arms next my sides to be the most comfortable.
Being still and focusing on my breathing was when my thoughts were becoming more vivid as they arose. You could tell that there was this added dimension to the thoughts them self. It was easier to think in sense.
My breath would fall into a natural rhythm with time as I was becoming more mindful of my breathing throughout my body. Then short after I started to become aware of this vibration(think Jurassic Park when you slowly keep hearing that thump); thumppp, thumpp, thumpppp. What was this feeling? Then it hit me, I started to become conscious of my heart beat. The beat became stronger as more attention was put on it. We tend to forget we have this complex machine like body that is always maintaining itself.
Who thought doing nothing could be a so awesome.
I tended to glide into the walls of the tank from time to time. Then noticed if you don’t push off forcefully you go back towards the center with no effort. When I got really relaxed at one point I grazed the wall, feeling as if an angel had grabbed my hand very gently. I was really getting into it and exploring different facets of my mind. Time seemed useless as I began to float with ease – imagine floating in space, the sense of weightlessness was invigorating.
One thing that was discomforting was finding a comfortable position for my neck. There was pillow for your head but I chose not to use it, next time.
A bright blue beam of light illuminated the tank, as bubbles were coming out from under the water. My time was up. As I lost track of time the duration of the float felt like 45 minutes when in reality it had been 90. I got up slowly sitting in the glow of the blueness trying to comprehend my experience. I could feel this wave of tension being released as the water dripped off of my skin.
Moving slow I headed over the shower to rinse off, being aware of this calmness that had taken over me. I wasn’t sure If blood was rushing up to my head or what. Drying off there a sense of well being that stuck with me as I walked back out to the main lobby.
“How was your first float!?” asked Pete.
“AWESOME!” was my one word response.
Still having this after glow about me I grabbed some tea and chilled out in lobby for a bit. The whole idea of this consciousness technology fascinates me. I ended up talking to Pete for an hour after asking him questions, talking about life, and stating if more people were aware of this notion of doing nothing, the world might be a whole lot more tranquil. (It is really awesome to talk to people about there passions in life as they radiate with excitement in conversation) We were talking about how floating was helping everyone and anyone. I also noticed more fluidity in my conversation as words were coming out with ease as I’m not the best talker.
The float was $65 for 90 minutes. If you look at it as investing in yourself it is really not all that much(how much do you spend when you go out to the bar in a night?). I then ended up getting the Float Studios holiday special: 3 floats for $125.
Overall I had a very refreshing experience. As someone who works six days a week floating is a nice way to wind down after a stressful week. It was a present surprise to feel relaxed and positive leaving. The Float Studio was a great host for my first time and would recommend that venue to anyone in the area. I got a feeling as word gets out about the knowledge that something like this could actually have a positive change on the world.
AND WE’LL ALL FLOAT ON, OKAY.