Our float tanks contain 10 inches of a 30% Epsom salt (MgSO₄) solution created by mixing 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt into 180 gallons of water. Our bodies have over 300 functions that require Magnesium, and we’re all deficient…so just soaking in our solution provides a wide array of benefits. However, the main reason we use it is to help you float effortlessly. By removing gravity’s effects from the body, your spine lengthens and falls into natural alignment as your body lets go.
We have a finite amount of energy which gets used for our surface level needs, not always getting to our deeper needs. We use 20-30% of our energy in any given moment fighting gravity. So by removing its effects, we give ourselves a 20-30% energy boost to help recover from workouts and injuries as well as fight off illness, inflammation and even disease.
The other goal is to remove external stimuli. The rooms are soundproofed so you don’t hear anything. When you’re ready, you turn the light off so you don’t see anything. And the temperature of the environment is set to be the same as your external temperature so you don’t feel anything.
This environment induces a meditative state which reduces stress and anxiety, increases focus and clarity, and inspires creativity. It is also an environment of homeostasis for the body. With no external stressors, your hormones come to balance; your blood pressure, heart rate and breath rate lower; and your blood flow increases.
We provide everything you need for your float. In each room, you will find a tray on the bench containing earplugs, face wipes and a plant-based Vaseline alternative. The earplugs are used primarily to keep salt out of your ears, face wipes to remove makeup and “un-petroleum” jelly for protecting cuts or scrapes that may be sensitive to the salt. The earplugs are made of silicone and should be rolled into a ball in your hands, warming them until they become malleable. Place the ball into your ear and flatten it to create a seal. You’ll want to do this before you shower because you get a better seal while dry.
Your body and hair being clean and free from lotion, hair products, deodorant and perfumes is an important step in the process of keeping the solution pristine for everyone. It’s a “pay it forward” situation. When everyone showers thoroughly before entering the tank, we all benefit. You’ll be floating in your birthday suit, but if you feel more comfortable in a bathing suit, please shower in it to remove ocean water, sand and detergent. Please shower using shampoo and shower gel only. Please refrain from using conditioner during your pre-shower because that will bring oils into the tank, but feel free to use it during your post-shower.
The float environment is set to be the same temperature as you, so we suggest taking neutral temperature shower. We find that if you take a hot or cold shower, that will affect your body temperature making it feel cool or warm and increasing your adjustment time.
You’re obviously getting wet again so you don’t have to dry your entire body, but we suggest drying your face and hairline well before getting in. Not only does the salt solution irritate any cuts you may have, but being about twice the salinity of the ocean, it also stings if you get it in your eyes. The less you touch your face, the better, and we find that if our face is wet, it can be itchy and distracting as the water moves or evaporates. We also place a small towel in each tank for you in case you have an itch you can’t resist or need to make any adjustments.
The only other thing in the tank with you is a neck support. Sometimes while getting used to the new environment and maybe not trusting the solution to support your head, you may hold tension in your neck and not fully let go. This will eventually lead to discomfort that the neck support will relieve. So start by rolling your neck out and find a natural spot for head to sit. Another factor in your comfort is your arm position. We are all built and shaped different so we all float differently. Try different positions with your arms — over your head, at your sides, across your chest or stomach, or whatever seems natural for you. There is no right or wrong way to float.
The room lights are on a motion sensor so please do not touch the switches. Just get in the tank and they will turn off shortly. Then they will come back on when you open the tank.
Once you’re in, you may close the door if you choose. Opening and closing the tank during your float is totally in your control. Although you’ll lose some of the warmth, you can leave the tank open if you’d like. You can also roll a towel to prop the door open. Each tank has a fan so there is air circulation keeping it from getting too stuffy. Whether you just need a quick breath of fresh air, you’re ready to get out or your time is up; just push on the door to open it as there is no button, latch or knob.
Whenever you’re ready, you can turn off the light by pushing the button. It sticks out from the wall so that you can find it in the dark. Whether you need to find the neck support or towel, or you just want to check in with reality, you may turn the light on and off throughout the float.
When your time is up, the light will come on. You’ll be encrusted in salt so squeegee your body and wring your hair leaving what you can in the tank. Then ease yourself out and shower again. If the earplugs leak or you choose not to use them, rinse your ears with the squirt bottle in the shower which contains a 50/50 vinegar/water solution that will help remove any salt residue.
When you’re done, just leave the towels in the room…we will clean them up. Enjoy a cup of tea or kombucha in our lounge and then go about your day enjoying your post-float-glow.
You may ask yourself “is this some new age mumbo jumbo?” Of course not. Float tanks have actually been used for science since the 1950’s.
Isolation tanks and the idea of sensory deprivation were first developed by Dr. John C. Lilly in the 1950s while attempting to isolate the mind from the body for the National Institute of Mental Health. Two of his subjects, Glen and Lee Perry, helped Lilly redesign the tank making it more accessible to the general public. Initially, the tanks were upright and filled with sea water. Subjects would wear a breathing apparatus and be suspended under water. By laying the tank on its side and switching to a higher concentration of the less corrosive Epsom salt, floaters are able to lay back and float away.
John C. Lilly is commonly known as the originator of the sensory deprivation tank, but it was the Perrys who invented the modern float tank. Their company was named Samadhi after the 8th chakra which is above your crown and signifies enlightenment. By 1979, the first float center was open to the public in Beverly Hills, CA which had five tanks and was run by Samadhi.
Float centers started popping up all around the world for years but took a drastic decline in the late 1980s and 90s. Finally there was regrowth in the 2000s and by mid 2010s, we entered float industry 2.0. Float tank manufacturers multiplied offering more options. There are international conferences every year where people from around the world gather to share cutting edge information and inspire the community. Float centers are at an all time high with more centers opening their doors every day, and we are excited to be at the forefront of the industry in South Florida and beyond.
In between each floater, the tank circulates the solution through the filter at least five times, meeting the strictest of health code standards across the US. Plus, with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, the solution has a similar mineral content to the Dead Sea in which nothing can grow. Ozone (O₃) and UV light are built into the filtration system and are the primary sanitizers. A couple ounces of a high percentage hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) is the only other addition. Ozone is one oxygen molecule more than air, and hydrogen peroxide is one oxygen molecule more than water. As ozone and hydrogen peroxide pass through the UV light, the extra oxygen molecules are removed creating hydroxyl radicals which act like magnets attracting any particles in the solution that are too small for the filter until they become large enough to be removed. This process physically removes any contaminants from the solution, and air and water are the only byproducts. This process in recommended by the Center For Disease Control (CDC) and the Float Tank Association (FTA) and is much safer for floaters than the alternative option of bromine. While bromine will kill anything in the solution, it does not help remove it. Bromine also burns off into a gas that will hang within four inches of the surface and is toxic to breathe, especially in a closed tank.
In addition to cleaning all touched surfaces between floaters and sanitizing daily, we close half of Monday for our deep clean to scrub the entire room including the inside and outside of the tanks. We also use this time to top off with water and add Epsom salt.