Just hearing the words "sensory deprivation" or "isolation tank" is all it takes to make some people instantly break into a cold sweat and with all the misrepresentation about it in press and media, it's no wonder why so many people have misconstrued ideas about the world of floating.
Today, we're here to put all those misconceptions to rest. Get it? (R.E.S.T. = Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, the clinical term for floating.) Because floating is one of the greatest tools that exists for relaxation, pain management, and overall health & wellness and we truly believe everyone deserves to soak up the benefits of the tank.
Myth #1 - "I can't swim, so I definitely can't float"
According to TIME Magazine about 50% of Americans don't know how to swim but the great news is that 100% of people can float. Here's why:
Float tanks contain anywhere between 800 to 1000 lbs of epsom salt but are only filled with about 10-12 inches of water. The density of the water creates a uniquely buoyant environment that makes it pretty much impossible NOT to float, even if you were to fall asleep mid-float. Floating is safe enough that kids can float as young as ages 10-12 with parental guidance.
Myth #2 - "Sensory Deprivation is used for torture"
You know how there's good pain and bad pain? Good pain like when you're sore after a nice workout? Well, the same thing could be said for deprivation therapy.
There's the good kind like you see in hundreds of float spa's around the country and hear Joe Rogan raving about on his podcast. Then there's the bad kind that involves being locked in a dark room for weeks or months on end, which is actually meant to be torturous.
If used for the right reasons, sensory deprivation can be one of the most therapeutic and relaxing experiences for both the mind and body.
Myth #3 - "Floating in a tank isn't any different than floating in my bathtub, pool, or the ocean"
Technically, you can float anywhere there's enough room and water. However, the hard part is recreating a true sensory deprivation environment.
Even though the ocean contains salt water, it's not nearly as saturated as the water in the float tank. Meaning, you can still float but not nearly as easily or peacefully. It's also hard to completely rid light and sound in anywhere other than a fully enclosed environment, which is necessary in order to shut off your mind. Last but not least, it's hard to regulate water temperature in any other environment but a float tank and half the magic lies in having the your skin disappear into the feeling of the water. No hot tub, pool, or water formation can compare.
Myth #4 - "I can't float if I'm claustrophobic/have a fear of the dark"
Doing something for the first time (and sometimes even the second time) is always a little nerve racking, especially when you're in a new environment. However, the important thing to remember is floating in a sensory deprivation tank is completely safe so it's up to you to approach each float session with an open mind
It's completely normal to float with the light on or with music for the first 1-5 sessions until you feel comfortable enough to truly relax and let go of control. But never forget, YOU ARE IN CONTROL the entire time. Can't handle the entire 60 minutes? You are welcome to hop out of the tank at any point. Prefer to float with the door open and cracked and the lights on? That's totally okay.
They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone, right? Don't afraid to step outside of your comfort zone a little and step into the tank.
Myth #5 - "Float tanks aren't very clean"
There are several different types of float tanks on the market, all of which come with some sort of filtration system to keep the water sanitized. Our Float Tent, for example, uses two filters that clean the water with UV light and filter out any debris, hair, etc and is always running when the tank is not use. On top of this high concentration hydrogen peroxide is often used to help sanitize the water inside of float tanks along with regular maintenance and cleaning.
Myth #6 - "People see things inside of the tank/hallucinate"
Though you may hear of friends or people online that claim to have hallucinations inside of the tank while being sober, it's unlikely that you will experience something out of this world. What does happen is that during a float your brain enter's into the Theta state, which takes your mind into to a slower, almost dream-like state. This state is commonly experienced by the average person just before they drift into a deep sleep.
This post is sponsored by our friends over at www.floatationlocations.com. Check them out to find float tank locations worldwide, save with Float Saver deals, read about float tanks, vids and more!