Name: Mike Barcomb
Location: Plattsburgh, NY
Length of time you've been floating at home: 1.5 years
What made you get into floating and why do you love it?
Like so many others, I originally got into floating because I heard Joe Rogan talk about it on his podcast. The closest float center to me at the time was in Montreal, so I made an appointment to float and made the trip to give it a try. A year and a half after my one float, I heard about the Zen Float tank and bought one. To this day, I’ve only had one float session outside of my home.
I’m a Ph.D. student, business owner, college instructor, and father of two in a bilingual household. Needless to say, it’s really important for me to take good care of my body and mind, and I’ve grown to appreciate the give and take relationship between the two. Before floating, I knew my mind could strain my body, but I never knew how much the tension in my body was straining my mind. I have found that floating hits the reset button on my body, which allows my mind to relax. My relaxed mind then keeps my body relaxed, so, in short, I’d say the whole process is incredibly cyclical.
Any cool experiences floating that you want to share?
The first time I knew there was more to floating was when I went wakeboarding about five months after my first float. When I fell, I felt like I was more comfortable in the water than I had ever been— I was able to just relax and enjoy being in the water. Experiences like this have continued, and even though I don’t practice swimming, I somehow feel like a better swimmer than I’ve ever been. In short, I am increasingly becoming aware of my coexistence with water, which I think is a pretty cool discovery at age 32.
Floating for me really changed once I got over the “I’m going to have a psychedelic experience” view of floating. It took me about 20 floats to get beyond this limited view, and the whole thing became increasingly expansive for me when I started viewing floating more like relaxing on a comfortable couch. Similar to the rest of life, a lot of behavior has to be unlearned before true relaxation becomes a possibility. In short, floating at home has helped me unlearn a lot of not-so-great tendencies I was completely unaware of beforehand.
Any tips,tricks, or other advice you would share with other fellow floaters or Zen Tent owners.
So many people get annoyed when they have weeds in their garden, but it’s all part of having a garden. Over time, you start to appreciate weeds as part of the process. Similarly, there are a lot of “weeds” when it comes to maintaining a float tank (e.g., water level, filter bag, H202, pH, temperature, etc.). This was really frustrating for me at first, and I wished I had a more “hands-off” system.
While it took me a little while to learn how to balance everything, I think my initial effort in learning how maintain my tank has made floating that much more in synch for me. Floating is great, but floating in the conditions that I crafted is even better.
Lastly, my Zen float tent is part of my home. My tank is always just out of the corner of my eye, whether I am teaching online, doing research, or writing. Because I’ve experienced so many benefits, I hope to integrate floating into research and various learning environments in the future. At this point, floating is completely integrated into my work and life, and I’d like to see others enjoy these same benefits.