float tank

How To Experience Sensory Deprivation At Home

Float tanks and people raving about sensory deprivation seems to be all over the media these days. From professional athletes that float, like Steph Curry and the New England Patriots, to comedians Joe Rogan and Duncan Trussell.

So what is all the hype about? And if they are that great (which, they are), how can I experience it at home?

To answer this question let’s dive a little deeper into sensory deprivation and float tanks...

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What is sensory deprivation?

Sensory deprivation is technically when you “deprive” your senses of all stimulus, such as light, sound, touch, etc. Though this may sound freaky, sensory deprivation is a great way for your body to fully relax, your brain to refresh and for you to take a moment, disconnect and be with yourself. This technique is commonly used in meditation, as it allows easier access to deeper meditative states.

As you are probably thinking, it can be very difficult to get total sensory deprivation in today’s world. And that is where a sensory deprivation tank, or a float tank, comes into play. These tanks make it extremely easy to achieve this sensory deprivation. A float tank is basically a giant pod filled with body-temperature, salt-water. The water is supersaturated with epsom salt, so any person can float easily on top of the water. And, because you are in a pod, no light or sound enters, helping to completely remove you from outside stimulation. And with the relief of gravity, your mind and body can relax too.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the different types of float tanks.    

 

What does it feel like to be in a sensory deprivation tank? 

At first, heading into a sensory deprivation tank can seem a little scary. A lot of fear can come up around being claustrophobic and getting anxious (even though floating helps with anxiety… but more about that later). But once you get comfortable and are able to relax, being in a sensory deprivation tank is like nothing else. You feel weightless. Not only in your body but also in your mind. There is no pain in your joints or neck or back. Eventually your mind starts to relax too, you reach a state of deep meditation, and it almost feels like you are asleep.

For anyone new to floating we recommend trying it three times before deciding whether or not it’s for you. That will allow you a few floats to find your groove and get comfortable. For tips on your first float and avoiding claustrophobia check out this blog: 6 Steps To Overcoming Claustrophobia And Enjoying Your First Float   

 

Benefits of Floating 

It's important to understand first what sensory deprivation does to the body, so you can understand why it has so many positive health benefits. 

Sensory deprivation from a float tank provides the body with relaxation, relief from pressure + tension, and a chance to heal sore muscles. Float tanks are filled with over almost 1,000 pounds of epsom salt, and the magnesium in the epsom salt helps break down lactic acid that has built up in the muscles. This allows any tightness or soreness to decrease within the body and prompts muscles to relax. Also, you are lying down but fully suspended in water. This takes the pressure from work and gravity off of your body. It allows your spine and joints to be released of any weight that may be pressing down on it.

The epsom salt in the tanks also lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is our stress response hormone, and even a slight increase in stress can build up overtime increasing your cortisol levels. When our cortisol levels are too high for too long we start to experience anxiety. And floating actually lowers these cortisol levels, helping you relax.  

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Sensory deprivation and floating have a similar effect on the brain as meditation. But, there is much research specific to floating and the brain thanks to Dr. Feinstein at the Laureate Institute of Brain Research. His work has shown that floating in a sensory deprivation tank can have the same effect on your brain as taking anti-anxiety medication (Schumann).

Not only does floating help ease anxiety and panic, but it can also reduce chronic pain in patients suffering from fibromyalgia (Kjellgren, Anette, et al) and patients with severe whiplash (Edebol, Hanna, et al). Though these are very specific studies, floating can reduce pain and tension throughout the entire body.

Lastly, many people using floating for their creative endeavors. One study found that floating boosted creativity by assisting one to think more freely. And floating has been used as an effective tool for problem solving, brainstorming new ideas, and learning new information. 

CLICK HERE to read more about the benefits of floating.

 

How do you achieve sensory deprivation at home?

As mentioned above, the easiest way to achieve sensory deprivation is with a float tank because that is exactly what they are designed to do. There are generally two ways to access a float tank. The first is to go to a float center. Believe it or not, there are full-on float spas popping up all over the world. CLICK HERE to find a float center near you. Some of the benefits of going to a center is you will meet like-minded people, and the employees are float experts who will be able to set you up with everything you need for an enjoyable float. However, they can get costly depending on how often you float.

Two alternatives to going to a float center are either building or buying a tank for your home. Up until only a few years ago a sensory deprivation tank would cost upwards of $20k to purchase. However, now with Zen Float Tent/Tank you can get started with a floating practice at home for just a few thousand dollars. And if you float enough this will save you money and time. Some more pro’s to having a float tank is you can float at your own convenience, no scheduling necessary. Plus, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.   

If you want to learn more about the new Zen Float Tank CLICK HERE   

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There is also the option to build your own float tank. The founder of Zen Float Co. built his own home tank about 8 years ago.All of his plans to build an at-home float tank can be found online at isolationtankplans.com. This comes with shopping lists, receipts and step-by-step instructions.

 

Confused about what option would be the best for you?

Register for a FREE float consultation with one of Zen’s floating experts by clicking the button below. They will be able to answer any questions and come up with a solution of the best floating options for you and your lifestyle.


Bibliography

  1. Edebol, Hanna, et al. “Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorders and Their Treatment Using Flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique).” Qualitative Health Research, vol. 18, no. 4, Apr. 2008, pp. 480–488

  2. Kjellgren, Anette, et al. Effects of Flotation-REST on Muscle Tension Pain. Karlstad University, Sweden, Nov. 2000.

  3. Norlander, Torsten, et al. “Treating Stress-Related Pain with the Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique: Are There Differences between Women and Men?”Pain Research & Management : The Journal of the Canadian Pain Society, Pulsus Group Inc, 2009.

  4. Norlander, Torsten, et al. “Effects of Flotation REST on Creative Problem Solving and Originality.” Research Gate, Dec. 1998.

  5. Schumann, John Henning. “Floating Away Your Anxiety And Stress.” NPR, NPR, 16 Oct. 2017.

  6. Seppala, Emma. “20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 11 Sept. 2013.

  7. Turner, J W, and Thomas H Fine. “Effects of Relaxation Associated with Brief Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) on Plasma Cortisol, ACTH, and LH.”Research Gate, Apr. 1983.

  8. Vigneron, Peter. “Steph Curry's Secret to Mental Strength.” Outside Online, 14 Nov. 2016

  9. Vigneron, Peter. “Steph Curry's Secret to Mental Strength.” Outside Online, 14 Nov. 201

  10. Wagaman, Jeffrey D., et al. “Flotation Rest and Imagery in the Improvement of Collegiate Basketball Performance.” Research Gate, Feb. 1991

The NEW Zen Float Tank: Your Top Questions Answered

Three years ago we were just 3 guys with a dream, a dream to make floating affordable. When we realized that water could be held in flexible affordable materials, the Float Tent was born!

After a huge success on Kickstarter we began our journey as a company. We got a factory, a distribution center, hired a whole team and made it through 3 years of startup. It was not easy, but we made it. Now the new Zen Float Tank brings everything we've learned into one amazing product. 

Because of the huge amount of support we received on the Kickstarter last time, we thought it only made sense to come back and launch this new product on Kickstarter with the community that originally helped us get started. But we're not just back, we're back with the best thing to ever happen to the home floating market:

The NEW inflatable Zen Float Tank

 
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This new tank is going to revolutionize how people experience the benefits of floating from their homes. It takes on an entirely different design, made from state-of-the-art drop-stitch technology and it is fully inflatable, unlike the original float tent. 

Our goal with this new float tank is to make the setup process that much easier for owners, improve the durability of the tank and enhance the aesthetic of having a tank in your home.

With any new product, comes lots of new questions, so we compiled a list of FAQ's about the new tank to answer them all in one place. 

FAQ About The Zen Float Tank

 

Q: What’s new about this tank?

  • Design

We stuck with the original pyramid design for the shape of the tank because it allows condensation from the warm-water to run down the sides of the tank and back into the tub, preventing water from dripping off the ceiling and interrupting your float.

  • Material

The Float Tent was made from stainless steel poles with a vinyl cover while the new tank is fully inflatable made from drop-stitch technology — similar to inflatable stand up paddle boards and kayaks.

Drop-stitching combines tens of thousands of finely woven threads connecting two pieces of polyester fabric. Each thread is evenly spaced between the two pieces of fabric, locking the unit into place and creating a rock-sturdy and solid inflatable product.

This new inflatable design is also more insulated than the previous vinyl cover because of the all the layering, making it 40% more efficient. This will help keep your tank and water warmer, and allows you to put it in less comfortable places like a basement or garage.

  • Heater Pads, Temperature Controller, Filtration

The new version will use the same heating pads, temperature controller, and filtration system as the previous edition. Thus, if you already have one of the original Float Tents, you can keep those and just purchase the new tank at a discounted rate (see below for details on upgrading your old zen tent).

  • Size

The old tent’s dimensions were 8’ x 4’ x 6’, with a volume of 77 cubic feet. The new tanks dimensions are 9'10" x 4' 9 " x 6'5", with a volume of 99 cubic feet. This results in a 28% increase in space, with more head room and more room in the bed to float. 

 

Q: When does it launch on Kickstarter and what is the price?

Our Kickstarter officially launched, April 16, and will be running for 60 days. The Kickstarter prices run at a discount from what the regular price of the new tank will be. Below is a breakdown of the kickstarter pricing :
- Upgrade $2200 - only available for previous Float Tent Owners
- Earliest Bird Tanks $2,625 (-25%) - Sold Out
- Early Bird Tank $2,800 (-20%) - 20 available at this price
- Float Ready Package w/ Salt + Shipping (Lower 48 states only) $3,950 (-17%) - 30 available at this price
- Multiple Tank Purchase Specials: 2 Tank Special - $5,040 (-28%) & 4 Tank Special - $9,520 (-32%)
 

Q: What about if you are a current Zen Float Tent owner?


If you already own the first Zen Float Tent you will be able to upgrade to the newer version. This upgrade will be available through Kickstarter. You will keep your current filtration system, temperature controller and heater pads and send back everything else.
 

Q: Which countries do we ship to?  
 

During kickstarter we will only be shipping to the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. If you live in a different country and would like to purchase a tank, please email us at randall@zenfloatco.com 

Q: Is the tent still available? 
 

Yes, as of right now the Zen Float Tent is available, and will be until further notice. The tent can be purchased from our website at zenfloatco.com/shop

Ready to reserve your NEW Zen Float Tank? CLICK HERE to visit the Kickstarter page and learn more.

[Video] - How To Fill Up A Float Tent: Part 2

This is the second video in a two-part video series showing you all the steps that go into filling up a float tent, installing the pumps and cover, and getting the Float Tent ready for your first float. 

In this video our team covers:

  • How to install the filter pumps, tubes, tent cover and door poles.
  • Tips and tricks for the best home install
  • The main differences between the v1.0 and current 1.5 new and improved model of the Float Tent
  • What to do if your tank gets a leak or tear 
  • Tricks for sound-proofing
  • Post-Float relaxation tips

 

Are you ready to improve your home and life with a Float Tent? Start by requesting a complimentary shipping quote here. Save hundreds of dollars over floating at your annual center and join hundreds of others already enjoying the benefits of floating from home. 

    Success Stories: How Floating Can Help Treat ADHD

    A common source of internal stress is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Recent surveys by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, 11 percent of children 4 to 17 years old were diagnosed with ADHD in 2011, up from 7.8 percent in 2003.

    Many of these children will carry the disorder into adulthood.

    Essentially, ADHD is a problem of being unable to focus, being overactive, being unable to control impulses, or a combination of these symptoms.

    The remarkable thing is that this this is exactly the description of the habits we are creating with our technology.

    We are training people to have disordered thinking. Though not yet proven, many experts believe that technology has played a role in the rising rates of ADHD.

    Think honestly to yourself…

    How much TV do you watch and do your kids watch on a daily basis….can you really resist the urge to press the “on” button when you know a new episode of your weekly show is about to air?

    What about when you hear your phone buzz...how long can you go without checking it? Most people would come in at five minutes tops. You might feel like you can control your behavior, but usually habits say otherwise.

    While technology is convenient and may not be the cause ADHD, it could very likely exacerbate a problem that’s already on the rise.

     

    Floating as a Treatment for ADHD

    There’s one main reason that floating is an ideal solution for ADHD: It helps you stay focused, on task and present, no matter what.

    There’s one main reason that floating is an ideal solution for ADHD: It helps you stay focused, on task and present, no matter what. And for people who deal with the very real symptoms of ADHD on a regular basis, a floating routine might have similar effects.

    Spencer Fossier, owner of NOLA Float Tanks, first floated in 2014. Since then, he’s not only adopted a regular float schedule to deal with symptoms of ADHD and back pain but has also opened his own float center.

    Diagnosed and medicated for ADHD in the fourth grade, Spencer spent years feeling hopeless and misunderstood. Now he says, “It has opened me up immensely.” His symptoms are alleviated, and he chooses to stay off medication.

    However, things didn’t always used to be this way. When Spencer’s ADHD was at it’s worst he recalls fighting and screaming with his parents, punching through walls, and even failing classes. To other people it seemed like he was unable to control himself but to Spencer it felt like everyone was trying to control him to where he felt like he had no personal freedom.  

    Spencer dealt with the symptoms of ADHD all throughout his childhood and into adulthood. It wasn’t until after college that he heard about floating through Joe Rogan and immediately decided to give it a try. Spencer now maintains a regular float practice and floats 2-3 times a week at his center.

    Photo from Nola Float Tanks 

    Photo from Nola Float Tanks 

    Besides helping Spencer with the symptoms of ADHD, he says floating also helped him come to peace with his diagnosis and the struggles he went through as a child. “Whereas before, I kind of was this angry little kid, was just frustrated that no one else got it and I was just a victim of situations. More than anything else, floating has helped me realize I'm just responsible for my own life and decisions.  And not only that, but I'm not responsible for the way that other people react to me.”

    He says that regardless of why you’re doing it, you should keep an open mind and that every float is different, even for him. “Everyone needs to do it,” he says. “It's a life-changing experience. You will learn more about yourself in those forty-five minutes to an hour than most people have ever sat down to think about in their entire lives.”

    Whether you suffer from ADHD or simply the disordered thinking of an overloaded society, floating can help you move to a more peaceful place.

     

     

    Pieces of this story were taken from The Float Tank Cure and repurposed for the use of this post.

     

    About Spencer Fossier

    Spencer is the owner of NOLA Float Tanks, which he opened after floating at Float Houston last summer. What initially drew Spencer to the tanks was the alternative treatment for ADHD, which he had been diagnosed and medicated within 4th grade. After using the tanks to center his mental state, Spencer noticed that he became more balanced in his external musculature.

    By the time of the conference, Spencer will be CHEK Golf Specialist certified which he is going to use to incorporate float tanks as physical therapy. He suffers from back pain like many others and would like to help himself and as many other people as possible to work through these physical symptoms of stress.

     

    October Favorite Floater - Craig Crow

    Name: Craig Crow

    Location: Grass Valley, CA

    Length of time you've been floating at home: 6 months

    What made you get into floating and why do you love it?

    I had been curious about the stress management aspects of floating, so I got into it about 2 years ago.  It does so many things for me, it definitely plays a meditative role in my life and recently I have enjoyed doing thought inquiry while in the tent

    Any cool experiences floating that you want to share?  

    As far as cool experiences go, I think the deep levels of relaxation, stress relief, centeredness and opportunities for introspection are pretty cool.

    Any tips,tricks, or advice you would share with other fellow floaters or Zen Tent owners. 

    Floating is a practice, some take to it right away others need a few floats to realize the benefits, but the art lies in determining which conditions will facilitate an ideal float for you.  For example, water temperature, some like 93.5, others 94 or 94.5., figure it out for yourself.  Also stabilize yourself in the tub and DON'T MOVE, observe the anxiety and let it be.

     

    How to Move the Water in Your Float Tank

    Inevitably, every Zen Float Tent Owner is going to get to a point where they need to move the water in their float tank. Whether it’s to move the location of the float tank itself or it’s finally time to change out the existing water for new water, there will be a lot of water weight to tackle when you finally cross that path. 

    Luckily, we’ve figured out a simple solution to move your float tank water fast and efficiently. Don’t panic, it’s pretty affordable too! So, in case you are wondering, “How in the world do I move 200+ gallons of saltwater?”  We’ll show you our best method.

    how

    Supplies You’ll Need

    Transferring the Water

    With the supplies mentioned above, transferring your water between different locations has never been easier. Simply use a sump pump with a hose attachment to pump the water from your float tent to the kiddie pool. Once you have your float tent perfectly situated in it’s new location, simply pump the water from the kiddie pool back into the float tent. It really is that easy! And the whole process can be done in under an hour.

    Discarding the Water

    If it’s come time to replace your existing water for fresh water and salt, the process is even easier. Simply follow the steps above but instead of pumping the water from your float tank into a kiddie pool, you can discard of your water directly onto your yard or driveway, down a bathtub drain or outside into to a sewer drain.  

    Other Considerations

    • If you are transferring your water, make sure the water is cleaned and filtered before transferring to the new location. 

    • The water hose must be long enough to transfer the water between point A and point B. Be sure to estimate your hose length beforehand.

    • Make sure the float tank is moved to the exact new location that you desire. Once you start pumping the water back into the tank, it will be rather impossible to move or make any further adjustments.

    • This is a good time to add additional insulation underneath the tent if you are using your float tank on concrete or cold tile flooring.  

    How I Found Synchronicity in Portland Meeting Glenn and Lee Perry

    At this year's Float Conference I met so many great people. There is nothing quite like being in an auditorium filled with floaters. The most random and interesting conversations always pop up. I truly enjoy my time there, and I can't thank Ashkahn and Graham from FloatOn enough for putting the event on. 

    I had a really amazing thing happen to me shortly after the conference that blew my mind. My wife Jamie and I had gone for a morning walk to get some breakfast, and we stopped at a hip little breakfast joint. It wasn't close to the conference which is why the next part was so neat.

    As we were waiting for a table two legends in the float industry walked up. It was Glenn and Lee Perry.

    If you're not familiar with them, they were close friends with the inventor of floating John C. Lilly, they own the original float tank company Samadhi, and they established the Floatation Tank Association. For me, they are a VERY BIG DEAL. I mean floating changed my life forever and now I'm creating float tanks for a living. Oh the questions I had for them, that I would probably never get a chance to ask. 

    That's when the magic happened. Glenn recognized me and came over to say hi. After a brief chat he offered "why don't you get a table for 4 so we can talk more." I couldn't believe it, I was about to get my chance.

    The four of us sat down for breakfast and the banter began to flow. We talked about their experiences with John LIlly, their experiences with building and selling float tanks, the celebrities that they had done tanks for, and even some time discussing the new Zen Float Tent.

    What a dream come true! and honestly.... life changing. It felt like I received the good blessing from the founders of floating, and it was a moment in time I will never forget. 

    I kept mentioning how it felt like we were supposed to have that conversation, and I kept thinking of the odds of it happening (very slim in my opinion). Glenn and Lee mentioned it was synchronicity in action, and I would have to agree.