My experience inside a sensory deprivation tank at Float On on Hawthorne Blvd.
I feel like Sandra Bullock.
This must me what my baby felt like before she was born.
This room is too small.
Am I sinking?
I think I can see stars…
I did something totally out of the ordinary last week. I spent 90 minutes in a sensory deprivation tank. It was weird, relaxing, at times a little boring (more on that later) but overall a really great experience. So what does that entail? I was in a modern tank, it felt more like a large enclosed bathtub than a “tank”. It was 4 feet wide, 7 feet long and I could stand up inside. The water is eleven inches deep. That may not seem like much but it’s far from ordinary water. Each tank has about 850 pounds of epson salt in it. 850 pounds! And it makes you completely buoyant! You don’t even sink when you breathe. You are weightless. It is one of the coolest sensations I’ve ever had.
This all happened at Float On on Hawthorne. They have 6 floating tanks and they are open 24-hours so you can go anytime. Most floats are 90 minutes and start on the odd hours (9am, 11am, 1pm, etc.) They have three types of tanks so check their website to pick the ones which one you like best.
The lobby was full when I arrived just before 1pm. I really enjoyed their complimentary tea selection to help you start relaxing before your float. While I was waiting I overheard a couple guys talking about their previous floats and their stories included some out-of-body experiences. What have I gotten myself into? It wasn’t long before they called me back to give me a quick tour of the rooms, show me how the tank works and then… I was on my own.
I got undressed (yes, you are naked for this…) took a quick shower and got in. My tank had these cool constellation lights on the ceiling so I laid in the water enjoying those for a few minutes before turning out the lights completely. Before getting in the tank, I expected to use the time to do some serious thinking, about this blog, about work, projects and life in general, but as soon as I shut the door I found it hard to think about very much at all. It was like that door shut out the rest of the world. The complete darkness and quiet really focuses you. Your ears are under water so all you hear is your breath.
My mind was kind of all over the place but I did spend a lot of time just checking in on my body, stretching the aches and pains out. The sensations of weightlessness was the best part for me. Floating felt very freeing and relaxing. In the first half hour or so (hard to tell time in there) I had a little claustrophobia, but it passed quickly. Most of the time I felt like I was floating in space or in the ocean. The room began to feel huge although I would occasionally bump into the walls. (Keep in mind I took these photos are before and after the float, during the float it was completely dark.)
I ended up thinking a lot about my baby and what it must have been like for her in the womb. But mostly I thought about nothing, which was pretty great compared to my scattered mommy brain at home. I must admit 90 minutes felt like 90 minutes. Some say the time passes faster than that, but that was not my experience. I got a little bored at times, but in this fast, smartphone world boredom is scarce so I didn’t mind too much.
After 90 minutes, they slowly fade music into your room to tell you it’s time to get out. Showering afterward is a MUST. There is an epson salt film all over your body and my hair felt like it weighted 20 pounds. They provide shampoo, conditioner and body wash along with q-tips and an ear cleaning solution, although you are welcome to bring your own products. I left the lights off for my shower because they have this super cool disco lights shower head. Wouldn’t it be cool to have one of these at home!
The whole experience took little over 2 hours, 90 minutes of floating plus about 30 minutes of changing time, and a few minutes waiting in the lobby. Everything was extremely clean. If you are wondering about the water, they filter it 3-4 times between each use. In fact, I could hear it just started right after I got out. I’m going to try this at least one more time, the experience was good, but I think it could be better. I felt like I resisted “letting go” for while after getting into the tank. For me personally, a massage is more relaxing, but this has some serious benefits and is worth a try. I recommend it for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed with life or looking for change.
Disclaimer: Float On provided me with a couple free floats, however, the choice to blog about it was my own, as are all opinions expressed in this post.
4530 SE HAWTHORNE
CALL OR EMAIL FOR AN APPOINTMENT 503.384.2620
I have been meaning to try floating for ages. I really need to make it happen! And at 7 months pregnant, feeling weightless for a little bit sounds pretty wonderful…
I am going to try it once more as well. I think I’ll continue doing it every few months but before I “commit” to that I want to give it one more try and see if I can get even more relaxed. I agree that the room did suddenly start to feel huge until I drifted towards a wall.
Glad you had a good experience! If you ever want to meet up for a float and post-float meal/coffee let me know I still have one more float on my account to do!
I’ve been wanting to try this for AGES! I love reading everyone’s experiences with it!
Did you go a second time?
Meghan, i didn’t. Mostly because I could never find the time. I guess that means, maybe this isn’t my thing. I had a great experience and I’m glad I did it, but I haven’t gone back, so I guess that says something.