1 Hour in a Float Tank: My Experience

While I was in Arkansas for two weeks with Cam, it was basically a mini summer vacation. Once Cam finished finals (I was done the week before), we basically had an entire week to ourselves before packing up and heading home after his graduation. Each day, we made a “to-do” list, so that we wouldn’t forget friends we wanted to meet up with or errands we needed to run that were Fayetteville-specific.

We went to the Farmer’s Market, ate at food trucks, etc, etc. On Wednesday of our last week there, Cam went to get his hair trimmed at a place called Therapods that one of his roommates had recommended. Not only was there a salon here, but we also noticed they offered massages and…..float tanks?!

What the heck is a float tank?!!

We are curious minds, so we asked the woman cutting Cam’s hair. Turns out, her and her husband own the studio. She cuts hair, he does massages, and they both work the float tanks.

Float therapy is a method of therapy where you soothe the body and experience complete and total relaxation…effortlessly. The float tanks are essentially bath tubs filled with water and epsom salt – about 900 pounds of epsom salt to be exact! So you float effortlessly when you enter the tank. The water and the air are both kept at a balmy 95 degrees, which is skin-receptor neutral. Therefore, you don’t feel the water beneath you or the air above you. You close your eyes, and you’re floating.

You can’t feel your aches and pains, so it’s a great way to just bring the awareness away from any negativity and focus on relaxing.

Cam and I were sold when we heard about how many people are helped by this therapy. Anyone can benefit! It is proven to help chronic pain, anxiety, depression, PTSD, creative thinking, meditation, and it’s good for pre or post surgery.

We made an appointment online for the next morning. (Therapods has float “happy hours” on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am and noon where you can get $10 off!)

So….what’s it like?

(Psst….this post is in no way sponsored! Just sharing a cool experience.) 

Before your float

  • First off, don’t think you need to print out this blog post before going to your first float session. Those monitoring your float at whatever center you choose will share all of this information with you! I just wanted to let you know my experience ?
  • Don’t shave or get your hair dyed the day before! It is a LOT of epsom salt, so it could irritate skin and mess with hair dye. (I don’t dye my hair, but I think the rule is to wait two weeks after going to the salon before the float tank!)
  • Do eat a good meal before, so your tummy doesn’t rumble, disrupting your float. I’d avoid caffeine because you don’t want to be too jittery while you’re trying to calm down. Maybe schedule an evening float, if you really have to have your morning coffee.

What do you need to bring?

  • You will be showering before and after your float session, so bring whatever you need to get street-ready. I wore the same clothes in and out (something comfy: sweats and a tee) and I brought a hairbrush, deodorant, and my makeup bag since I was going out to lunch after.
  • You do NOT need a swimsuit. You will be in your own room and in your own tank, so you have the upmost privacy that you would have in your own home bathroom.
  • I brought a water just because I figured after basically what is an hour-long hot bath, I’d be pretty thirsty, but they actually gave me a water when I got there. But maybe bring one just in case.

How does it work?

  • You will be shown to your room (after signing papers if it’s your first time) and you will be left to undress and take a short 5-minute shower. *You do need to shower even if you already have that day. You need to use their special shampoo/body wash combo soap to get all the oils off your body.
  • You are in your own room, and in your tank, you have control of the lights and the music. So after your shower, you will get into the tub, turn off the lights, and turn on the music. (If you so wish.)
  • The music is just spa music, and I recommend definitely putting it on. It can be hard to just float in complete silence, so the music helps to get you into a good headspace in my opinion.
  • As soon as you get in the tank and lay back, you WILL float. Don’t worry. Doesn’t matter height, weight, race, ethnicity, gender….you will float ?

So, what do you do for a whole hour?

  • Relax.
  • It’s hard to at first. Your first float, it takes about 20 minutes to get comfortable. You’ve never ever in your life been able to not feel anything except your heart beating, so it is a little odd at first. If you feel nervous or anxious, count your breaths and breathe in slow and deep.
  • This is your time, so use it for what you need it for.
  • I personally was hoping to just slow down. I had been having terrible back pain and other chronic pain, so I was just wanting to feel relief from that and really just be able to meditate without feeling every little “owwy”.
  • Don’t expect to leave and be a brand new person or Buddha. This is something that you should do once a month or more frequently if you feel like you can or should.

How did you feel after?

  • The feeling after is comparable to the feeling you have when you get out of a massage!
  • I felt loosey-goosey, but I also felt sleepy. (This happens after your first time.) I actually ended up taking a nap, but I was a little sick, so that could have had something to do with my bit of fatigue. I also felt like I could run 10 miles though….I was so loose and calm!
  • I definitely will go back in June for round 2!

What I would do differently next time:

  • I would close my door all the way! I’m a bit claustrophobic, so I was nervous to shut the door all the way. They told me I could prop it open with the washcloth I was given for my shower, so I did that.
  • I also kept the lights on. I’m definitely a 21-year-old who’s scared of the dark! But next time, I’d shut them off. There’s nothing to be scared of, and I think I would have relaxed more with them off.

How much does it cost? 

At Therapods, a 1-hr float session is $50, but we did the happy hour deal…so we paid $40.

(A 1.5 hr float there is $75.)

Basically, compare it to a massage! They are pretty much priced the same.

I will let ya’ll know which float center I visit in Houston when I go! If you want to see where one is near you, you can visit FloatationLocations.com 


Would you ever spend an hour in a float tank?