“There’s no crime in wanting to balance your life with a little bit of silence,” says Alan Goltl, owner and operator of TankHouse Float and Massage in Wichita, KS. TankHouse offers the experience of “floating” in a sensory deprivation tank, or as Goltl likes to call it, a sensory reduction tank. “I don’t think anybody knows exactly what the significance is [of floating], but it is a healing experience, if anything, because people come out and are baffled by it in a good way.”
Click to listen to the interview: Tank House Float owner Alan Goltl interviewed for the Mind and Body podcast on Utne.com.
What Should I Do to Prepare and What Should I Bring?
We recommend you avoid caffeine and other stimulants for at least 2-3hrs before a float and that you eat a light meal an hour or so before your float session to avoid any internal stomach noises and hunger pangs.
If you wear contact lenses, bring a case and remove them before floating.
We offer meditative audio selections inside the Float Pod, which can be turn on or off during your experience. The tank is equipped with an MP3 Player so you can play your own selection of audio technology, music, or guided meditations; whatever helps you relax. Playing something light, with little to no volume changes is what we recommend, when choosing to bring your own.
Things to Avoid Before You Float
If you can, avoid wearing cosmetics, cologne/perfume, lotions or any other products when you come into float, doing so helps keep the tank solution clean (and since you will shower before and after you float, it only makes sense).
Avoid shaving or waxing at least 4 hours before your float to avoid skin irritation from the Epsom salts.
Wait AT LEAST 48 hours before floating after you have dyed your hair (one month for semi-demi permanent dye) or used tanning products (spray tans/lotions).
Who Should Avoid Floating
-Epileptics whose epilepsy is not under medical control
-Anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs
-Anyone with infectious diseases or open skin wounds (new tattoos)
-Anyone who within 48hrs had their hair dyed or used any body tanning products (spray,lotion,etc).
-Anyone with suicidal tendencies or who have active thought disorders should avoid floating
Pregnancy and Floating
We suggest pregnant women inform their physicians or midwives and receive their opinion prior to using the tank. That said reports from pregnant women who float have been enthusiastic. As your pregnancy progresses, floating can be a great relief from the pull of gravity and the normal physical strain that accompanies this extraordinary time.
How Do You Keep the Tank Clean?
Powerful Filtration and EPSOM SALT: The 40% Epsom salt solution in our tank kills almost all pathogenic organisms. Any that survive are eliminated through the next two stages of filtration and disinfection – Particle Filtration & Advanced UV Oxidization.
~NSF certified 10 microns Particle Filter;
~Advanced UV Oxidization – A combination of strong UV light and hydrogen peroxide, which destroys any remaining contaminants and effectively disinfects the water.
Do I Need a Bathing Suit?
Floating naked is the best way to float, but if you are more comfortable wearing a suit we won’t stop you.
What if I Fall Asleep?
Some people use the tank specifically for sleeping! Since the water is denser than your body, you always stay afloat.
What if I’m Claustrophobic?
The interior of our pod is quite spacious – but this is your Float, and you are in charge. You aren’t required to float with the door closed or be in complete darkness or silence. You are free to experiment, implement the color therapy lights on the tank, listen to music (bring your ipod/mp3 player, the tank is equipped with a built in MP3 player).
Can I float if I’m Menstruating?
Yes, just follow the same rules applied to swimming pools (i.e.: use a tampon).
Does the Salt Sting?
We have Vaseline in the Float Room and recommend you cover any small cuts before entering the tank. Should you get salt in your eyes while floating, we keep a spray bottle with water and wash cloth inside the tank, these will help remove the salt and let you get back to floating.