Many people have some fear or concern before they use the float pod the first time. Fears such as being alone in the dark, drowning, not having enough air, claustrophobia, and others. These fears are usually the result of the thought or idea that YOU won’t be in control of the situation, but in this situation, you are completely in control at all times. You can go in and out of the float pod as you please. You can use the tank with the door completely open, you can keep it partially open, or you can close it. There is an interior light. You can turn that light off or leave it on. There is no particular way to use a tank that is more correct than another. Any way you use it, that is comfortable for you, is correct.
If you close the door while inside the float pod, once the light is turned off it is completely dark and that may be disorienting. When you get in and before you lie down, open and close the door several times, noticing how it feels different from the other surfaces. If at any time you try to push the door and it doesn’t open, it’s not the door.
The solution within the tank is only 10″ deep. It is made up of 40% Epsom salt. You can’t sink in the tank, regardless of your size and fitness level. You will float effortlessly and it is 100% safe to sleep in the tank. Since there is no pressure or hot spots anywhere on the body, you do not have the desire to toss and turn the way you do while on a mattress. If you *were* to somehow roll over while sleeping in the float pod, you would wake up the very instant the salt water touched your eyes or sinuses.
The float pod is designed so that it is not airtight. You’ll have plenty of air. To keep the tank air fresher, an air circulation system brings additional air from the room. The air enters at the rear of the tank. You may prefer to have your head at that end. You can also brace the door open slightly with a towel or washcloth for additional circulation.
The Magic of Zero Stimulation
Of those that come to us with a phobia-based fear, I would say 85% of them settle right into their first session without much ado. For the remaining 15%, fears and concerns are typically dissolved by the second or third session. The float chamber itself is excellent at calming the mind and any fears it may harbor within it. This is simply the nature of the zero stimulation environment. We have had a surprising number of particularly skeptical clients complete a session and say something along the lines of “I just couldn’t be afraid. I even tried to think of things that normally upset me, and they had no power over me while I was in there.”The zero stimulation environment triggers some pretty profound physical and mental effects. There is no pressure anywhere on the body. The solution is the optimal temperature for our bodily systems. Our brains aren’t constantly processing input. We are no longer struggling against the pull of gravity. As a result our blood pressure is reduced, stress hormone levels fall and endorphins are released. This creates an immensely pleasurable experience. It is downright difficult to feel anxiousness or fear once you enter that incredibly soothing physical and mental space. People might assume that time drags along while doing nothing inside the float pod , but that could not be further from the truth. Once you reach the super-relaxed theta brainwave (lucid dream/meditation) state all concept of time vanishes. The session ends in what feels like mere minutes after that.
It sounds counterintuitive at first, but most claustrophobic clients find having the door closed with the light off far more comforting than leaving the light on.