Frequently Asked Questions
Is this only for Hippies and Vegans? This question comes up quite a bit. For anyone who has ever heard or thought that this may be the case, this idea is nowhere at all near being the truth. I myself have never been nor ever will be anything like this description. People who float can be anything within any description of the human race (this includes "Hippies and Vegans"). No group or "type" of person can be excluded from floating. So wear a tie dyed shirt and Birkenstocks or not. Once inside of the tank and into your "birthday suit", we are all very much the same.
Do I need to prepare myself for floating?
The things you should know are: a) If you shave 2 or 3 hours before using the tank, the shaved skin will sting for a few minutes. If you can postpone your shaving, you will probably be more comfortable. b) If you wear contact lenses, it would be a problem if any salt water got into your eyes. If you remove your contacts you don't have to be concerned about it. c) If you have caffeine before you float, it may interfere with your ability to relax. Should I eat before I go into the tank? You can eat. If you eat a very heavy meal you may spend a lot of time listening to your digestive juices. And, on the other hand, if you get very hungry you may spend a lot of time listening to your digestive juices. Moderation works.
Do i need to bring a towel, soap or shampoo? Once your float experience is over, your body will have salt water from head to toe. Located directly next to your float tank vehicle will be a shower complete with water pre-adjusted to the same temperature of the tank's water, which by no coincidence is now the natural temperature of your own body. The reason for this we believe is to always make your transition into the tank, and back into "dry land" as natural and peaceful as possible. Included in your float experience is complimentary organic soap wash and a towel for your use. We offer an organic body wash; although feel free to bring your own favorite soap and shampoo. *Although we do supply free use of a hair dryer, please bring your own hairbrush and or comb, and toiletries, as we don't keep these items; It wouldn't be a good idea to share such things with other people we think.
I wear contact lenses and forgot my lens case for storage. We will supply you a fresh and clean storage case with saline solution to use just in case you do forget to bring your own.
Is there a typical tank user?
Not that we know of. People of all ages and walks of life seem to enjoy the experience equally. What seems typical is how good everyone looks when they come out of the tank. We like to call this look "The Glow".
Is anyone not supposed to use the tank?
We don't recommend tank use for epileptics whose condition is not under medical supervision; for people under the influence of alcohol, drugs, those with infectious diseases, Candida, open skin wounds, or those with suicidal tendencies.
Can pregnant women use the tank?
Yes. It is commonly recommended that a mother to-be should wait until her third tri-mester to enjoy a float session. We suggest that pregnant women inform their physicians or midwives and get their opinion prior to using the tank. The reports received from pregnant women have been enthusiastic. As their bodies get heavier, floating is a great relief from the pull of gravity. Floating has given many women a welcomed rest.
Can I use the tank if I'm menstruating?
Yes, if you use a tampon.
Do children use the tank? What is their response?
Yes, we know that children use the tank but we don't know much about their responses. Since the maturity levels of children tend to vary from age to age, it will depend on their understanding of what floating is all about with each individual child. Once it has been determined that a child is mentally "ready", we can set up a time for a short but fun experience where the child can float in a full bathing suit for a few minutes with the door open while mom and/or dad, along with owner/management of Ventura Float Center will be there to monitor, observe and be a part of the child's fun experience to take with them and have something in common and incredible to share with the family.
What if i don't practice meditatation, can i still float? Floating has nothing to do with meditation, spirituality, or religion at all; on the other hand, floating is all about having your very own personal and unique experience, and it's to you what to "bring in or leave out" while in your session. It is not necessary to be into meditation to experience a good float. Think of floating in it's most basic of terms - soaking in 1,100lbs of Epsom salts at a constant temperature of 95+ degrees... it's that simple. For those who do meditate, practicing this inside of a sensory deprivation tank can take a meditator to new heights/depths.
What effect does salt water have on my skin and hair and eyes?
The Epsom salt solution seems to be beneficial to the skin. We have listened to some opinions that say Epsom salt is very good for strengthening the hair. We know it's good for roses, why not hair? You thoroughly rinse the salt from your hair and body with an organic soap when you leave the tank. To avoid getting drips of the salt water solution in your eyes, push your hair back on your forehead when you change from lying down to sitting up; also keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth. Use the distilled water spray bottle that is kept handy in the tank to spray your eyes, and then use the small dry washcloth (also in the tank) to dry the wet areas of your face.
Can You Wear a Bathing Cap?
Yes, you can wear one, but it won't keep your hair dry. It would be too tight around your head to keep you hair dry but it would most definitely detract from your flotation experience.
Do you wear anything in the tank?
Since it is a private experience, most people don't wear any garments. Anything you wear will press against your body, becoming a distraction. In this regard imagine it as similar to getting into a pool or spa with a shirt on and feeling that fabric cling to your body. When clothes are washed traditionally in a washer and dryer, germs and bacteria are not killed. Enjoying your float a la "birthday suit" is the absolute best way to go, and another step towards keeping the tank clean by not allowing germs enter along with bathing suits.
Is there a right way to do it?
All the ways are right. Each person should find whatever position is comfortable for them. Some people float with their hands at their sides, some with their hands folded across their chest or abdomen, or behind their heads. You can keep your head at either end or sit up if you like. You may float with the door partially open or closed. The first float is kind of like the test drive of a new car. You are just checking this new thing out. Give yourself time to find your comfortable position(s), whatever is best for you.
Will I float? I can't float in a swimming pool.
Yes. It is impossible not to float in the tank. 1,100 pounds of salt dissolved in the water makes the solution so much denser than your body that your body is pushed to the surface like a cork. Your face is out of the solution and your ears are underwater (earplugs are optional).
Can people drown in the tank?
No. Not unless they lay face down in it, and are capable of tolerating the sting of the salt on the eyes, nose and mouth. It is very difficult to turn over in the isolation tank. It is impossible to accidentally roll over in the water.
Could you get electrocuted?
What if I'm claustrophobic?
People who say that they are afraid to use the tank because they are claustrophobic probably assume that they will be confined and locked into an enclosed space. However, you can use the tank with the door partially open if you wish; although it is not advised since the overall body of water will become cold. You are in control of the situation and can get in and out when ever you want. The tank is such an excellent place to go through your fears claustrophobia that if you want to get rid of yours, it is probably the best place to do it. It is not uncommon for people who have feelings of claustrophobia to actually exit the tank expressing that they feel that they no longer suffer from this condition.
How is the water in the the tank cleaned? After each use, the float tank is pumped and filtered through 3 - 10 minute cycles, equaling a total of 30 minutes, using a pump and filter system designed for a residential sized pool (the average sized residential swimming pool, holds 14,500 gallons of water) - many times larger than the size of a float tank, which holds approx. 150 - 170 gallons of water). The combination of 600 lbs of pharmaceutical grade Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and 50 lbs of sea salt with minuscule amounts of bromine make it cleaner than a pool (without unnatural and harmful chemicals such as Chlorine), and impossible for germs, bacteria and microorganisms to live; in addition, we use a UV pool system placed in-line with the pump and filter to aid in the cleaning of the tank and its water solution. The interior liner walls and floor of the tank are regularly wiped down and cleaned to avoid any sort of build up. This at times seems like overkill as we have never had any issues with the cleanliness of the liners whatsoever. At Ventura Float Center, a daily checklist is followed first thing in the morning and again at the close of business so that pH, alkaline, hydrogen peroxide, and salt to water ratio levels are right where they should be for a proper balance. If according to the test results any of these components are incorrect, the appropriate additive and amount will be added and run through the pump and filter cycle, leaving the tank water solution begging for the right person to float.
Is the actual float room cleaned after and before sessions? We take great care, and time between floats to perform the cleaning and sanitizing of your personal float room; including the following tasks: Total sanitizing of the shower, the floors, fresh bath mats, towels, and the area where the "Q-tips", kleenex, disposable ear plugs, and lotion is stored. We are ordinary people, consumers, and float enthusiasts just like you and understand that you, as we, would not want you to ever feel that anyone else has been here before you. *We strongly suggest wherever you choose to float, please do yourself a huge favor and ask about the process and cleaning schedule of your float room and shower.
Is it dangerous to sleep in the tank?
It is safe to sleep in the tank. In fact, sleeping in the tank may be the best sleep you have ever experienced. One hour of sleep in the float tank is equivalent to about 3.5 - 4 hours of sleep on dry land. The reason people think it may be dangerous is probably the fear of rolling over. Even those people who say they never sleep on their backs in bed, sleep on their backs in the tank. It is very difficult to roll over in the tank because of the density of the solution. To date, it has never been recorded that anyone has ever "rolled-over" in a float session.
Is there enough air in the tank?
Yes.The tank is designed to be water tight but not airtight, so there is a plentiful air supply. In addition, fresh air is brought in by an air circulation system. There can be a degree of humidity according to the setting of the temperature of the water.
Can two people float in the tank at the same time?
We don't recommend it. Floating in the tank is intended to be a private, individual experience. In the past 2 years or so, there are a few float centers that have opened up to the idea of multiple floaters sharing a session at the same time. You would need to do your research online to find one. In a small town like Ventura, the demand is so low for these this type of request that it would not make sense to build a special float room for this rare event.
The Nature of a Float
How long do people usually stay in the tank?
We offer a one hour session for the first time and as standard thereafter. Some people use the tank for shorter sessions and others find 2 or 3 hour sessions very valuable. Of course the "perfect" way is to stay in until you feel natural about getting out. Longer floats can be arranged in advance here at the Ventura Float Center at no extra charge depending on the schedule; we will never allow this at the risk of making the next scheduled person wait beyond their scheduled arrival time . Experiment with your own time in the tank to discover what is best for you.
How much time should i plan from the time i arrive to Ventura Float Center to the time i will be leaving? For your first time, we recommend that you plan on spending a total of 1.75 hours at our float center. A standard session consists of 1 hour for your float, and approximately 10 minutes for your orientation, visit to the restroom, possible rinse before entering the tank, and time to rinse after your session . This is a reasonable time frame which makes your visit about 1.75 hours. Your next visit will be shorter as you will briefly be reminded of your original orientation. No matter how much time you spend at the center in total, you will always be granted a full session in the tank, we will never count time outside of the tank against your actual float time.
What will it be like for me?
We don't know what it will be like for you since it is such an individual experience. The most common reports are of profound peace and relaxation, deep concentration and creativity. We like to avoid saying too much before people use the tank, so that they aren't influenced by what someone else says. Not only will it be different for you than it is for anyone else, it will be different each time.
Do I need to float more than once?
Yes, if you want to make use of the potential. For us floating is not a finite experience. It touches the infinite. Most people, but not all, get a sense of what floating will be like after they float at least three times. Those who see the potential the first time, want to return again and again. Truth be told, we as humans rarely get the chance to relax in this way in our busy lives, so it only makes sense that with the help of the tank, it may take multiple floats to re-learn how to relax.
Is there a best time to use the tank?
No, this is a matter of individual preference. Some people prefer morning, some prefer night. The best way to find out is to experiment by using the tank at different times of the day.
Will I be able to resume my daily activities when I get out?
Yes. And it may be good to arrange your time so you don't have to rush. Many people enjoy savoring the peace and quiet after enjoying a float before jumping into something hectic or strenuous; although floating is not just about feeling "mellow", it can very likely make you feel energetically creative and feel like you may want to "go do something" right after a session.
Is there a cumulative effect of using the tank on a regular basis?
Yes. There seems to be a cumulative effect with a consistent use of the tank. This is not documented by research, it is the tank users who know it is true. Relaxation is a learned art that needs practice. As every float may differ from one to the next, this is a reflection of what is going on in your mind and in your life when you decide to make time a session; in addition, this is a sign of growth for your mind as we progress so will the effects on our minds. Makes sense that as we progress our floats/minds will affect us in a different way.
Is this sensory deprivation?
The term "sensory deprivation" describes areas of scientific research that consider the effects of reduced environmental stimulation - distractions. The words are an unfortunate choice for those of us who are presenting the floating experience as something pleasant, attractive and relaxing. We notice that people run away from us when they hear the possibility of any form of deprivation. As a result we are careful to point out that the senses are fully operational and in fact, the senses are very pleased to be relieved from the prevalent atmosphere of sensory overload. Distraction reduction is an accurate description of the tank environment. The word deprivation can also be thought of as a way of "depriving yourself of sight, smell, and sound", allowing silence and direct communication with the real and true YOU that we all rarely get to spend quality time with.
Is there any sound in the tank? Ventura Float Center differs from most - if not all ? - float centers anywhere. Whereas most float centers "insist" upon total sensory deprivation, we believe that when anyone chooses to take time for a session, they have the right to "feed what they need". Of course we offer total sensory deprivation. We also offer the experience of what we like to call "Sensory Augmentation". We believe that it is okay to listen to whatever you like while you are floating. For example, think of the calmest instrumental, sounds of nature, classical, to your favorite rock, rap, or country artists and consider any option at all. Some people listen to binaural beats, a motivational talk, or even study a language while they are relaxing and focused... "SO ROCK ON WITH YOUR BACH ON!!!"