Posts By: Think Tank Flotation
Your First Float
Hello everyone, Joe here!
You may know me from Swing This Kettlebell and Strength. I'm also one of the owners of Think Tank Flotation in Newport KY and I'm going to give you a quick walkthrough of your first float tank experience.
First off, welcome to our Wellness Center! We are happy you're wanting to experience what floating can do for your busy lifestyle. Perhaps you have been recommended by a friend or family member of yours. This means we have done our job to create an environment in which people feel safe and comfortable for their health needs. Enough so, that they have recommend it to those that they care about for their first float tank experience.
We are conveniently located at 521 Monmouth St in Newport KY. It is as close to downtown Cincinnati as we could get, without being in a noisy and hectic environment.
Arriving at your Float
Upon arrival you will want to use the restroom and sign our waiver if you haven't done so online.
There may be a few people waiting or leaving their appt that could be very talkative about their experience. We love this! It cultivates a great community of people looking to better themselves mentally and physically.
First Float Anxiety
It is absolutely normal to feel a little nervous on your first float as it is an entirely new environment and experience for you. That makes you human. It is the sympathetic nervous system at work.
I remember 5 years ago I was a bit nervous about my first float tank experience as well. Don't worry, that's why we take so much time talking and going over the experience with each and every visitor.
Consultation is built into your float appt. Each 60 minute float appt is 90 minutes long, which allows time to shower and get ready before and after.
When you arrive feel free to look around our main area of relaxation! We have many things to read, and experience for your senses. We believe in cultivating experiences based on mindfulness.
Mindfulness can be defined as, " THE AWARENESS THAT EMERGES THROUGH PAYING ATTENTION ON PURPOSE, IN THE PRESENT MOMENT, AND NONJUDGMENTALLY TO THE UNFOLDING OF THE EXPERIENCE."
- JON KABAT-ZINN
Perhaps you want to read the first float experiences that were left in our notebook from people just like you. People have different experiences during their first float, ranging from muscle tension relief to increased focus/visualization effects.
First Float Expectations and Realities
Many people have heard of floating through the internet, and the internet incredibly good at sensationalizing things. Flotation isn't any different. We do truly believe floating is one of the best holistic tools for stress management and muscle tension release.
That being said, just one float isn't going to fix your anxiety or a bulging disc issue you've had for years. Extensive floating over time? Now that's a different story.
Flotation can be used to work hand in hand with other therapies (massage, chiropractic, grief counseling, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to produce even better benefits. Lots of people have heard of floating through podcasts such as the Joe Rogan Experience. While I appreciate the exposure that has given to floating please remember one thing: You are not Joe Rogan.
Don't attempt to do what Joe does. Experience floating for what it is and what it does for your body and mind. Eat a normal light meal an hour or so before your float, not 2 or 3 THC gummies your friend brought you from Colorado.... but moving on.....
Floating is best used for extended intervals in your life.
The first float gets you accustomed to the idea and process. Floats you incorporate after that are the ones that really start making a difference in your life. Just like you wouldn't go to a yoga class once and expect to be incredibly flexible afterwards, it is the incorporation over time that produces the biggest benefits.
Forget crazy youtube experiences you've watched and explore what is to be yourself, and in the moment while you float. Maybe your neck will feel better when you're done. Maybe you will find the solution to your problem at work or with your next art piece.
Your experience is exactly that- YOURS
The Float Tanks
Thank you for trusting us to provide you with this wonderful tool. Our two tank rooms are similar, yet have a different ambience.
One of the float tanks is the Explorer Room, on the left. Using a tank that is based on the original design of early flotation tanks made for John Lilly, the neuroscientist who created Restricted Environmental Stimulus Technique, otherwise known as Flotation REST. This room is used by many who have experience in meditation and or don't spend aalot of time stretching during their float. I think it feels like a comfortable hug of euphoria.
Our other float tank room, on the right, is the URTH room. This room feels a bit sci fi / outerspace. For your first float tank experience It doesn't really matter which you choose, but we recommend people try both and then gravitate towards the one you like the best for later floats.
Floating is best done as a practice as I mentioned before, much like yoga or weightlifting. This is why we sell discounted packages of 3 and four floats.
I recommend you start with a few floats in a shorter period of time to get accustomed to what floating can do for you.
Perhaps you float once per month. Perhaps its once per week. It all depends on how it affects your stress levels.
Does the 60 minute float session give you a week of focus and undistracted productivity at your high stress marketing job? Then a $40 weekly float is probably a great idea for you. (Click to see our 4 float / month membership.)
After your shower, which is important to help maintain cleanliness and keep our magnesium solution stable, you will begin your first float tank experience.
Our highly saturated epsom salt solution is sanitized with ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT and hydrogen peroxide but it makes it even better that guests are showering beforehand.
Be careful entering the tank as you don't want to splash the magnesium saltwater into your eyes to avoid stinging. I recommend the provided earplugs to be put in before your shower so they don't want to slide out, yet some people choose to float without them.
Starting your Float
When you start your float, you can leave the door open or closed, it just may be a little cooler with the door open. The water is around 94 degrees, which is the average person's skin temperature. You can choose to float in the dark or light, listening to silence or ambient music, stretching or lying still.
I recommend for your first float to begin the session testing how buoyant the water makes you by holding your arms and legs under water. You'll feel how you don't need to put in any effort to float. Next, lower your head until the water touches your temples, and fell it rise again. If there is one thing people have a hard time with on their first float, it's relaxing their neck and jaw enough to fully relax their body. I sure did!
It is an amazing feeling once you trust the salt water cradle your body, especially your head.
Try Stretching while you Float
Move slightly and slowly, experimenting with different arm positions, either overhead or by the sides of your body. Do light stretches. Many yoga instructors, ballet dancers and massage therapists float with us as a recuperative practice. The positions you can hold and relax into are vastly different than the positions you can maintain on the bed, couch, or floor . This is due to the cradling effect of the saltwater. Once you find a very comfortable position, stay there for as long as you want and focus on how your body feels along with your breathe.
When your brain realizes you're in a safe space and it becomes aware of the new environment, your mind can start traveling down your stream of consciousness. We have heard researchers say that it can take someone new up to 45 minutes for their nervous system to relax in their first float tank experience. This is why it's usually even better your second or third time.
While you are Floating
It's normal to have thoughts that are all over the place. Just let it ride. Some peoples thoughts are highly erratic and some have trouble not thinking about what they have to do in the future. The more you float and meditate, the easier it is to be able to concentrate on one thing (or even just your breathing).
Remember you are here to just "be", not "do".This is accomplished by always returning to your breathing. As Ram Dass said, "BE HERE NOW. "
That can be a simple mantra you repeat when your mind is going a thousand miles per minute. Enjoy this 60 to 90 minutes of less input from the hectic world. Yes, you will bump the sides of the tank occasionally. It's all going to be ok, just relax.
Recenter yourself and your breathing patterns. The phrase "take a deep breathe" is amplified in here as you get 60 minutes to do pretty much that and that is why floating is so wonderfully rejuvenating. Your skin will not dry out and it will not prune!
Many people love how their skin feels post float.
After your time is up you will hear music and a voice that tells you to carefully exit the tank. Carefully lift your head up squeeze the solution out of your hair and carefully open the door. Hold on to the railing as you step out.
Do not stop to check your texts, do not pass go, do not collect $200! (We hope you get the Monopoly ref...)
Please drip off as much of the solution as you can, so it doesn't end up all over the room. Take a moment to stretch and exhale, then immediately go to the shower to rinse the solution off your body.
Finishing your First Float
Once you are done, join us back in the main room, have a seat if you have time, and reflect on your float.
The sensations can last hours to weeks.
You may meet many people who are incorporating floating into their lives and meet new friends. Some people have traded a weekly happy hour at the bar for a happy hour at our float center. Floating can be a powerful holistic wellness experience.
While floating can produce a strong relaxation effect in many people (especially if they are used to being high output, never stop individuals) you may want to hang out a bit or have a friend or Uber drive you back home.
Longterm Affordability and Health Incorporation
There are many avenues we have set up to make floating affordable for you to float, and float often.
Maybe you purchased one full price float to see if you'll enjoy it. If you do, we can add on 2 floats afterwards that would only cost the remainder of a package. Example 2 floats add on for $80 = a total of $150 spent for 3 floats.
Perhaps you have a friend who referred you with a Think Tank discount code. For every 3 referrals, they earn a free float! We can set up one for you as well.
Are you are a veteran, college student, EMT, active duty firefighter/police or teacher? We have any discounts for that too.
Our prepaid packages and memberships are discounted and shareable and our Monthly Float memberships bring hour long sessions to under $40 each if you float once a week (our 4 float a month membership). Perhaps you and a friend/ relationship want to 2x each month. With our 4 float a month membership that will only be $159.
We highly believe in the benefits of floating and are happy to serve you in your stress management needs.
Thank you for helping us continue to build our community,
-Joe, Taylor, Alex, Sarah
P.S. For all you looking for the science behind floating check out www.clinicalfloatation.com for all past and current research!
Flotation therapy is a great gift for anyone who needs a little extra relief from the mental and physical stresses of our modern world. It’s like a giant epsom salt bath in your own private room, isolated from external sound and light.
Our clients range from pro athletes and artists to the elderly and disabled, even pregnant women. Almost anyone will experience benefits from floating! We provide everything needed for the experience including luxury shower facilities and a cozy waiting area to relax after the float. Click here for gift card pricing.
The word is out, flotation rocks!
And why would you want to keep such a good thing a secret anyway? Refer 3 friends, family members, or enemies (hey, they probably need it the most) and earn a free float. The credits never expire, and there’s no limit to how many free floats you can earn.
Want to know how? It’s easy!
Just sign into your FloatHelm account here and click on ‘Refer Friends for Free Floats’, then click ‘Enroll’. You’ll be given a unique discount code that can be used by new guests for $25 off their first visit. For every 3 times your discount code gets used, you automatically get a free float added to your account. Pretty neat! To get the most out of our referral program, ask us about customizing your code to make it more memorable. Get started now!
Flotation has far reaching benefits for a wide variety of people. Guests who find themselves at our Newport, KY doorstep include competitive athletes, artists, service industry workers, patients with chronic pain, and regular folks with the normal stresses of living in our modern world. Explore the links below to learn about some of the exciting new research around float tanks and sensory deprivation therapy, and check back with us from time to time for special sales and events.
Savasana and the Float Tank
My only goal was to write an article about how flotation is similar to Savasana. Being present is a struggle in 2018, but that's OK. Being mindful and present has been a goal of spiritual and meditation practices for centuries! If it was difficult to meditate during a far more simple time, adding the technological distractions of our generation makes it damn near impossible.
We love the practice of mindfulness at Think Tank Flotation! From Tea Ceremonies, to hand grinding coffee, to hour-long belly breathing sessions (aka a 60 minute float). Things just tend to be more enjoyable when you don't rush them.
Unfortunately, it’s 2018, so not only is our default mode to do everything as fast as possible, but also with every distraction known to man trying to stop us. Even now, as I type, I’m being bombarded by external stimulation: I’m typing on a computer and see the Facebook notification beckoning me to check it, my fiance is ranting about one thing or another as I mindlessly respond “uh-huh,” Instagram is telling me that my video has been viewed however many times, and on top of that I have a “to-do” list 3 miles long that is taunting me from the “memo” list on my phone!
Some reflections on Savasana
The article that originally sparked my thought on how exhausting this all can get was written by Meg Agnew. She is a yoga and meditation teacher who explores how Buddhism and yoga compliment each other. Her article is titled “Starting with Savasana,” and it truly could have been written about floating. In fact, if you were to replace every mention of Savasana with “floating,” it would still make complete sense.
“Savasana is also a wonderful way to start each day. This relaxed lying back position is the one I assume in the early morning hours before I’m completely awake and my mind hasn’t had a chance to create a to-do list. Instead, I’m creating and participating in a form of the “beginning your day with clarity”
This practice that Phillip Moffitt describes in the book, "Emotional Chaos to Clarity."
"I take my pillow out from under my head so that my head rests heavily like it does when I’m floating in a body of water. Like when I’m floating, I relax and let my body feel completely supported. Today is a Sunday and I feel the day is also stretched out leisurely before me. I can give this practice some extra time and attention.”
Floating and Mindfulness
Luckily, flotation makes mindfulness all the more accessible. The whole environment was made for meditation. The water in the tank is the same temperature as your body so you aren't focused on being too warm or cold. The salt to water ratio allows you to float effortlessly so you aren't subjected to the effects of gravity (this allows our bodies to release muscle tension that is likely impeding our focus). Flotation tanks were truly MADE for meditation. Even someone like myself, an adult with an ADHD/PTSD diagnosis, is able to focus (or meditate) in a flotation tank.
Just try to be more mindful. The impact could surprise you.
Whether you try starting your day with Savasana or you want to give flotation therapy a try, I urge you to do something each day that forces you to be more mindful. It doesn't have to be a big hour-long meditation session where you find “enlightenment.” Being present can be as simple as buying loose tea instead of tea bags. This conscious decision forces you to pick the tea, measure it, smell it, wait for it. You could also just plug-in your phone in away from your bed at night. This makes your last moments before sleep peaceful (and less taxing on your eyes). Mindfulness can be anything that makes you focus on the now.
Then, when you are ready to try flotation, come unwind with us at Think Tank!