Floating on your back in a pool or bath doesn’t seem like anything special, but it can be made into an experience like no other. Thanks to the development of flotation tanks that started in 1954, we can seamlessly float for an extended period of time causing an extreme state of relaxation.
Flotation tanks were invented by neuropsychiatrist John C. Lilly and were a result of his experimentation with sensory deprivation. Many people found tanks to be uncomfortable, as they had to wear a breathing apparatus while being fully submerged in water.
Technology has allowed for advancements in modern tanks such as music,lights, and no need for a breathing apparatus. 950 pounds of dissolved epsom salt are added to 10 inches of water which increases water density allowing us to float. The water temperature is set to approximately 93.5 degrees(skin temperature) allowing you to feel weightless and one with the water.
You might question what floating in a tank might to do for you, but there are multiple benefits of floating. According owner of Float Milwaukee, Andy Larson, floating can assist with relaxation, stress relief, pain relief, greater focus, and enhanced creativity. “One customer in specific said after floating her back hasn’t felt relief like that in 2 years,” Larson said.
Some people might have concerns as to whether or not tanks are a manifestation for germs, as a tank can be used by multiple people throughout the day. Before and after your float, you are required to shower, as the float facility will provided showers in the room. After the use of a tank the water is filtered three times and is then sterilized with hydrogen peroxide, ozone, and UV. The sterilization keeps the water free of microbes and sediment.
Although flotation services may be harder to find in some areas than others, we are fortunate enough to have one in downtown Milwaukee called Float Milwaukee. Float Milwaukee offers floats in 60 and 90 minute sessions. First time floaters can receive a special price of $50 for a 60 minute float. The minimum price for a 60 minute float is $75 and $100 for 90 minutes. For more pricing details check out their website http://floatmilwaukee.com/pricing/ as they have more options available. You must book for float session online ahead of time, as reservations tend to fill up quickly.
As I had never floated before, I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into Float Milwaukee. Prior to floating, I had been in contact with the generous owner Andy Larson who offered me to come and float for the purpose of this article. Upon walking in, I was asked to exchange my shoes for a pair of spa sandals and proceed to filling out a waiver. I was given a tour, which then led to the hall where the pods are located. In the float room, there is a shower and all the necessary supplies to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Before you begin your float, you have seven minutes to prepare and take a shower as required. It is also recommended that you turn the lights off in the room and wear nothing for the full experience. Once in the pod, you have control of everything such as music, lighting, and the opening and closing of the lid.
The seven minutes ended, and the pod started talking to let me know that my 60 minute session was beginning. I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. As soon as my body hit the water, it just started lifting me until I was flat on my back. It took about ten minutes for me to actually get comfortable which is expected of first time floaters. Since I wanted to go for the full experience of sensory deprivation I turned off the light in the pod and pulled the lid all the way shut. About 30 minutes in, my body felt weightless, and any thoughts that came to mind just vanished into thin air as all I could focus on was how relaxed I was. My mind wouldn’t let me let my feelings or emotions interfere with my state of relaxation. The light came back on as it does when a session is over and I hopped back in the shower to rinse off the salt water. If you choose, there is a resting area for after your float where you can come back to reality. In the area there are journals and magazines along with refreshments.
Despite only being open seven months, Float Milwaukee has received quite a bit of attention. Larson informed me that they’ve been almost 100% booked every single week, which is significant growth for a small business. With the experience you receive, it’s no wonder why everyone is raving about Float Milwaukee.
Floating was an experience like no other and I’m at a loss for words to describe how great it felt. The past two days after my float I’ve never felt so relaxed, and my skin couldn’t be softer from the epsom salt. Float Milwaukee is something that I recommend everyone to try as an experience you won’t find anywhere else.