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Everything You Might Want To Know About Floating!

Why should I float?
Our senses are continuously bombarded with external stimuli – noise, traffic, telephones, people, computers. An excess of visual and auditory stimulation results in stress.
A floatation tank is sealed from light and sound, which removes these influences and allows you to experience total physical and mental relaxation. The buoyancy of the Epsom salt solution lets you float effortlessly, as if you were in outer space or the Dead Sea. The water is maintained at skin temperature, which results in a dissolution of boundaries between yourself and the water, leaving you “floating free.” The mind is then allowed to wander into the deepest state of relaxation.
With the body experiencing weightlessness there is little for the brain to do. No commands need to be sent out, so the logical side of the brain slows down until it synchronizes with the creative side. This leaves the individual in a dream-like state, somewhat akin to what one experiences while drifting off to sleep. It is at this point that one can find mental clarity, increased creativity and problem solving, heightened visualization, deepened meditation, expanded awareness, intensified acuteness of all the senses, and accelerated learning. And, perhaps the most rewarding feeling of all, the brain releases vast amounts of endorphins.

What is a flotation tank?
Floating in a flotation tank is a way of achieving extreme well-being.  Essentially, you spend an hour or so lying quietly in the dark, suspended in a warm solution of Epsom salt about eleven inches (twenty-seven centimeters) deep and so dense that you float effortlessly. Our unique flotation room is equipped with underwater speakers through which relaxing music can be played and a light inside if you choose to use it.  Flotation tanks are also known as isolation tanks, salt water spas, sensory deprivation tanks, and REST chambers.Flotation REST, also known as floating, was developed in America. REST stands for Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy/Technique. You float in a salt water solution in a specially designed tank, which resembles a large, enclosed bathtub.  The tank is built so that all outside distractions such as sight, sound, tactile sensations, and gravity are eliminated. The water is warmed to 35.5 degrees centigrade.

What makes endorphins so great, anyway?

The term endorphin consists of two parts: endo- and –orphin.  These are abbreviations of the words endogenous and morphine, and combined the word is intended to mean "a morphine like substance originating from within the body."  Endorphins are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus during situations like exercise, excitement, laughter, orgasm…and floating! They resemble opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a sense of well-being. In other words, endorphins work as the body’s pain relievers and are responsible for what has become known as a “natural high.” Drugs such as morphine, heroine and cocaine are classic endorphin-releasing substances.   Luckily for us, floating provides a less addictive way of creating such sweet bliss. This elated feeling can last up to twelve hours for some people, putting flotation up there with the most pleasurable experiences a person can have. At Float Utila, Endorphin = In-Door-Fun!

Are there health benefits to floating?
Many! Too many to list here. Beyond stress-relief and relaxation, floating in Epsom salts has been proven to help with diabetes, high blood pressure, sports injuries, back pain…and the list goes on and on.  Please check out our page dedicated entirely to the wonders of Epsom salts for more information.

Is the water clean?

Floating is extremely sanitary. Three things makes the float tank very hygienic. The first is the high concentration of Epsom salts that kill most viruses, bacteria, etc., from surviving. (To give you some idea of the salt content, each liter of solution weighs 1.35 kilos, whereas the average liter of water weighs only one kilo.) The second reason is that the water in the flotation tank is UV sanitized and passed through a five-micron filter after every float session. The water also contains 0.02 % hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is known for killing virus, bacteria and fungus. Inside and outside the body. Guests are also required to shower before entering the float room. We take every precaution to provide you with the cleanest, safest and most relaxing experience possible.

Will I get claustrophobic?

Some are a little concerned about being enclosed in a space, its normal.  Unlike small flotation tanks, Float Utila is an entire room (8’x 8’, and 6’ high) that allows you to stretch out in all directions, even stand if you choose. In addition, you are in control of your environment at all times. You can open the door, leave a light on or play music if you want.

Am I locked in?

No, you are never locked in. You are in control of your experience at all times.

What if I fall asleep?

Enjoy it! The water has a high content of Epsom salts, which provides natural buoyancy. It is physically impossible to sink or to turn over in your sleep. Lie back and the solution will totally support you. If you do fall asleep whilst floating it will be one of the most rested and deep states of sleep you will ever experience.

I’m a large / small person, will I float?

It is impossible not to float in the tank, no matter your shape or size. Two thousand pounds (one thousand kilos) of Epsom salts dissolved in the water make the solution so much denser than your body that you are is pushed to the surface like a cork. Anyone and everyone can’t help but float.

What will my first float be like?
Floating is a uniquely different experience for everybody. The most common reports are profound calmness 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 it. Not only will it be different for you than it is for anyone else, you'll probably find that it's also different each time you float. And the more you float the better it gets.

Will I be bored?

During the day we are constantly bombarded by sensory input and mental activity. Often during your first float your mind will be adjusting to the lack of stimulation and you may be thinking you want to be entertained!  As you continue to relax and allow the mind to let go, the deep relaxation and sense of calm that happens is not boring and is often timeless.

What do I do while I float?
Floating is often a passive experience; the less you do the deeper you will relax. However, you may also choose to use your time to "actively" direct the experience in the float tank. For example: prepare for an important event by going though it in your head, listen to a self-hypnotic recording (we have many available: stress-reduction, addictions, weight loss, better posture, etc), meditate, pray, do breathing exercises, stretch, and so on.  Some people set an intention before going into the tank (i.e., abundance, well-being). Most people, however, enjoy just letting go and flowing with wherever the experience takes them. The sensation of weightlessness is fun in and of itself!

What if nothing happens?

Expectations are one of the greatest hindrances to having a good float. Just allow yourself to let go and know that whatever your experience, your body is receiving the benefits of deep relaxation.

Will the salt hurt my skin?  Will my skin get wrinkly?

No, the salt is actually very good for skin and leaves you feeling soft and silky after your shower, and not at all wrinkly. If you have abrasions, scratches or other cuts, the salt can sting slightly. We suggest you do not shave four hours before your session.

What do I bring?

You don’t need to bring anything, and you don’t have to prepare at all for floating! If you like you can bring your own towel.  Otherwise you can rent one from us for $1.  We provide a magnificent rain shower and shampoo for before and after your floating experience.

What will I feel like afterward?

People’s experiences vary. Sometimes you may experience the feeling of being extremely relaxed similar to after a good massage, but often people feel the opposite and have a heightened sense of alertness and energy.

Will I get cold, like staying too long in a bath?

No, the room is heated constantly to the perfect temperature to heighten your floating experience. The temperature of the water feels warm when you get in, but in fact it is just slightly higher than normal skin temperature (94.5 degrees Fahrenheit), the perfect temperature for floating.

How long do people usually stay in the float tank?

The standard session is an hour, but you can leave whenever you want. Some people use the float tank for shorter sessions and others find 2 or 3 hours inside very valuable. Experiment with your own time in the tank to discover what is best for you.

Are there any known side effects to floating?

No, just a lingering sense of contentment and satisfaction. There are also myriad health benefits because of the wonderful properties of Epsom salts. For further information about this miracle mineral, check out our page all about Epsom salt and floating!

Is there a correct way to float?
No. Each person should find whatever position is comfortable for him or herself. 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 also use a provided pillow if you prefer more head support. Explore what is best for you.

Should I wear anything in the float tank?

Anything you wear will get very heavy with the salt solution and press against your body, becoming a distraction. We recommend going without; however, if you prefer to wear a swimsuit you are welcome to.

Is there a best time to use the float room?

This is a matter of individual preference. Some people prefer floating in the morning, some prefer floating at night. The best way to find out is to experiment by using the room at different times of the day.

Can two people float in the room at the same time?

Yes!  The room is eight-by-eight feet and six feet tall. There is plenty of space for two, and couple floating is a relaxing and romantic experience. We have special rates for couples.

Can pregnant women float?
Yes. As their bodies get heavier, floating is a great relief from the pull of gravity. The zero-gravity environment is ideal for managing back pain and discomfort during pregnancy.

Are there any individuals that should not float?

Those suffering from epilepsy or severe skin conditions should refrain from floating. People under the influence of drugs or alcohol should not float. Floating is not advised during menstruation.