It’s Not A Coffin…

…It just looked like one.  Last year Michael and I tried the sensory deprivation tanks at Float On for the first time. We both wanted to go again because the first time you try it you don’t know what to expect and don’t really achieve any kind of higher consciousness. We recently went again, thanks to a Living Social coupon.

Michael’s back issues are a little better but not 100%. I was curious to see if floating would help him at all. Because his back was bothering him, he got the easier tank–the one I had last time that was kind of like a giant bathtub. It was easier for him to get in and out of it. This time I had the one he had last time — the one that is an actual tank with a door that closes.


When I first looked at the tank I got, I admit, my heart started racing a little bit. It was kind of creepy to look at. I got over that fairly quickly, though. You shower before you get in the tank. I turned the lights off in the room but you could still kind of see because of the salt lamp on top of the tank.

I stepped inside, crouched down and closed the door behind me. I remembered my experience last time and the things that made me uncomfortable was getting the salt water in my eyes. This time I brought swimming goggles and it made the experience so much better. At one point I did get a little salt water in my nose (no idea how) and that was a burning horrible awfulness but it went away pretty quickly.

I was glad I brought the goggles. I also remembered that last time my neck kind of hurt so I grabbed the swimming noodle immediately this time and that helped. I got in the tank and closed the door and couldn’t see anything. That definitely helped calm me down and not think about how I was in a tank. Not being able to see anything made a big difference.

So how was the float session? It was pretty good but I still didn’t achieve any kind of “enlightenment”, so to speak. I don’t know what is wrong with me but I couldn’t turn my brain off. This is why I also suffer from insomnia. My mind starts racing, I make obsessive lists in my head, think about all the things I have to do the next day or the next week…I just couldn’t shut that off! I laid in the tank with my mind racing, feeling irritated with myself.

The floating felt nice. It’s kind of weird to just float on top of the water without any effort to stay afloat. I liked that weightless feeling. The water feels kind of slimy from the massive amounts of salt. That is a strange feeling.


The session was for 90 minutes. I think around the hour mark my brain calmed down and I was able to relax. I also found a much more comfortable position to float in. I used the swim noodle kind of like a pillow and rolled onto my side, almost in a fetal position. I was floating in that position for the rest of the session and felt REALLY relaxed and could have fallen asleep. I told Michael later and he thought that was crazy–he called it an “advanced maneuver.” LOL I don’t know, it was just comfy.

The session was over when the music started playing. I got out and showered and cleaned up and met Michael outside. We stopped at 7-11 and Michael got an ice cream bar (I skipped it because there wasn’t anything less than 300 calories!) and I got a Gatorade. I was SO thirsty! That’s a tip I’d recommend–bring a water bottle. Re-hydrate! You will be so thirsty.

Michael said he had a good experience. He didn’t know that it necessarily helped his back much but he said he was comfortable (so that’s good) and that the time went really fast this time. I agree, it felt like that 90 minutes when faster than the first time.

I’d like to try it again. I REALLY want to achieve some kind of mental calmness. I want to try and use that time as a meditation and calm my mind, which seems unattainable at this point…Anyways, I’m glad we tried it again. Time will tell if the next experience will be different.

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

8 thoughts on “It’s Not A Coffin…”

    1. Sure, here is their website: This is some of the info too:

      Not having to fight gravity lets your muscles, joints, and bones take a well-deserved break. Your body suddenly has loads of extra resources (usually spent supporting your weight, regulating temperature, and trying not to get speeding tickets), which it gets to focus on things like healing and resting.

      Without old-man gravity pushing you down all the time, your spine lengthens an inch, chronic pain is relieved, and your muscles get to fully rest. Unlike lying on a mattress, lying in water allows blood to flow freely all throughout your body. There’s no need to readjust your position to get comfortable.

      About 40 minutes into your float your brain stops producing its normal Alpha waves and starts churning out Theta waves. These are responsible for that ‘between-waking-and-sleeping’ state, and you make them naturally every night before you conk out. While it only lasts for a few sparse moments in your bed, you can achieve a prolonged Theta state in the tank, a state of consciousness that is usually only seen in children and people who have spent years practicing meditation.

      Even the magnesium-based Epsom salts we use in the tank are good for you. They soften and replenish your skin, and help counteract the magnesium deficiency that most of us have due to depleted magnesium levels in our soil. They’re also kosher, just in case you want to float in water that has been blessed by a Rabbi.

  1. I’m SO GLAD you wrote about this. I won a certificate to go here in a raffle, and I haven’t booked it yet even though I’ve been wanting to try a float for several years. So yay, this will serve as my cheat sheet so I can go directly to advanced maneuvers! 😀
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      1. I did my float yesterday! It was okay.. but I found it kind of boring. I also get bored in hot tubs and baths, though.

        For the first half or so I kept wondering what time it was, how soon would it be over, etc. By the time the music came on to signal the end I think I was in a bit of a zoned-out state, I’m not really sure. Mostly I spent the whole time splooshing around – pushing off with my hands over my head, then pushing off with my feet when I hit the bottom, bouncing slowly from side to side.

        I’ll go back since I have a certificate worth two more visits, but I didn’t feel like I got a huge benefit from it. I actually felt pretty wide-awake especially at the beginning, but I think I was very well-rested after a lot of biking on Friday & Saturday!
        bethh recently posted..Another three

  2. Nope, no thank you. The thought of being enclosed in that thing gives me the heebie jeebies! Glad you finally got to relax!

    I know its weird, but when I got to bed, I lay down, and I say out loud “no more thinking, it’s time to sleep” and I am usually asleep in 5 minutes and I don’t wake up until 2 minutes before my alarm goes off. My husband? Tosses and turns almost every night. I wish I could give my gift of sleep to some people!
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