So You Want to Float?

Working Mother - - Home Front -

If you’re ready to give float­ing a try, here are some must-dos:

Get groom­ing out of the way the night be­fore. Make sure you leave a few hours be­tween wax­ing or shav­ing and your float ses­sion to avoid ir­ri­ta­tion or burn­ing.

Ar­rive 30 min­utes be­fore your first float.

Most cen­ters will ask you to sign a waiver, and spend time in­tro­duc­ing you to the prac­tice. You’ll learn how to get in and out of the tank and what it will feel like. This is a good time to ask about op­tional mu­sic and low light­ing, which can help ease nerves.

Think hy­giene. Be pre­pared to shower and re­move any lo­tions or makeup be­fore you don earplugs and gog­gles to keep salt out of your ears and mouth.

Ask ques­tions. While you’re on the sub­ject of clean­li­ness, make sure you ask how (and how of­ten) a lo­ca­tion san­i­tizes its tanks. Ep­som salt does kill some germs, but it’s not enough to kill ev­ery­thing, ac­cord­ing to the Float Tank As­so­ci­a­tion, an in­dus­try group that cre­ated stan­dards for float-tank clean­ing. There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent san­i­tiz­ing meth­ods, but ex­perts agree that tanks should be fil­tered be­tween uses, and use hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide, ozone, UV light­ing or chlo­rine, or a com­bi­na­tion of the four. You’ll also want to ask if your float cen­ter has the op­tion to leave the door to the tank open and the lights on if you’re not ex­cited about be­ing dropped into si­lence and black­ness on your first visit.

Don’t be afraid to get naked. Cloth­ing is frowned upon at most cen­ters since it can har­bor bac­te­ria. You might be able to wear a bathing suit, but call ahead to make sure.

Ready to book? You can find a cen­ter at flota­tion­lo­ca­ (float­ing ses­sions cost on av­er­age $62.25 for an hour float and $71.59 for 90 min­utes, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try org Float Tank So­lu­tions). —kjb

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