Thank you to Float Ambassador (and longtime friend), Tara Thorne, for their honest and fun telling of their float experiences here. If you’re looking for a straight-up ‘this is what’s up with floating’ account of the experience, we highly recommend you reading on.
Thank you, TT!! <3
As with so many things in my life, floating was introduced to me by The Simpsons. Lisa has a bad belly and goes to her local naturopath, who suggests sensory deprivation. While Homer has a wacky adventure in his tank (it’s repossessed and ends up in the sea, long story), Lisa has visions—she’s her cat, the journalist Cokie Roberts, a meat-eater, and finally a version of herself who realizes how hard she is on her dad. Floating brings her whimsy, alternatives, and realizations.
I am neither open-minded nor in sync with my body, so it would take both Lisa Simpson and my decades-old relationship with Lindsay to get me to try floating. It also took a back injury—similar to Homer’s accidental trip underground, I had a freak incident that saw me get locked inside my house and damage my sacrum when I tried to heave the door off its hinges (directed by someone who knew what he was doing; I was the reckless one). I was in incredible pain that would eventually take me to a chiropractor, but all things considered I thought there were finally enough reasons to try my old friend’s new business. Why pour Epsom salt in the tub when I could climb into my own private salt pool?
Most people are nervous about the claustrophobia element when they float for the first time—I wasn’t, but the heat felt instantly oppressive, like a humidity I couldn’t escape (I don’t even notice it now). I sank my seized-up body into the water and moved freely for the first time in six weeks. Yes there was pain, but I’d spent every day previously taking three full moves just to turn over in bed, so this felt like the circus comparatively.
Two years later, back relatively healed—back injuries are chronic and worsen with age, try to avoid them!—floating is part of my admittedly moderate-at-best care regimen, which includes chiro, massage, Yoga with Adriene and lots of walking. But it was the thing that beget those other things (not the walking obviously), because you have no choice but to confront your body in the tank. How you move, how you feel, the tight spots—the salt lights them right up—the loose ones, and on. Due to its effortless nature, you feel strong and powerful and even, in my case, graceful. I have the best sleeps post-float and my skin feels incredible.
However: Where are my damn visions?! Palmer says if you go in wanting them they won’t happen, so I try to count down from 10, deep breathing exercises, to centre myself perfectly in the tank so I’m not touching the walls (not hard, I’m short). The hardest part of floating is not surrendering your body, it’s surrendering your mind. I haven’t been able to get there yet, but it’s what keeps me going back.