The FLOAT STL first-time orientation

Hi there, soon-to-be-floaters! So many of you arrive at our location and wonder if we will offer you the information you need in order to have a gentle, relaxing and rejuvenating float experience. The answer is yes, absolutely! Unless you tell us otherwise, we will assume that you have never floated before and offer you a thorough orientation. The purpose of this post is to walk you through that orientation right here, right now.

Before we get started, I want you to imagine that you have arrived at FLOAT STL.

You’ve kicked off your shoes and you’re hanging out on one of our cozy couches. Maybe you are chatting with a staff member or fellow floater. Maybe you are holding a warm cup of herbal tea and enjoying a moment to yourself. You’ve taken a step away from your responsibilities and to-dos. Your mind and body are beginning to slow down.

Once we have your room ready for you, one of our staff members will usher you back to your private float space and talk to you about the floating experience.

As you enter your room, you will notice that the environment is warm and humid. You’ll see your float tank, and when you peak inside, you’ll see 10.5 inches of crystal clear water.

This is how your orientation will begin:

“Welcome to your private float space. I am going to walk you through an orientation, which covers everything you will need to know in order to begin your float, to address common questions about the float experience, and to show you how to exit your float. Once we are finished, you are welcome to lock your door behind you. We also have a shelf here for you to hang all of your belongings. Please ask me questions at any time!”

To get started:

“You’ll want to remove your clothing, jewelry, watch, glasses, and contact lenses. We offer earplugs for your comfort. They are not mandatory and it is perfectly safe to float without them. We simply recommend them because they support sound isolation and also ensure that you do not get salt water in your ears. If you do wish to use them, wait for them to expand fully in your ears before you get in your shower, as they work best when they are dry.”

“Next, you are going to take a brief shower. Please use our body wash and shampoo. Suds up and rinse off well! Dry the front of your face and the top of your head so water droplets do not drip down your face and tickle you!”

“Then, grip the safety bar (or the side of the pod – depending on your tank’s style), and take a step into the tank. The tank contains approximately 200 gallons of water and has 900lbs of Epsom salt dissolved in it. When you lie back, your body will float effortlessly on the surface of the water. You will not need to use any energy to support yourself.”

“If your tank is a float room, we recommend that you close your door behind you. If your tank is a float pod, we recommend that you close your lid. This helps maintain a comfortable temperature. Please be reassured that both the pod’s lid and the room’s door gently rest shut. Neither door will lock or latch. If the enclosure makes you feel anxious and you wish to leave your door or lid open, you may absolutely do that. There is no right or wrong way to have your tank door/lid!”

At this point, we will show you the location of your light button, and we will remind you that your light is 100% under your control. You may turn it on at any time! We will also remind you that you may exit your float at any time. Exiting your float is completely under your control!

We will carry on by saying, “when you are ready to get started, please firmly press your light button. Your light will turn off and soothing music will begin. This music will play for approximately 15 minutes. Its function is to ease you into your silent float.

There you go! That is everything you need to know to get started!

Here are a few tips for the duration of your float: 

  • It’s okay to bump into the walls – “Depending on how much the water moves when you begin your float, you may notice your hands and feet will touch the tank walls. This is not uncommon, and please know that you are not doing anything wrong. Our natural inclination is to push off the walls, but this will cause you to ping-pong around the tank! Our recommendation is to place your hands on either side of the tank and pause, which will help your body find stillness.”
  • Find a comfortable arm position – “You will probably float most comfortably with your arms like this, (imagine us holding our arms up above our head), or like this (imagine us holding our arms down at our sides. Experiment with both positions to choose the position that feels most comfortable for you. It might feel comfortable to clasp them behind your head and neck, or rest them on your stomach. Please remember not to cross your arms in front of your face, otherwise you may drip some salt water on yourself.”
  • About Falling asleep – “It is safe to fall asleep in the float tank. You will not sink, drown, or roll over and inhale water. None of those things will happen. The only unpleasant thing that may happen is your body may twitch awake, and you might splash some salt water on yourself.”
  • You may get salt water in your eyes – “If you get salt water in your eyes, nose, and mouth at any time, you will want to wash it out. Although it’s harmless, it tends to sting and it tastes pretty gross. If you splash a lot of water on your face, we recommend you: 1. Turn on your light, 2. Wash out the salt water and dry your face, and 3. Step back into your tank and resume floating. If you get just a bit of salt water in your eye, you can use this spray bottle full of filtered water. Just spray the salty-area, and use your towel to dry off. Last, if your body feels incredibly relaxed, and you notice just a tiny bit of salt water in your eye but do not want to move your relaxed body, please know that the salt water will not harm you.”
  • Need a little extra head and neck support – Next, we’ll show you a blue donut-shaped float-ie. This is a “halo” that you may use if you would like some extra head and neck support. We’ll also mention that if you have any paper-cuts or scratches, the Epsom salts will sting at first. The salt water is healing for cuts and scrapes. Don’t worry, it will only sting for a moment! If you’re worried about this, try some liquid bandage or use Vaseline to cover the area.
  • Last, like we’ve said, there’s no right or wrong way to float. Feel free to have a gentle, relaxing, silent float. Rest and let your thoughts drift away. Or, allow yourself to engage with your thoughts. Maybe you will become curious about them. Maybe you will play around and stretch, hum a tune, play with your breathing, etc. The way you choose to float is completely up to you! Enjoy yourself. Every float is different.

This is everything you will need to know for the duration of your float.

You will know your float session is over because you will hear some soft music play under the water. If you are floating in a pod, your soft music will be accompanied by a gentle light. The music and light are your cues to inform you that your session is complete. Please be careful when exiting your tank, take a nice warm shower to remove the salt water, use all the products you want, and dress. No need to rush, as you have 10-15 minutes to exit your room. You may notice our filtration system begin. If you are a deep sleeper and you do not wake to the music or light, you will wake to the water gently moving like a Jacuzzi.

When you exit your private space, we will welcome you back into our pre-and-post float area, where you can enjoy some cold water or hot tea and settle into the relaxing after-effects of your float experience.

We invite you to make yourself comfortable and hang out for as long as you would like!

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