Yesterday I used a float tank. It was my second time.
I’m still figuring out how it can be useful. The magnesium salts are a huge plus for me, and relaxation is nice, but as of yet, floating doesn’t have any effects that I think would be worthy of the evangelization it gets from Evan Brand and Joe Rogan. It’s mostly a ‘cool thing to do’.
Perhaps the answer will be in cumulative and continued use. That is how anything works after all — you don’t see an improvement unless you make a continued effort. Unfortunately, very few things one does for personal enhancement cost $40 each time you do them. The soap required for floating also strips all the oils off your skin and hair. Not a good thing when I’m trying to engender a more natural relationship between my skin and the sun.
I did get a monthly payment package — I get two floats per month. It’s cheaper and will help make floating a continued practice.
As for the experience itself, it took me quite a while to settle in. One thing I found that helped is putting my hands behind my head. This position relaxed both my arms and neck, which felt uncomfortable and tense. It allows both my arms and neck to push against each other a little, thus removing the tension from trying to get used to a new position (floating in water as opposed to standing in air as usual). After a period of time I didn’t need to be in this position to be comfortable.
(As an aside, I think human bodies are most comfortable when existing in motion, or with their weight pressed against a solid object like a floor. Maintaining complete stillness in a fluid environment, like water or air, is uncomfortable — ie, standing or sitting.)
The first time I floated I seemed to spend at least half the session coming up with different ways to accentuate the experience. I think it would be really cool to have a circular tank so that you could move around and be completely unaware as to how you’re oriented in the world. With a rectangular tank, I know if I’m oriented another direction. I believe this would help take your mind out of your body, as your mind would no longer be tethered by a concrete idea of where it exists in space.
Another cool idea I had was lights that would create a sense of motion by turning off and on in succession (think of runway lights at an airport). Lights could also be used in learning applications, but that’s an entirely different beast.