Experience nothing: sensory deprivation tanks float stress away
A Vancouver-based company is cashing in people’s desire to slow down and chill out by offering sessions in a sensory deprivation tank.
The Float House in Gastown wants customers to “experience nothing.” Clients enter into a light and sound-proof float tank filled with 10 inches of water that has 400 kilograms of Epsom salts in it.
The water in the tank is heated to the same temperature as the surface of your skin so that once you begin to float, you no longer feel the water.
"In today's society we are over stressed, over stimulated and this is finally an opportunity for us all to get in there and actually just shut everything off for a short amount of time," said Andy Zaremba, Float House co-owner.
Fitness model Jennifer Weintz is a regular at Canada's largest floatation tank facility.
"I have a competition coming up and for three days my body was just throbbing in pain. I came and did a float, a 90 minute float session, and the next day I felt no pain anywhere in my body. I was completely relaxed, calm, rejuvenated," she said.
Floating is proven to suppress stress hormones that amplify pain, while releasing endorphins that decrease pain. Anyone can benefit from its effects, from athletes, to pregnant women, to people suffering from arthritis.
"The magnesium in the Epsom salts really helps your muscles relax and release tension. The anti-gravity of the solution as well lets your joints decompress," said Mike Zaremba, Float House co-owner.
In between each client a switch is turned on and all the water inside the tank is filtrated out and cleaned four times before the next person gets in.
Users say being inside the tank is a serene experience, calm to the point of almost being disconcerting.
"I went to a space where I wasn't thinking about anything and all I could hear was my heartbeat and my breath and I was like, what is happening?" said Lisa Hau.
“I was in a whole other world the entire time. It was really cool,” said first time floater Brittney Carlin. “It was like floating in the lake, watching the stars.”
Floating provides a break from the daily chaos that lets you get in touch with your body and your thoughts. But it doesn’t come cheaply. A 90-minute float will cost you $75, or $50 a float if you purchase a membership.
The Float House has just doubled the size of its Gastown location and opened a Kitsilano location on West 4th Ave. It also has a location in Victoria.