Floating is a practice where you enter into a float tank (also called an isolation tank or sensory deprivation tank) which is a well-engineered enclosed tub filled with 10″ of water that has 800 lbs. of dissolved Epsom salts in it. The individual lies down in the water and floats effortlessly in the nude. The water is heated to the same temperature as the surface of your skin so that when the water settles and you remain relaxed and still, you do not really feel the water anymore. The tank is light-proof, sound-proof and has a neutral smell.

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All forces of gravity on the musculoskeletal system and nervous system are eliminated from the extreme positive buoyancy; so imagine a space where you don’t feel, see or hear anything. The tank’s extremely unique environment is designed to allow for a minimal amount of sensory input to enter into your nervous system. This environment then has a plethora of benefits and applications for health, personal development, spirituality, and well-being.

FLOATING TIMES

Floats are regularly 90 minutes long. You can also book two sessions back-to-back for longer floats and get an extra 30 minutes since there is no room preparation needed in between (total of 210 minutes).

BENEFITS FOR YOUR BODY & MIND

Whether you're using floatation therapy as a tool for meditation, creativity or rest & recovery, there are a wide-range of benefits that are difficult to get anywhere else. Find out how members of our community are using the float tank and the benefits they've experienced!

+ Relaxation Response

The tank suppresses the functioning of the sympathetic nervous system which when active produces our ‘fight or flight’ response. And it then activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for relaxation, healing, replenishment, etc. Some physical symptoms of the relaxation response are decreased muscle tension, decreased blood pressure, decreased stress hormones, and increased endorphins.

+ Heightened senses

Research indicates increased visual acuity, improved tactile perception, improved auditory sensitivity, and increased taste sensitivities after floating.

+ Pain Management

Arthritis, back pain, neck pain, tendinitis, bursitis, inflammation, and psychosomatic pain relief have all been documented via tank use.

+ Increased immune function

Immune function is enhanced by suppressing stress hormones which not only weaken the immune system but also suppress the digestion and reproductive systems, affect regeneration processes, and decrease insulin sensitivity.

+ Enhanced healing / rejuvenation / recovery

Floating increases circulation to extremities, promotes greater elimination of metabolic by products, decreases the forces of gravity to help promote greater muscular relaxation, and it can prevent adrenal fatigue.

+ Musculoskeletal Awareness

Floating decreases chronic muscle tension and creates greater awareness of less noticeable areas of muscle tension and imbalances.

Although floating is not zero-gravity (like outer space), the density of the Epsom Salt solution does create the maximal amount of the forces of gravity to be dispersed across the greatest surface area of the body. Rigid postures and chronic muscular tension from daily life can cause ailments such as lower-back pain, neck pain, shallow breathing, high blood pressure, etc. The anti-gravity environment of the float tank disperses forces to the smallest amount and thus decreases the source of gravity-related stimulation to the minimum possible value providing relief to these specific areas.

+ Increased Stress Resistance

Regular floating can alter the set-points in the endocrine homeostatic mechanism which can cause adjustments such as a lower adrenal activation threshold. This means that we become more resistant to the stimuli of chronic stressors bombarding us in modern urban settings and modern lifestyles and literally we have a physiological higher threshold. The modern urban life-style won’t affect our stress response as much.

+ Meditation

Meditation has a plethora of researched benefits and floating is a unique and phenomenal tool to cultivate mental stillness. It often generates a sensation of being intensely awake yet extremely relaxed; presence. It can induce theta-state brainwaves and allows for one to remain conscious in this frequency instead of falling asleep. Floating may induce an altered state of consciousness.

+ Chronic Stressor Relief

The tanks environment eliminates as much external input as possible. It lets your nervous system have a break. In a city with a constant buzz or hum, our systems rarely experience (if ever) the isolation and silence that the tank’s environment provides. Having this experience can be very refreshing, nourishing and healthy for our bodies and minds. We are well adapted for acute stress, however, for chronic stressors such as noise and air pollution; business, social, and family pressures; war; unemployment; street crime fear; general antagonism between the sexes; we are not well adapted and have been cited to be a cause of several forms of disease.

+ Deautomatization

The mental “reset”. Patterns exist throughout our lives. Going throughout our daily routines we get “numb” to so much around us, we become automatic with so many of our thoughts, our actions, our environments. The “resetting” experience provided by the tank can shift us out of this automated existence and bring us into greater awareness of the things we are often over-looking, less aware of or insensitive to, and not appreciating.

+ Behaviour Modification

Floating is a great way to bring greater awareness to various patterns of behavior. Floating has shown to have beneficial effects such as decreased anxiety and depression; increased calmness or sense of well-being; it has shown fantastic results towards anti-smoking assistance as well as positive effects on weight-loss programs.

+ Brain Synchronization

After settling into the floating experience research has shown greater hemisphere synchronization (promoting greater communication between the right (creative-side) and left (analytical-side) lobes; the majority of people are left-dominated. Also, people experience increased vertical communication between the primitive reptilian brain, the limbic middle or mammalian brain and the conscious neocortex. These synchronizing reactions can cause elevated states of creativity, greater non-linear connections, and deeper realizations.

+ Introspection

With literally zero outward distractions your attention is easily redirected inward. Habitual thought-pattern recognition and analysis can be clearly discovered, monitored, and addressed. Various forms of mental programming/reprogramming become very powerful tools to re-evaluate and change your thoughts with clarity and repetition.

+ Visualization

The combination of being extremely relaxed while intensely awake allows techniques of visualization to become very powerful. From athletes preparing for competition to public speakers rehearsing a presentation, the tank can induce the calm needed to perform at ones best. Mental rehearsal research has shown it to be just as practical as physical rehearsal.

+ Super-Learning

With the brain being held in a theta state wave-length the mind becomes hyper-suggestible. With less distractions and greater resources at its disposal the mind is able to absorb new material very deeply with research showing improved performance in memory and recall activities. It is great to use in conjunction with exam preparation.

+ Pyschoneuroimmunology (PNI)

This is a multidisciplinary approach to how well our immune system functions based on our state of mind. It correlates having a positive healthy state of mind with a well-functioning immune system. Some research has even shown how focusing on an injury of diseased area of the body with positive feelings of a healing intention has improved recovery rates from various ailments.

+ Endorphins

Floating and the relaxation response it induces flood the body with endorphins. These neurotransmitters are responsible for relieving us from pain, enhancing our mood (decreasing feelings of depression to potentially generating feelings of euphoria), they can suppress our appetite, and decrease anxiety leaving us in a calm and clear state of being.

+ Sensitivity Buffering

Some of us are known as introverts while others are extroverts. Introverts who float can gain a feeling of safety and security, they often enjoy the break from constant stimulation in which they are usually hypersensitive to. No person or thing will disturb you while in the tank. Extroverts can develop greater internal sensitivity from floating, typically they are always seeking extra stimulation and paradoxically through depriving the senses the nervous system’s response is to “turn up the volume” to try and feel more. Since minimal input is coming in they are able to develop greater sensitivity to their internal reality and over time they may not feel the need to be constantly stimulated; i.e. it may heighten their “dulled” senses, and won’t need to be constantly stimulated.

+ Poor sleep/insomnia

From managing chronic stress and inducing a natural calm, to facilitating introspection and identifying various less-serving modes of thinking, many people report drastically improved sleeping abilities. The change in your physical state and your mental outlook may provide you with a healthier perspective in which to put your body and mind to rest much easier each night if sleeping is an issue. Also, 90 minutes in the tank can feel like 6-8 hours of sleep. It is extremely therapeutic, refreshing and rejuvenating. So if you pulled an all-nighter, suffer from insomnia or have a baby who never lets you sleep the night through, floating can help make up for any lack of sleep you may experiencing.

As one of the largest float centres in the world, and the first in Vancouver, Float House helped set the standard for floating in Canada and beyond with the Gastown location. Now with 6 locations in Canada, and having hosted over 100,000 floats, we are quickly expanding the family across the country. Enjoy a premium experience at an affordable rate and most importantly — breathe deep and relax, welcome home! 

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YOUR FLOAT ROOM

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MOOD LIGHTING

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POST-FLOAT LOUNGE


LOCATIONS

GASTOWN | KITSILANO | VICTORIA | South Surrey| Langley | Edmonton

Our floatation centres use both Oasis and Genesis float tanks, all providing your own private room with a shower. If you have questions or concerns before, during or after your session, our friendly and knowledgable staff are there to help optimize your experience and answer any questions you may have. Afterwards, you can enjoy the post-float glow in our lounges with complimentary tea and other amenities. We hope that you feel safe, secure and welcome in our facilities!


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FOR YOUR FLOATING COMFORT

  • Fresh towel and wash cloth
  • Robe
  • Ear-plugs (two types)
  • Unscented pre-float shampoo & body wash
  • Post-float shampoo & body wash
  • Slippers
  • Coloured room lighting (customizable)

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POST-FLOAT LOUNGE

  • Filtered water
  • Complimentary Tea
  • Awe-inspiring Videos
  • Comfortable seating
  • Books on floating, spirituality, and more.
  • Yoga mats for pre- or post-float stretching
  • Journals to share your floating experiences

* Amenities vary based on location. 

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR FIRST VISIT

AT FLOAT HOUSE, WE WANT YOU TO FEEL AT HOME


EXPERIENCING YOUR FIRST FLOAT WITH US

 
  1. START. Create an account within our booking system to get started. 

  2. BOOK. Choose which day and time works for you.

  3. SHOW UP. Come about 15 minutes prior to your float and our friendly staff will familiarize you with floating and the centre.

  4. FLOAT. Enter your float room, shower and enjoy your experience.

  5. GLOW. After your float rinse off the Epsom salts, get changed, grab some tea, sit and chill, reflect, browse our retail, talk and share your experience, check out some artwork from our featured artist and enjoy the after-float glow.

 

TIPS & BEST PRACTICES

 

Here are some simple tips to help you prepare for your float and techniques you can use while in the tank to help you optimize your floating experience. Be sure to review the list below!

 

PRE-FLOAT

+ Shaving

For men, avoid shaving your face at least 6 hours before you float. For women, avoid shaving your body at least 12 hours before your float. Any lesions will be distracting due to the Epsom salt sting.

+ Eating

A super full stomach is not great for floating, nor is the emptiest of stomachs. Having a light, easily digestible meal 1.5 to 2 hours pre-float is probably ideal.

+ Hydration

Being dehydrated before the float may not be the best state, particularly for your brain. A healthy daily hydration practice is just good for optimal biology!

+ Washroom

Be sure to use the washroom prior to showering before you float. Talk about a distraction while in the tank.

+ Smoking

Smoking just prior to the tank may stimulate you too much. Even if you are craving a cigarette the tank may very well suppress your craving. However, you’ll need to figure out what the best formula is for you and your biochemistry.

+ Caffeine

Definitely avoid having caffeine before you float. The stimulation you experience from caffeine is the exact opposite way you’ll want to go when you are in the tank. By the end of your float you most likely will not feel like you need your fix.

+ Coupling activities

We have found performing physical activity (yoga, cardio, or resistance training) before you float to greatly enhance the floating experience. Your body has expended pent-up energy, muscles and tissues are loose and flowing with blood, your mind is clear and calm. Combining floating to this state can potentially create a deeper state of meditation. Be sure to have a little snack (not junk food) post-activity and pre-float. Nuts, fruit, juice, or smoothies are good options… Just not too much.

+ Hair dyes

For guests with recently coloured hair or highlights, we recommend not floating until roughly one week or more after treatment. Dyes can (in some cases) bleed out or be affected by the heavy concentration of epsom salt. Please consult your hair stylist before floating.

IN THE TANK

+ Breathing

Your breath can be an amazing tool for calming the mind and relaxing the body. Try to breathe primarily from your nose. At first, you can consciously take deep breaths, but once you settle into your experience try less to manipulate the breath and more just observing the breath. Your body will always remember to breath, there is no need to control your breath.

+ Positions

The most important thing is to get comfortable. There are only two real positions in the tank:

With your arms at your side, palms down; Arms over-head with your palms up. Play around with the two to see which feels better for your body. Also, try to position your body in the middle of the tank to avoid “ping-ponging” from side to side. To do this, brace your arms and legs against the sides of the tank to position your torso in the middle, and once you feel the water to be calm, slowly and evenly retract your limbs back to the mid-line of your body. Try not to generate any momentum from either side so that you remain in the middle and avoid the distraction of bumping into the side. Once you like your position and feel comfortable try to remain still and consciously relax all of your muscles.

+ Letting go (lack of effort)

Don’t “try” to do anything in the tank, don’t force something to happen, don’t expect something to happen; this is the exact opposite direction from where you may want to go while in the tank. You will not fall asleep necessarily, just be present. Repetition of a focus word such as “peace”, “relax”, or “let go” spoken in your mind in unison with your exhalation can help at first, but the message here is to just let go of conscious control.

+ Stillness

Being physically still by finding a comfortable position and remaining there combined with stilling your mind either through breath awareness or a focus word (mantra) can lead you into a state of holistic stillness. This can generate the perception of timelessness, your state of being will be extremely relaxed and this is when the body is in a state of healing.

+ Sensitivity

With external stimuli at a minimum, your nervous system will turn up the volume to try and sense anything. Since there is still “nothing” coming in there is a great opportunity to simply sense whatever is left to be felt within your internal body. Feel your arms, legs, torso, head, as intensely as possible. Cultivate as much sensitivity to these parts as possible. Feel the energetic uniformed consistency of these parts and observe them without judgment, without limits. Observe your thoughts, emotions and sensations.

JOIN THE FAMILY, IT'S BETTER TO BE A MEMBER!

 

You can purchase floats individually or in packs at an affordable rate, but you get the best value by becoming a member! With a membership, you'll enjoy the best floating experience with flexible terms, the best prices on floats, and many perks like:

  • Discounted extra floats
  • Discounts on retail items
  • Discounted massages with our partners*
  • Complimentary craft kombucha* or Kava Kava*
  • ...and MUCH MORE!

With no long-term contracts and the ability to suspend your membership for up to 1-month, the membership is the way to go! Dive deep into your Self, manage stress, start or supplement your meditation practice, and connect to an amazing community of conscious-minded individuals! Learn more about our affordable pricing & memberships

* Pricing & membership benefits vary based on location. 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Please review the list below and if you still have questions, please ask

+ How do you clean the tanks?

The water is fully filtered 7 times between each float, passing through a 10-micron caliber filter. The Epsom salts are a natural disinfectant and are at a super loaded amount. We are also required to put a minimal amount of a disinfectant (bromine) by health authorities, however with that said, you will not smell like you just came out of a public swimming pool.

+ What if I’m claustrophobic?

Being in the tanks is more like floating in outer space than being shut in a box. You’re always in control of your environment, and even people with extreme claustrophobia have reported having no problems with their time in the tank. Giving yourself what you need, being compassionate, and remembering you can exit at any time. We suggest for those apprehensive to start with some calming, welcoming, non-word based music to start the float.

+ How often is the water changed?

Every week we perform a very in-depth maintenance of our facilities focusing on our tanks. We add fresh epsom salt and water, with the entire volume being replaced over a period of 10 weeks. Between the super-concentrated salt solution, an approved oxidizing agent (bromine), a UV light disinfectant filter, and 10-micron cartridge filter, these are probably the cleanest recreational water sources you’ll encounter!

+ Is there anything I should do to prepare?

Don’t drink coffee for several hours beforehand (it can make your system jittery). Also, don’t shave or wax since the salt water can irritate your skin. Eating a light meal about an hour to 90 minutes ahead of time stops your stomach from sounding like an angry monster while you float. Other than that, there’s no specific preparation needed.

+ Do I need to bring anything?

If you have longer hair, you may want to bring a comb. Also, something to put your contact lenses into while you’re in the tank. Other than that, we provide everything you need (towels, robes, earplugs, body wash/shampoo, blow dryer, etc.).

+ How do I relax in the tank during my float?

Please see our list of tips & best practices to help you enhance your experience in the tank.

+ What type of tanks do you have?

We opened with 5 brand new Oasis float tanks at our Gastown and Kitsilano locations (expanding Gastown to 8 tanks in early 2014). Our location in Victoria uses 4 Genesis tanks. South Surrey has 5 Oasis tanks. Langley has 4 Oasis tanks and 1 Pro Float Cabin. Edmonton has 5 Pro Float Cabins.

+ Can I float if I’m menstruating?

Yes. Just follow the same protocol you would for a swimming pool.

+ Can I float if I’m pregnant?

Absolutely! There will be a womb within a womb! Floating can relieve a lot of the aches and pains caused by pregnancy. If you have any concerns, please consult with your physician before coming in. Many pregnant women find it extremely calming for their central nervous system and get tremendous releif from the challenges of pregnancy.

+ Can more than one person float in a tank at a time?

Only one person per tank. We have many float tanks though, so bring your friends, family or loved ones to float alongside you!

+ How long have you been in business?

Float House opened in May of 2013 as the first float centre in the Greater Vancouver area (and one of the largest in the world) in Gastown, quickly expanding to Kitsilano and Victoria. And now have locations in South Surrey, Langley, Edmonton, with Langford (Westshore) and Abbottsford coming soon!

+ Do I have to stay in the whole time?

You can get out anytime. There aren’t any latches on the tank doors and you control your experience, that said, the 90-minutes usually go by quite quickly. Also it takes the mind and body time for some to completely relax and go into deeper states. It is not instantaneous and giving a longer exposure to the sensory reduced environment is the best medicine to dramatically calm the central nervous system.

+ Do I get dehydrated from soaking for so long?

No - your skin doesn’t even prune up. You do absorb a lot of magnesium from the Epsom salt which has oodles of benefits. Be reasonably hydrated and fed before your float similar if you were to prepare for exercise. Not too full, not too hungry.

+ Can I drown if I fall asleep in there?

Nope. Some people fall asleep, but the water is so buoyant that you stay afloat. The worst that can happen is getting woken up by a bit of salt water in your eyes.

+ Is this new-agey mumbo jumbo?

Floating has been around for over 40 years and has oodles of published research to back it up. No mumbo or jumbo here.


STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP!

CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION

 

IT'S TIME TO EXPERIENCE YOUR FIRST FLOAT

 
Give Floating a try, it has changed my life.
— Robert E. | Yelp
 
 
I went for my first float a week ago and since then have been 3 times. This is now going to be a critical part of my routine, and I plan to use it heavily as a tool over the next few months.
— Steve M. | Yelp
 
If you are curious about it at all, go ahead and do it! I am scared of water, mildly claustrophobic, basically a big mess of neuroses and fears, and I had a really great experience with my first float here today.
— Cris V. | Yelp
 

READY FOR A FLOAT? BOOK NOW


STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP!