We’ve seen it on more than one occasion: first-time floaters who, after hearing about floating through a podcast or a highly sensationalized YouTube video, are disappointed that they didn’t “trip” during their first float, seeing and hearing things that aren’t there via float-induced hallucinations. The truth is, if it’s only a “trip” you’re after in floating, you’re missing out on the much larger picture.
That’s why it’s important to manage your expectations if you’re new to floating. At its most fundamental level, floating (aka sensory deprivation, aka R.E.S.T.) is one of the most effective tools available for ailments such as pain, insomnia, and stress relief. But if your frame of reference for floating is what you’ve seen on “Fringe,” “Stranger Things” or “Altered States,” it’s time to talk realistic expectations.
First, the “trip” fallacy. While it’s true that being alone in the soothing, sensory-free environment of the float tank can occasionally invoke images and sounds, in our experience, these moments are few and far between. Even then, what you might see/hear will be mild and very fleeting. You’re more likely to see something similar to what Maggie Simpson saw during her float on a famous “Simpsons” episode – swirling lights in your field of vision, similar to the very real northern lights. This “hallucination” is quite common. But as for a full-blown, 3D, surround sound jumbotron hallucinatory vision? Not very likely. (The exception to this rule, unsurprisingly, are those who ingest certain illicit substances prior to their float – a practice we strongly do not recommend.)
The best advice we can give you for your initial floats? First, like the tagline says, Expect Nothing. Then, just get acclimated to the experience. It might take your whole first float to get the “hang” of floating weightless. After that, just like riding a bike, floating gets better and better as you settle into the experience. And don’t give up if you have a less than stellar first float! We’ve seen many people who didn’t “get it” until their second or third float, and since then, have become weekly float aficionados who credit the practice of floating for helping improve many aspects of their lives.
So, in short: don’t trip if you don’t trip. Just find your groove in the float tank your first few times out, relax, and you’ll understand soon enough why people call floating one of the best tools on the planet for things such as pain relief, anxiety, creativity, and a host of other benefits. Want to chime in on your experience? Email us at email@example.com and let’s continue the conversation. You can also now book your float with our convenient online portal (below) – or call us at 818-639-3572 during normal business hours to schedule. Happy Floating!
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