Frequently Asked Questions
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What Services do you offer?
Float therapy is the primary service offered at Flow Spa and we have three different float rooms with different float cabins and pods in them to customize your experience.
Our sports recovery room currently has an infrared sauna, and hot and cold plunge pool* in it for cryotherapy or contrast therapy, which is extremely effective for speeding up recovery and eliminating inflammation in the body.
Our lounge features additional mindfulness and recovery tools as well. If you’re looking to see how effective floating is at quieting your mind, you may be interested in using the Muse meditation headband to explore your baseline before floating and after, or just use it for tracking your meditation progress.
The NormaTec pulsed compression massage suit is a state-of-the-art solution for sports recovery in promoting blood flow and reducing muscle soreness. The NormaTec is available in our lounge area as a stand-alone service or as an add-on to other treatments.
Is there anything I should do to prepare for my float?
Hold off on the coffee for several hours beforehand (it can make it harder for you to relax). Another reason for avoiding the caffeine is that hydrating well is important before and after floating, so be sure to drink plenty of water. Also, we suggest not shaving the day of your float, the salt water can irritate your skin. Eating a light meal about 60 to 90 minutes ahead of time can help to prevent any distracting stomach rumbling. Other than that, there’s no specific preparation needed. This relaxing experience will be uniquely yours.
Do I have to stay in the whole time?
There aren’t any latches on the pod or cabin doors, and you can get out anytime. That being said, the 60-minutes usually goes by way faster than you’d expect.
People refer to this as the time-travelling effect of floating - the environment of a float pod or cabin provides you with nothing to anchor you to the concept of time and you become so relaxed that time becomes irrelevant.
If you need to get out for any reason, remember that you are in complete control of the experience and if you need to take a lap, stretch out, or if you think that you’ve been cryogenically preserved in the tank for a millennium and you need to check your watch then you may do so.
Is there a right way to do it?
There’s no right way to float and we like to let each person choose their own adventure. Each person should find whatever position is comfortable for themselves. Some people float with their hands at their sides, some with their hands folded across their chest or abdomen, or behind their heads. If your shoulders feel like they are being pushed upwards because of the buoyancy, try your hands in a position at or above ear level so that your palms are facing upwards. You can keep your head at either end of the pod or cabin or even sit up if you like. You may float with the door open or closed. Explore what’s best for you!
What if I’m claustrophobic?
Being in a float pod or cabin feels like floating on a cloud. You’re always in control of your environment, and even customers with extreme claustrophobia have reported having no problems during their time in the cabin. We specifically chose the Pro Float cabins for a more spacious environment for those who don’t want to feel closed in. You can always leave the door open for as long as you like – again, you’re in control. The lights and music in all of our tanks can also stay on if you feel more comfortable that way.
Can I float if I’m pregnant?
Pregnant women love floating!
There is even a special position you can float in that relieves all of the weight of the baby off of the mother’s body which can be a great help to those suffering from lower back pain. If you are in your third trimester, or have any concerns, please consult with your physician before coming in.
Can I float if its ‘that-time-of-the-month’?
Yes. Just follow the same protocol you would for a swimming pool.
Do I Need To Wear A Bathing Suit To Float?
While some new floaters are more comfortable with a bathing suit on, it’s totally optional. Your room is your own private haven with its own shower and privacy lock on the door. Do whatever feels more comfortable for you but most of our customers notice that their floats become that much better when they choose to forego the bathing suit and eliminate that distraction and sensation of clothing.
Salt and Sensitive Skin
The salt concentration in the float tanks is very high and can sting or cause discomfort to sensitive skin. This can be particularly disconcerting if the Epsom salt bothers your genitals and surrounding area. The best thing to do if you experience any discomfort is to use the petroleum jelly packet to create a protective layer. Upon reading into this further, I have found it is recommended that if you do use petroleum jelly in this fashion on or around your genitals to be sure to fully wash it off in the shower after your float is done.
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 float pod. Other than that, we provide everything you need (towels, robes, earplugs, body wash/shampoo, moisturizer, tea, water).
What kind of float tanks do You have?
Can more than one person float in a tank at a time?
Only one person per float tank is what we recommend. We have three float tanks (one pod and two cabins) in our centre so up to three people can come float simultaneously. We have had couples do tandem floats in our cabins before and they’ve enjoyed the experience but the purpose of a sensory deprivation experience and allowing yourself to completely relax is kind of lost with another person in the tank.
What’s the longest someone has been in the tank?
Several float-enthusiasts have gone for 24 hours, including Brent Giroux at the R.E.S.T. Centre in Whitby. There is also a float centre in Portland Oregon called Float On that had an endurance athlete rent a room for a 24-hour period and floated for most of that time.
Who invented these devices?
Dr. John C. Lily, an American physician, neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, psychonaut, philosopher, writer and inventor. Dr. Lily came up with the concept in an attempt to tap into the subconscious mind and interpret thoughts through brainwave patterns.
How long have float tanks been around?
The first float tank was developed in 1954. These involved full submersion in water and a breathing device that completely covered your face. The first lay down, commercial tanks were invented in the early 70′s.
Is this some Only Psychedelic Explorers Do?
Floating has been around for over 40 years and has loads of published scientific research to back it up. More research is constantly coming out and the first NIH grant for studying floating as a therapy was given out in 2018. You can learn more at clinicalfloatation.com.
How do you clean the tanks?
The water is fully filtered 3-5 times between each float, passing through an intense filtration system and skimmer for particulate matter and then a UV filter which targets the DNA and RNA of bacteria, viruses, algae and other biological matter and an additional ozone filter for disinfection. Furthermore, the Epsom salt solution is naturally sanitary; the combination of the high concentrations of Epsom salt and a small amount of disinfectant make it cleaner than a pool and nearly impossible for microorganisms to survive.
I’m sensitive to chlorine/bromine - is there any in the tanks?
No. We don’t add any of those harsh chemical to our float tanks. There is a small amount of hydrogen peroxide added daily to help the sanitation process; it’s so minimal though that you won’t even notice it.
Will I become dehydrated like a raisin from soaking for so long?
Nope - your skin doesn’t even prune up at all! The magnesium sulphate actually makes your skin very silky and soft. You will absorb some of the Epsom salt, so it’s advised that you to drink plenty of water or tea after your float.
Is there a place to keep my stuff secure while I float?
Each float room is private and locked by you so you’re ok to leave your stuff on the bench inside the room while you float.
Can I float for longer than an hour?
Currently we offer hour-long floats as that is generally what most of our customers are looking for and if you’re interested in floating for longer we do offer an add-on for an additional 30 minutes to get your 90-minute float on. Please contact us ahead of time to arrange for a longer space as we’ll confirm a time in our schedule when we can accommodate it.
Is this like altered states?
A surprising number of our customers have seen Altered States and comment about it. It was based on John C. Lily, the inventor of the first float tanks. In that sense yes it’s like Altered States, but you’re not fully submerged in water, you don’t eat ritualistic mushrooms, and only a small percentage of floaters turn into proto-human monkeys.
What if I fall asleep in the tank?
The water in the tank makes you completely buoyant and very relaxing – it’s entirely possible that you could fall asleep. Indeed, some people love to sleep during their float and you should feel free to do the same! It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll roll in your sleep in which case the worst that can happen is getting woken up by a bit of salt water in your eyes or mouth.
What If I Get Salt In My Eyes Or Mouth?
The salt content of the float tank solution is very concentrated. It will sting and that’s why we keep a wash bottle of fresh water on hand inside or at the door of each pod and cabin. Use the clean wash cloth and the fresh water to gently rinse the salt away.
Can I float if I just dyed my hair?
We recommend waiting about 10 days. While there is no guarantee that the salt won’t strip some colour from your hair, we recommend that you check if the water running through your hair in the shower at home is fully clear. If there is still some colour coming out you should wait a couple of more days/showers.
Do we provide a hair dryer?
Yes! We have a hair drying and vanity area at the end of our hallway. Feel free to make use of that area after your post-float shower. If you would like to also brush your hair, we suggest that you bring your own comb or hairbrush.