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Northwest Floatation Center

The Science Behind REST and Float Tanks

The Science Behind REST and Float Tanks

Sensory deprivation tanks today are featured on popular media and are being used more frequently by average people looking to relieve stress, pain, and other chronic ailments. How did floatation therapy come into being? How does it work?

The first sensory deprivation tank was created by neuroscientist John C. Lilly. He was curious about what the effects the elimination of external stimulus would have on the mind. An LSD enthusiastic who believed in creatures from other dimensions, he had some particular expectations on the effects the tank would yield. This first tank had 160 gallons of water, and participants were submerged completely from the neck down. They wore a “blackout” mask to eliminate any light pollution. The temperature of the air and the water were tightly controlled to be the same as average skin at 34 degrees Celsius.

The tanks eventually morphed to become more like what they are today. The masks were done away with, and rather than facilitating complete submersion, newer tanks contained a high concentration of dissolved Epsom salts, allowing participants to float easily.

Leah Pellegrini

Reclining Pregnant


I was never comfortable in bed, in any position.

Surrounded by pillows of all shapes and sizes was the only way I could fall asleep in bed.  Even still it was a struggle.  I needed a pillow between my knees, one behind my lower back, one tucked under my big belly, a couple for my neck and head. The quest for comfort was ridiculous. I bought three different body pillows over the course of my pregnancy.

However, in the tank I could lay down and rest at ease.  I could float on my belly and feel no pressure, no pain, just a good stretch for my stiff lower back.  I could float face up with no aching, no weight of the gigantic pregnant belly,no circulatory risk for the baby or myself, just comfort.  I could lay on my sides without hurting my hips.

Megan sproats

Why I gave up the boozin’ and got into floatin’!

r2rThis warehouse party was one of the greatest parties Sydney had ever seen! Stopping traffic on Parramatta road even.

It was a special time in Sydney for this alternative music scene and it felt so soulfully freeing. It was hardly a rave or a riot but you know, it was The Telegraph!

Around the time of this party, I was living a fairly beige existence. My Friday/Saturday nights were about what I thought to be the best way to release the frustrations of the working week, drinking to get out of it. On this particular Saturday night, pictured and circled, I found myself in fairly bad shape and had to take a ‘sickie’ the following Monday. I came to work on the Tuesday and found the paper open to this page in the tea room. I quickly tore it out hoping no managers had seen me. A few of the ‘offices anarchists’ had seen it and were high fiving me as I walked back to my desk…

I decided that was it. It was time to get smart about how I would transform my boredom with life and the need to numb myself because it wasn’t healthy for me anymore. I had been floating for a year on and off and so I started floating every Friday night instead of going out and drinking.

That is when my life REALLY took a turn around for the better. Maybe even think Pre-LSD beatles to Post-LSD beatles but with solid ground and no LSD required! I discovered that while I was numbing myself from feeling the negative things in life, I was also numbing myself from feeling the smack bang heart opening beauty in life.

I’m all for everything in moderation and for me, everything about replacing boozin’ with floatin’, as a means of release, was so much better. I could write endless amounts on this.

Float Tanks Solutions

Float Center Education Through Internships

Float Center InternshipsI (Marshall) started my career in floating as an intern, coming in to the shop each Monday to learn about floating, sanitation, and better understand the intricacies of construction projects. For every four hours I worked, I was expected to schedule myself a float as part of the curriculum. Being able to float once a week as part of my learning process would have been enough to keep me coming back week after week, but I also soon realized that I had stumbled into a very strange and special place.

I stuck around as an intern for more than 6 months before they had a part time opening. Half a year after that, I was working full time at Float On.


A source of future employees

At some point you might want to a hire an employee that you know is enthusiastic, dedicated, hard working, and you know you and your coworkers can get along with. If an intern is willing to come back week after week and work in your shop with next to no reimbursement, it is a pretty good sign that they are enthusiastic about floating.