January 11, 2019 Ryan Lavigne

The sense that one might feel claustrophobic is probably the biggest fear that prevents people from starting a float practice. Float centre owners across the globe hear it all of the time; so let’s break it down…

Claustrophobia is defined as “extreme or irrational fear of confined places,” and usually stems from the feeling of being trapped or suffocated.

In a float tank, however, you are completely safe and in full control of your environment. Each float pod is well ventilated and is much larger on the inside than one may think. It is more like being in a comfortable bed in a quiet room, but with a sense of weightlessness.

The door to each pod has no latch or locking mechanism and is supported by 2 hydraulic door hinges that allow it to open with very little effort. It is impossible to lock yourself in and very easy to find your way out.

So, if you’re interested in floating and believe you can benefit from its relaxing effects but fear you will have a claustrophobic response, follow this three step progression that will help ease you into sensory deprivation:

  1. Leave the tank door completely open and step into the tank. If you can, kneel in the water leaving your upper body out until you can get used to the sensation of being there. If after a few minutes you feel comfortable with that, lay back and float in the water with the door still open. Get used to your surroundings and the sensation of being weightless, and when ready, move on to step 2.
  2. Using a towel that you’ll find in your room to prop the tank door open, close the door part way. Take a few minutes and get used to this environment and familiarize yourself with the tank. Keep the interior pod light on. If you would like, open and close the door a few times to get used to its action. If you’re comfortable, move on to step 3.
  3. With the interior tank lights off, close the door completely and ease back into a floating position. Focus on your breathing, on the expansiveness of the space you’re in, and on nothingness. You’ll be surprised to find that you do not feel confined. Keep focusing on your breathing.

At the end of the day, we want you to be in complete control of your whole experience. If you would feel more comfortable leaving the pod door open, that’s completely up to you! It is, however, important to know that we do our best to maintain the temperature of the water to a constant 93.5 degrees and it will cool off significantly with the door open. We would suggest leaving it open for a maximum of ten minutes.

Once you’re in the pod, with the door closed and the lights off, you can really begin to notice the expansiveness of the space. Without a reference point to tell you where the walls, ceiling, or even floor are, you are left feeling like you’re floating in space rather than a tank of any sort!


Ready to face your fears of claustrophobia? Why not book your session now and get your feet wet (pun intended)!