Floating away anxiety

"What if I get claustrophobic in one of the tanks?"

Claustrophobia is one of the first subjects brought to our attention by potential floaters prior to booking with us. Many people are concerned that the enclosed nature of the tank(s) or tank room(s) may lead to an uncomfortable float that isn't fully enjoyable.

Here at Float Nashville we want your entire experience to be one of total relaxation and enjoyment. This week's blog will focus on the nature of claustrophobia, how it may or may not impact your float experience, and what you can do to ease any tension you may have about floating for the first time in one of our tanks.

I'll also go over each one of our rooms and the way(s) in which you can maintain complete control over your environment, anxiety free.

Let’s do this!

What is Claustrophobia?

Claustrophobia is defined as the fear of having no escape, and being in closed or small spaces or rooms. It is classified as an anxiety disorder that often results in a panic attack, and can be the result of many situations or stimuli.

According to professionals, claustrophobia is an irrational fear. Treatment is often a combination of cognitive and exposure therapies. While the direct cause of the disorder is unknown, there are prevailing theories, some of which include: interference in the amygdala, classical conditioning and conditioning experiences.

None of these sound particularly awesome, but one can find relief to know that only about 2-5% of the world’s population is believed to suffer severely from the disorder. Also, time in the tank may induce a neurological state similar to sleep, dialing down the sympathetic nervous system — the part of our brains associated with fight or flight — while turning up the parasympathetic nervous system, associated with rest.

So, if you've got some pre-float anxiety, perhaps you'll be a bit more comfortable knowing that your body will adapt to the experience and (even better) provide some much needed relaxation.

If I’m not claustrophobic, why do I worry about being in the tank?

It’s perfectly okay to be a little anxious before your first float. Most people get a little worried before any new experience. Luckily, our website has an awesome FAQ section that will tell you just about anything you’d like to know or may be concerned about. If you'd like to check it out, click here!

If you can't find what you're looking for there, we invite you to give us a call or stop by! We'd love to answer any questions you have or provide tours of the tank rooms (if they are available). Our goal is to make the experience as relaxing as possible, so don't be shy! We'd love to hear from you!

How do I relax in the tank?  What do I...do?

There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but that's okay! We're going to tackle it anyway! Consider this three-step process a beginning reference point. After more time in the tank, you will develop your own methods of relaxation and know what best works for your body.

Feel free to click on each of the techniques below; it will direct you to a Google Document and/or blog post with instructions, information and more. (Did I mention these are great techniques to use in your daily life, as well? Give it a shot, it's amazing).

1. Breathing Techniques

2. Basic Systemic Muscle Relaxation

3. Guided Imagery

What if I'm uncomfortable in the dark, or don't want to go completely lights out?

Not a problem! We have three float tanks for you to choose from, and there are ways for you to control the lighting in each one. You can check out photos of each tank, here. Keep in mind, however, that you won't be able to experience full sensory deprivation should you stay lights on. Feel free to try different things during your float as you may find yourself wanting to go completely dark before it's all said and done!

1. The Oasis Tank and Escape Pod

In these tanks, the overhead lights in the room are on a motion sensor and timer. If you need to open the tank door during your float, these lights will automatically turn on and subsequently off after a minute or so.

There is also a red safety light that is continuously on throughout your float. Should you desire, you can use the provided hand towel to prop open the tank door to allow a small amount of red light into the tank.

3. The Open Tank

The overhead lighting in this room can be dimmed to your preference prior to entering the tank. Once the lighting is dimmed, you have control of the on/off via a switch box located on a bench next to you in the tank. The red safety light in this room can be controlled via the same switch box.

(Don't worry about remembering all of this! When you come in to float with us, we will show you everything you need to know and more before we send you off into the floating oasis).

Hopefully by this point, you are more excited than anxious about coming in to float with us. We would love to have you in, and would love an opportunity to introduce you to the world that is floating. Go ahead, book your float and as always, float on!