One of the most common questions we get when people come in for their first float is “How often should I float?” And our response is the ever-frustratingly vague “It depends!” We could end our blog post here and leave it at that but allow us to elaborate on this answer a wee bit. First off, there is no right frequency for floating; however, there is a wrong frequency: never!
If you have not floated before, we always recommend floating two or three times in a fairly short period before deciding if it will be one of your go-to self-care tools. Your first float is an experience of calibration and typically will not be your most profound. Your mind needs to time to become familiar with the environment and allow the body to fully adjust to the new sensations. It’s common for it to take the first 20-30 minutes of your first float to actually allow yourself to relax. On your second or third float, you’ll know how you like to set up your environment (music/lights/lid) and you’ll find that you can settle in more quickly.
We’ve had people float every day for a few weeks, come in once a week or, more commonly, once a month. Monthly seems to be the most popular frequency because our membership structure is set up for this; however, the correct dose of floating will really depend on your float goals.
If you experience chronic pain, have a concussion, are pregnant, or enduring a particularly stressful time in your life, you may find that floating once or twice a week for a month is the perfect antidote to your woes. Dedicating an hour of self-care on a regular basis means you are prioritising your health and wellness during this particularly challenging time. Whereas if you are feeling like life is going pretty well and you are just looking for a maintenance dose, floating once a month may be the perfect amount to remind yourself to slow down and look after yourself.
Another question we are often asked is “How often do you float?” As owners, we have floated approximately once a week since we’ve opened. On good weeks, we get in the float tank more than once and when life gets busy (or I’ve coloured my hair) it might be two or three weeks between floats. I’ve learned to use my float frequency as a barometer to how my life is going: If I can’t find 90 minutes once a week to float, when I own the business and can come in anytime I please, then something else on my to-do list has to go. It is so incredibly easy for life to get in the way of our self-care habits and the things we do to look after ourselves are the easiest to put on the backburner. We can shift this mindset though. We can prioritise the things that make us feel good and put the other “to-do’s” off until tomorrow. So weekly floating has become the non-negotiable, alongside healthy meals, daily exercise, meditation and yoga, and lots of sleep. Because if my cup is not full, how can I look after others?
If you take anything away from this article is please, please, please try floating more than once. While it can seem like a cool bucket-list experience to do, we see it as so much more than a novel experience to try just once. Research indicates that floatation therapy can be helpful to ease anxiety, alleviate chronic pain and provide the perfect environment for meditation and creativity. But similar to the gym, where you won’t get a six-pack after one visit or meditation, where you won’t experience enlightenment after one session, floating is a practice and you’d be selling yourself short if you only do it once.