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  • Writer's pictureFloat Well

FAQ: What If I'm Claustrophobic?

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

Not surprisingly, this is by far the most common concern that we hear from people when the topic of float tanks comes up. The image of a small coffin-shaped box with little to no headroom and a sealed door comes to mind for a lot of people; however, this could not be further from what our float tanks look like! Instead, our Dreampods look more like gigantic spaceship-like eggs, with a large entry and pretty LED lights inside.

To get the most out of your experience, it’s important to remember that you are in complete control of your environment and there are a few ways that you can make the experience more comfortable for yourself. First off, there are absolutely no locks or seals on the float tank’s lid and you can even choose to leave it slightly ajar while you float (although you may find that you get a bit cold with the door open). Even with the lid completely closed, you will have plenty of air as each tank is equipped with ventilation designed specifically for floating. You can also choose to have the interior lights on throughout your float session or you can turn them off to be left in complete darkness. Contrary to what you may think, having the lights off may actually help you relax even more, as there is no visual stimulation and it can feel as though you have infinite space without the sight of the ceiling or walls. We also offer some relaxation techniques that you can try in the float tank to help you feel more comfortable.

Our float tanks are much bigger than you imagine – in fact, the interior of our Double Tanks are the size of king mattress and are 1.3m tall, meaning that they are about the same dimensions of a Suzuki Swift or Toyota Yaris. So if you’re comfortable getting into your car or an Uber to drive to your appointment, then you’ll be absolutely fine in our float tanks!

Now, we’re not trying to minimize your anxiety about trying floating because we know that doing anything for the first time can make anyone a bit nervous; however, the vast majority of people who claim to be claustrophobic have had absolutely no problem settling in and enjoying their float. The brain will be more active during your first float session, as it takes time to get attuned to the environment and figure out how to get comfortable. The more familiar you become with the experience, the more relaxed the mind and body can become.

Claustrophobia is more than feeling a bit uncomfortable in small spaces – it is an

extreme or irrational fear of confined spaces without the ability to escape. The statistics on claustrophobia are a bit tricky to pin down but it’s estimated that anywhere between 2-7% of people actually suffer from this phobia. Despite how many people self-report as claustrophobic, once they get acquainted to the process and environment, they soon realise that the enclosed space inside the float tank is actually therapeutic rather than threatening. You will never be trapped inside our tanks – exiting is as easy to sitting up and pressing open the lid. More often than not, knowing that you can get out at any time will ease your fear and anxiety about floating.

If we haven’t convinced you yet, we would still recommend giving floating a try. Realistic expectations are essential as floating comes with a learning curve and we suggest trying it a few times to get the most benefit. Book in for 3 weekly or fortnightly sessions and slowly ease your way into the experience at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Maybe for your first float, you leave the door ajar and keep the lights on. On your second float, you might try closing the lid and keep the lights on for the majority of the float, but towards the end you try turning them off. And by your third float, you might feel comfortable then closing the lid and turning off the lights for the duration of your float. Because all of these features are fully in your control throughout the session, you can even play around with different settings in a single float session; although, we consistently find that the second and third floats are where you can start to actually relax in a way you might not be able to on your first go.

Floating has so many amazing benefits ranging from stress relief, alleviation of anxiety, pain management and enhanced creativity and meditation. The float tank can be used as a tool to help overcome fears, to explore the mind and to confront the internal dialogue in a safe setting. If you’re keen to do the work, the float tanks are there to help you and we at Float Well are here to support and facilitate your journey.

To book in, click here!

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