By Ted Doe on September 24, 2019
You're claustrophobic. You hate dark, closed in spaces. Will you be able to relax and enjoy your 60 minutes in the float tank? Well relax, don't worry. The answer is no, you do not have to close the float tank door. Many people begin their floatation journey with some uneasiness. Getting over it just takes some time and practice.
The most important thing to always remember is that you are in control. You're safe. You're making all of the decisions, and you get to choose if/when you fully close the float tank door. Do not feel pressured into moving quicker than you're ready for. Comfort is key here.
What is it like in a float tank
The inside of a float tank is best described as being in a room, laying on a warm bed or hammock gently holding you up. The water is heated to skin temperature and the air inside the tank is well ventilated with fresh oxygen circulating non-stop. With the tank door closed, the interior is pitch black. Float tanks are also well insulated from sound, so if you chose to turn the music off the inside of the tank will be nearly silent.
Float tank doors do not have locks or latches on them, and the doors push open easily from the inside. There is no way to get locked inside. Generally, float tanks are located in private rooms with one tank per room. The rooms are secure and lock from the inside, similar to a dressing room or hotel room.
Getting over your fears
Here are a 3 easy steps explaining on how to relax, take control, and get over your claustrophobia in the tank:
- First step, float with the tank door open. You can even keep the lights in the room on. The idea is to just get comfortable with being inside the tank. You may need to float like this for the full duration of your float in order to feel fully comfortable.
- Once you're feeling comfortable with step 1, try propping the tank door open with a towel. Make sure you keep the room lights on. This will give you the reassurance that you can exit the tank at anytime.
- If you're able to complete step 2 easy, try and remove the towel from the door. Feel free to leave the room lights on if it makes things easier for you. By this point, you should be feeling much more comfortable and confident than you were in step 1.
Many people bounce back and forth between the steps as their comfort levels adjust. Do not feel discouraged if you need to move from step 2 back to step 1, or from step 3 back to step 2. Just keep at it and move at your own pace. Also make sure you're communicating your concerns and feeling with your float tank operator. They often have ideas and suggestions that could make your experience more comfortable for you.
After you're able to successfully enter the tank, even at step 1 or 2 of our progression, you'll quickly feel the benefits and your initial apprehension will slowly subside. You're well on your way to a proper float experience with the door closed.