Frequently Asked QuestionsIf you haven't floated before, you've probably got a bunch of questions about the whole thing, and perhaps some concerns. This is very common and totally understandable. Here are answers to some frequent queries.
So what is floatation?
It’s pretty simple really. You float in warm water saturated with Epsom salts, with the distractions of sound and light minimised. Your body floats like a cork, a bit like in the Dead Sea. You are so buoyant that you can totally relax all your muscles, and let go of tensions. You float naturally and effortlessly, and the support of the water makes you feel weightless. All the work that the mind and body usually have to do just to resist gravity becomes unnecessary, and you are able to let go and relax into a blissful state. Find out more here.
Will I feel claustrophobic?
Lots of people express this concern before they first float, but end up feeling safe and comfortable. You are in full control of your environment when you float. You are free to get in and out whenever you wish. Some people prefer to keep the door open and the light on, which is fine. Others prefer to minimise distractions. There is no right way of doing it. Floating in silent darkness gives the sense of being suspended in limitless space. Our advice would be to give it a try – we think you will be very pleasantly surprised. In fact, you probably won’t want to get out at the end!
Follow this link for more about fears of claustrophobia.
I can't swim - what if I sink?
No need to worry. It is physically impossible to sink in the float environment. The density of the human body is about the same as water. The Epsom salt solution is 30% more dense than water – that’s even more dense than the Dead Sea. This means that you will float effortlessly on the surface of the solution, buoyed naturally by the difference in density. The water is only 10 inches deep, and you will float like a cork with your face above the water.
Follow this link for more about why you don’t need to be able to swim.
How do you make sure it's clean?
The float environment is considerably more hygienic than a swimming pool. You shower before and after the float. The water is circulated through a very fine filter several times between each use. In addition, the water is treated between each use by a combination of high intensity ultra-violet light and a measured quantity of safe odourless sanitiser. The water is tested regularly, so you can rest assured that we uphold the highest standards of cleanliness.
Follow this link for more about how we keep the water clean.
Can I fall asleep during a float?
The experience of floating is so relaxing that it’s not unusual to fall asleep, and that’s fine. The gentle support of the water is more comfortable than any bed. If you do drift off, you probably needed it, and the weightlessness of one float can leave you as refreshed as a full night’s sleep in bed. It’s perfectly safe, and the water is so buoyant that it is very difficult to turn over. If you did manage to roll over, the worst that could happen is waking up to a bit of salt in the eyes.
Follow this link for more about falling asleep while floating.
What do I wear while I'm floating?
We recommend that you float naked, but of course it’s up to you. You are in your own private room, with a shower and a lock on the door. Pretty much everyone floats naked, and finds it more comfortable that way. The sensation of fabric against your skin can be distracting during your float, and being naked means you can feel truly free. Would you wear a swimming costume in the bath?
Is it private?
Floating is a very private experience. You float in your own fully private room, with your own private shower for your exclusive use, and a lock on the door. This is a place you can truly rest, and a time which is yours alone.
Follow this link for more about privacy and floatation.
Can I bring a friend?
Please do! Each float environment is designed for just one person to float in at a time. But we will have two when we first open, so two simultaneous sessions will be possible. It can be a lot of fun to float at the same time as a friend or partner. You will be able to book two concurrent sessions via our online booking system. That way you will each emerge from your private rooms at the same time, and can share the blissful post-float glow together.
Can I float if I am menstruating?
Yes, if you use a tampon or menstrual cup to control your menstruation, as you would in a swimming pool.
Can I float during pregnancy?
Like many things, floating is not advised during the first trimester. It is also not recommended too soon after giving birth, until you have healed. Other than those times, floating can give profound relief from the physical strains of pregnancy. The uniform and gentle support of the water offer a comfort which cannot be found elsewhere. If you are finding lying in bed uncomfortable, the feeling of weightlessness that floating offers will be a revelation. Floating offers a real rest for you and your baby. You may be interested in this first-hand report.
Do I have to stay in the whole time?
You are in full control of the float environment. You can get out any time, and back in again if you like, as many times as you like during your session. You are in your own private room. Most people find that time flies when they are floating.
Will my skin go all pruney and wrinkly?
No, your skin will feel great after your float. The water is so saturated with Epsom salt that the osmosis which can cause skin to ‘prune’ in the bath does not occur. Epsom salt is Magnesium Sulphate, and is very different to the Sodium Chloride in sea water. The Magnesium in Epsom salt has a number of beneficial effects.
Can I float if I just dyed my hair?
Floating with dyed hair is okay, but not straight after dying it! As a general rule, we recommend waiting at least 10 days, or 30 days for dyed shades of red. Please make sure that the water running through your hair when you shower at home is fully clear. Sometimes this can take a few washes. If there is any colour coming out, please leave it another wash or two before floating.
Can I float if I've recently got a new piercing or tattoo?
If your tattoo or piercing is not fully healed, it is going to sting when it comes into contact with the salty water. We advise that you wait 3 – 4 weeks after getting your tattoo or piercing, before floating. As a test, try applying hand sanitizer to the area. If it stings, you’ll want to wait a little longer before you get in the float pod.
Who shouldn't float?
- have open wounds, sores, or rashes
- have contagious diseases
- have incontinence
- have uncontrolled kidney disease
- have uncontrolled psychosis or schizophrenia
- have an uncontrolled seizure disorder
- have uncontrolled low blood pressure
- have heart conditions
- have recently had chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- are allergic to Epsom Salt (magnesium sulphate)
- are a risk to themselves or others due to the influence of any drug including alcohol
… and those who do not respect the staff, facilities and fellow floaters at Float in the Forest
If in any doubt about whether you can float with your health condition, please consult your doctor first.
I have limited mobility. Can I float?
Float in the Forest will be on the ground floor, predominantly on a level, with some 1:12 ramps.
Getting in and out of the float pod is similar to getting in and out of a bath, so you must be able to do this unaided, or be accompanied by a carer who is qualified and insured to help you with this.
What can I expect when I come to float?
We will show you around the centre and explain all the detail you need to know when you arrive, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions. You will be shown to your own private room with your own personal shower and float pod. You shower before your float, including washing your hair. You float and emerge transformed, having another shower afterwards to wash off the salt water. Then you can enjoy your relaxation in the post-float lounge where there will be teas, books, artwork and comfy chairs. Take your time and relax!
This sounds amazing! When do you open?
We have found a fantastic venue, and right now we’re working hard on opening your float centre. We have been granted planning permission, have signed the lease and now we have the keys! The next exciting stage is the internal build-out which will transform what is currently an empty shell into your floatation centre. We want to be able to host your float as soon as we can. Please sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of this page to make sure you are the first to hear about our opening, and for the chance to get your first float for free!