Float FAQS

Floating Basics

Is the Vive Float experience the same as sensory deprivation or isolation tanks?

It’s up to you: some guests prefer a more modern experience by enjoying soothing music and low lighting during their float. Others wish to engage in a more traditional float and completely disconnect by removing all stimuli. While in the 70s and 80s floating was known as sensory deprivation and our float cabins are technically isolation tanks, science is now showing that float tanks are actually a piece of sensory enhancement technology, a place where your entire system can focus on itself to cleanse, process, & reset. We have several options for float enhancements, so our guests have a wide array of options for how they can enjoy their time floating.


What does it feel like to float?

Floating feels like nothing, which is (unsurprisingly) difficult to describe. Initially the water is pleasantly warm, but quickly becomes less noticeable as the air and water are set to match the temperature of your skin. This equilibrium, combined with the weightlessness from the buoyant solution, results in very little external stimuli and allows your mind and body room to relax, recover and recharge. The specific experience is unique to each individual and each float. However, most people report experiencing strong feelings of peace and relaxation. Some floaters report feeling highly creative or find themselves thinking about profound subjects.


What is R.E.S.T.?

It’s an acronym coined by a scientist that stands for “Reduced Environment Stimulation Therapy”. It simply means float therapy.

How will floating help me?

Modern life is stressful for nearly everyone. Traffic, deadlines, constant connection to technology, not enough sleep, final exams, the boss hovering over you… replenishing ourselves in body, mind, and spirit is an essential part of modern wellness. The primary reasons people float are to reduce chronic anxiety, heighten cognitive function and relieve pain. Some people float to escape the bustle of life and relax for a few hours, while others use floating as a therapy for anxiety and stress . Floating is also used to increase creativity, attention and retention, as well as explore thoughts and emotions in a semi-conscious or meditative state.

How often should I float to get the benefits?

Single and first floats can often be a profoundly pleasant and relaxing experience. However, there can be a bit of a learning curve requiring a few floats to feel totally comfortable, that's why we offer a 3 float intro pack at a discounted rate. Much like exercise and meditation, floating is a practice that has powerful cumulative effects and is becoming recognized as an essential part of an optimal ongoing wellness practice. You may only realize the full therapeutic potential of floating after multiple sessions. Many people find that floating 1-2 times a week allows them to sustain the benefits of floating.

Is floating just a trend?

Though it’s definitely on the rise, it’s far from new. Floating has been around for over 40 years and has been the focus of a lot of research. 

How can I purchase a float tank?

Most people do not live near a float tank manufacturer or distribution center, so the tanks are purchased online or over the phone and delivered by a freight shipping company. Certain models may need to be installed by authorized representatives who have specialized training and experience with float tanks. In Bloomington, IN we are fortunate enough to be near Royal Spa just south of Indianapolis, who we use in office and recommend for home float tanks and custom float pools. They have a small unit specifically designed for home use that, from the appearance, looks similar to a hot tub. If you have any interest, let us know and we will get you taken care of with our connection to Royal Spa.



What medical conditions should someone not float with?

Floating is safe for almost everyone, but it's not recommended for some people. You shouldn't float if you have incontinence, uncontrolled epilepsy, open wounds, an infectious disease, drug or alcohol intoxication, kidney problems, or serious psychological conditions. If you have a severe medical condition, consult your physician first. 

If you have mobility issues and might need help getting in and out of the float tank, you will need to bring a helper as we cannot help you in and out for liability reasons. As long as you can safely get in and out of the tank, you should be safe to float, but similar to other water-based services such as a pool or spa, you need to use caution since floors can become very slippery. We don't have staff in our private float suites while guests float so please take our safety concerns seriously.


What if I’m claustrophobic?

Our float tanks are incredibly spacious at 8 feet long, 5 feet wide, and open to your own private room you will be in so there is plenty of room to stretch, sit, even stand if you want to. Additionally, we have options for soothing music and low lights during your float to help you get accustomed. You have total control over your comfort.


I can’t swim. Will I float?

Yes you will definitely float! Ability to swim is not necessary as absolutely everyone floats without effort. The salt water will support weight of 1000+ pounds.

What if I fall asleep?

Many guests love to fall asleep in the relaxing world of a float tank. In fact, 1 hour of rest in the tank is anecdotally reported as the equivalent of 4 hours of deep restful sleep. Also, because of the high salt content, you will float completely safely whether you’re awake or asleep.

What if I wear contacts?

You can leave them in, or just bring a contacts case with you to take them out during the float.


What if I have cuts or scrapes?

The salt water can sting wounds, so we provide packets of petroleum jelly in each suite to cover any small problem area. However, many guests intentionally don't cover minor scrapes finding that it may sting only for the first ~10 minutes of their float, and the magnesium actually helps them to heal quicker. Some will use that minor irritation as a tool for meditation.


What about shaving?

Ideally, don’t shave at least 8 hours before your float. The salty water can be irritating or itchy if you do. It's a similar case to cuts or scrapes.

What about tattoos and piercings?

Floating and fresh tattoos or piercings do not mix! Not only could floating with a fresh tattoo be painful but the water solution could cause fading or discoloration of your tattoo. How long you should wait depends on how quickly your new tattoo heals. It is suggested that you wait 4-6 weeks after getting inked

What if I’m pregnant?

Floating is safe during pregnancy, but we must receive clearance from your midwife or general healthcare provider first. Most mamas really enjoy a break from carrying baby’s extra weight and an hour of deep relaxation. For more information check out this wonderful video about floating and pregnancy. Plus we give a 20% discount to our pregnant moms and moms-to-be. When you consult your midwife, doula, or birthing specialist about floating ask them for the discount from Vive Float Center. If your specialist is not yet associated with us, just give us a call.


What if I’m menstruating?

We generally do not recommend it, but if you do just take the same precautions as if you were going in a swimming pool or hot tub. Some women report that tampons don't do as well because they soak up the salt and cause irritation. Menstrual cups work better for those women. Some women find the high Epsom salt content causes irritation around their genital areas, so we provide petroleum jelly for you to cover those high sensitive areas.


What if I just colored my hair? Or spray tanned?

Yes, your hair will get wet, though the water is neutral and the Epsom salt is not at all harsh.  If you dye your hair, you will need to wait at least 10 days after you dye it and recommend wearing a tight-fitted swim cap as the Epsom salt water tank is a much different environment compared to a simple shower. With red dye or Henna coloring, we require waiting 30 days to float and you must  bring a tight-fitted swim cap. We've found that red dye and Henna can leach out of hair for weeks, which may damage our float tanks.

Special note: If you use a Keratin hair smoothing treatment, it's recommend that you stay out of salt water, and this includes Epsom Salt, to avoid any negative effects and damage to your Keratin-treated hair. 

Spray tan: We recommend that you not float for at least a week after having a spray or applied tan.


How TO Prepare

Why do I need to arrive early?

New float guests should arrive 5-10 minutes prior to the scheduled time to make sure they get the full time in the float room they purchased. First-time floaters with us need to read and sign a waiver (unless already completed online) and receive an orientation to our facility and floating protocols. Our team would like to have time to answer your questions and concerns, and most people like to visit the restroom before heading into the tank. We want you to enjoy your full hour of floating!

What if I’m running late?

Please call us (812) 269-2414 as we may be able to adjust your appointment time. If not, your time in the float suite will be reduced as we still need to end your float at your appointed time to ready the room for the next client at their appointed time.


What about eating and drinking before I float?

When it comes to eating, we suggest a light meal an hour or two prior so you’re neither full nor hungry. As for liquid, hydrate normally in such a way that you won’t need a restroom break mid-float. Be sure to use the bathroom as soon as you arrive.

What about caffeine or alcohol?

Avoid both for at least several hours prior to your float.

What do I bring?

All amenities, including basic body wash, shampoo, conditioner, towels, earplugs, q-tips, petroleum jelly, and hairdryer are provided. You may wish to bring personal care products such as a hairbrush, comb, contact cases, or any other specialized item you may require.


Should I bring a bathing suit?

Each room is private, and the vast majority of people float nude. However, If you prefer to wear a bathing suit, you are welcome to. We ask for all minors to wear a swim suit while floating. Non-swim related garments are not allowed (i.e. jeans, down parkas or footie pajamas)


What about my jewelry?

You may wish to leave at home. Certainly remove prior to floating as the salt water might damage it.

My float

Is it private?

Yes. Each float suite contains a changing area, shower, and float tank. Everything you need is here, including towel and basic amenities. The suite is your own private oasis while you’re here. Just go in close the door and lock it, then prepare to float!


Why do I shower twice?

Before you float, you take a quick shower to remove body oils and products, you should use body soap and shampoo, but not conditioner. After your float, you rinse off to remove the salty residue from your skin and hair and prepare for the rest of your day.


What if I don’t enjoy it? Can I get out whenever I want to?

Each float tank is completely open to your private room so you are able to leave the tank whenever you like. You can also turn the light off and on as you wish, or play music from your phone (or request our preloaded mp3 player before you float) to help soothe you.


If I float for an hour, won’t my skin get all wrinkled?

No, the high salt concentration prevents this from happening. It leaves your skin quite soft and smooth.

What if water gets in my ears or eyes?

We provide ear plugs that should be put in prior to your shower while your hands and ears are dry to avoid getting the water in your ears. We recommend using q-tips after your post-float shower, which we provide for your convenience. If you end up getting salt water in your ears though, it's not a big deal. We provide a vinegar/water rinse that will flush out the salt. To avoid getting salt water in your eyes, dry your face off completely before entering the float pod, and avoid touching your face once you're in there. A dry hand towel and a spray bottle of water is accessible from inside each float tank just in case you end up splashing a little bit of salt in your eyes mid-float. 

How will I know my float is over?

You will hear the filtration unit turn back on to circulation mode. The jet at the head of the tank will begin to gently push you to the other side. After an hour of floating in the quiet, still water it will be very obvious.


What should I do after I float?

Once you’ve showered and dressed, we recommend you to spend a little time in our resting/recovery room. Give yourself a little time to reflect before returning to the outside world. Also, remember to hydrate well!



How big is the tank?

It’s 8 feet 4 inches long by 5 feet 3 inches wide and completely open to the room.


How is the water purified between floats?

The high concentration of salt creates a very hostile environment for all sorts of germs and bacteria. More importantly, the water is run through a filtration and purification process 4 times between back to back booked guests. Compare that to public pools who are required to only filter their entire pool once every 6 hours, and that's with a lot of people using it at once. Each system utilizes a micron filter, hydrogen peroxide, ultra-violet light, and ozone purification. Additionally, the high concentration of Epsom Salt creates an environment that inhibits the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. Essentially, our float tank water is cleaner than just about any tap water in the country. Our system was designed by Royal Spa just south of Indianapolis, experts in all kinds of self-contained luxury water equipment, who have been perfecting the model over the last couple decades.

What’s the Epsom salt for?

The 900 pounds of Epsom salt dissolved in the ~239 gallons of water in a float tank creates the effortless part of floating. No matter your size, when you recline into the warm water, your body will float like a cork. EVERYONE floats.


What is the temperature of the salt water?

It’s 94.1 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the same temperature as the surface of your skin. It’s neither warm nor cold, but rather very neutral. It's all a part of reducing the sensory input during the experience. 



Is there a noise-level policy?

Yes. We kindly ask that you consider everyone around you at Vive Chiropractic & Float Center to keep our facility quiet for other floaters and those members resting after their Structural Correction. If you would like to share with others by engaging in conversation, please do so mindfully. Also, please refrain from cell phone use as much as possible.


What is your cancellation or No-show policy?

If you need to cancel or reschedule, please use the online scheduling method you used to book the appointment to cancel or reschedule, or call us and leave a message if you do not reach the front desk. Please be advised that we require 24-hour notice to avoid a late cancellation/rescheduling fee equal to the standard cost of the length of float you scheduled ($60 for 60 minutes; $115 for 2.5 hours) or redemption of a member benefit, package credit, gift card, or other promotional offer that would have been used for the scheduled appointment. We also hold a No-Show Policy if you do not show for your scheduled time for a fee equal to the standard cost of the length of float you scheduled ($60 for 60 minutes; $115 for 2.5 hours) or redemption of a member benefit, package credit, gift card, or other promotional offer that would have been used for the scheduled appointment. If multiple bookings are held under the same credit card, all late cancellation/rescheduling and No-Show appointments will be charged on that one card. Credit cards or other means of payment, such as a gift card, that are taken at time of booking are not charged prior to your appointment — they are used to hold the reservation, for our cancellation policy, and in case of damages to the room, tank, or water contamination just like a pre-paid hotel, as seen in our contract each person must sign prior to floating for the first time.

Is there an age requirement or limitation?

Short answer: no, but...  

Long answer: the physical and mental benefits are as useful to children as they are to adults.

Children: Many children lack the discipline to remain still for the float and not splash the water or touch their mouth or eyes with salty hands that will taste bad and sting eyes. We do require permission waivers signed for anyone under 18 who we ask also wear a swimsuit. A parent must be present in our facility for those under 18, and a parent must be present in the float room with a child under 16. We ask that the parent to have already floated at least once before allowing their children to float. This is so the parent knows the safety procedures and has some experience to help their children as they float.

Elderly: Similarly, there is no upper age limit, and our elders enjoy some respite from those nagging aches and pains that may seem a bit more persistent as things slow down as we age. If you have mobility issues and might need help getting in and out of the float tank, you will need to bring a helper as we cannot help you in and out for liability reasons. As long as you can safely get in and out of the tank, you should be safe to float regardless of your age or weight. But similar to other water-based services such as a pool or spa, you need to use caution since floors can become very slippery. 


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