There has been much written and discussed about the temperature of the water in a float environment and a common misconception is to have the water hotter in cold countries. While there is a little grace in this its not as much as you would think.
The temperature in a float environment should range anywhere between no lower than 34 and no higher than 36.5 degrees Celsius, this is what’s associated with skin temperature. We usually describe this as the floating space where the magic happens.
Between this range of temperature in the float tank is perfect so that you stay comfortable and don’t overheat. We call this skin receptor neutral because the temperature is set to be at a point where once you get settled in and relaxed you don’t even notice you’re in water anymore. The air in the float environment matches as closely as possible to the water around you so you are in harmony with your skin temperature. Not your core temperature, giving the experience of feeling lightness, of floating disconnected from everything except self.
This makes for a tranquil and cozy experience that doesn’t leave you sweating or shivering. Instead, you feel as if you’re wrapped in a big warm hug. However sometimes if you live with chronic pain you may feel a little more susceptible to temperature sensitive environments and feel slightly hotter or cooler, the trick here is to focus on the breath and lie as still as possible, the best floats are where you can lie still and just be. However, in this stillness the active brain can sometimes want to move you to action and wants you out and into sensory stimulation from lights, sound, smells etc. The brain will then become sensitive and alert you to an itchy nose, an aching knee etc however once you embrace the stillness the distractions drop away and you can return to tranquillity.
The float environment is set up this way to gently guide our bodies and minds into a calmer state of relaxation. By not noticing the ambient environment around you, it gives your brain less to process.
At hydro-ease our personal stance is that we try to never let our cabins to go higher than 36.5. or lower than 35.5 I am not talking about the temperature setting on the media panel, as those can sometimes be inaccurate, but the actual temperature of the water using a thermometer. Getting above 36.5 can be dangerous and cause rapid heartbeat, agitation and actually exasperate the symptoms of things such as Multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and other auto immune related illnesses. It can also cause dehydration where you can experience short term memory loss or increased brain fog, the very things you are trying to dissipate when floating for chronic pain or auto immune conditions.
If you take a moment just now to take notice of all the physical sensations around, you.
- What do your clothes feel like?
- Do you have a watch on that’s sending you notifications and tapping your wrist?
- Is your phone bleeping and demanding your attention?
- How much pressure is there from the chair you’re sitting on or what does the ground feels under your feet while standing?
All these sensations are just physical. And that’s without even considering sights and sounds.
The float environment can become a fortress of solitude from physical sensations, along with visual and auditory cues, our nervous system gets a chance to really be connected and an equilibrium can be experienced from the skin in.