FAQs | floatation Tanks in Alexandria, VA | Synergy Float Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Watch our video to find out what to expect when you’re floating for the first time!

What affects does floatation therapy have on the mind?

During a float, you produce slower brainwave patterns, known as theta waves, which are normally only experienced during a deep meditation or just before falling asleep. This is usually accompanied by vivid imagery, very clear, creative thoughts, sudden insights and inspirations or feelings of profound peace and joy. Because of these effects, floating is used effectively in the treatment of depression and addictions. There is even some research on floating for individuals with autism.

Is floating successful for everyone?

Floating, as with other treatments, does not suit everybody. It requires willingness on your part to let go and see what happens, and you may need to float a few times before you are able to relax completely, both physically and mentally. Depending on your own journey through life, a float might provide an hour of total physical relaxation – or a profound healing experience, emotionally and spiritually transforming. Floating can be a wonderful aid to opening doors into your inner world, gradually allowing access to those deeper levels at which real changes take place. Read our floating tips to get the most from your session.

Is floatation therapy covered by Medicare or Insurance?

No, floatation therapy is a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and is therefore considered a cash pay service that is not reimbursed. However, it may qualify to be paid from your healthcare flexible spending account.

Do I need to bring anything?

If you have longer hair, you may want to bring a comb. And if you wear contacts, you may want to bring something to put your contact lenses into while you’re in the tank. We provide towels, earplugs, body wash, and shampoo. Watch our video for more information on what to expect during your float!

Do I wear a bathing suit?

You will have complete privacy in the room (equipped with the pod and a shower) so a bathing suit is not necessary and may even take away from the float experience. The less sensation you have on your body, the easier it will be to enter deep relaxation. It is completely up to your comfort level; however, we suggest you visit the restroom prior to your float. Watch our video for more information on what to expect during your float!

What if I arrive late?

Whenever possible, we will try to accommodate each client. However, if another client is scheduled immediately following your time, you have the option of rescheduling your appointment or cutting your float time so we do not inconvenience other clients. Read more about our policies here.

How should I prepare for my float?

We recommend not drinking caffeine for several hours before your float, as this will hinder your ability to relax. We also recommend not shaving or waxing on the day of your float, as the salt can sting freshly shaven skin. Eating a light meal about an hour to 90 minutes ahead of time stops your stomach from making sounds while you float. You will take a shower before and after your float, so feel free to come fresh faced, hair un-done and ready to shower. Watch our video for more information on what to expect during your float! Be sure to also read our floating tips to get the most from your session.

Do I shower before using the floatation tank/pod?

Yes. To extend the life of the filtration system, showering beforehand is extremely important. Using the shower afterward is also suggested to remove the coating of Epsom salt that is left on the skin and hair. Watch our video for more information on what to expect during your float!

Can I wear my contacts while I float?

We recommend removing your contacts before your float, as they could become a distraction if they become dry or you accidentally get salt in your eyes.

Do I have to wear ear plugs?

No, but we recommend wearing ear plugs during your float; it helps with added soundproofing, and prevents salt from entering your ear canal. Watch our video for more information on what to expect during your float!

Will I have Epsom Salt stuck in my ears?

No. Earplugs are provided to enhance your floating experience. We recommended rinsing your ears out with water after each session.

Is the salt dangerous to my eyes?

No, but it can be a little uncomfortable. Before entering the chamber, make sure to dry your face, push your hair back, and keep your hands away from your eyes.

Is it private?

Yes, you float within your own individual room. Each float room has its own shower and dressing space for your exclusive use for the duration of your session. Watch our video for more information on what to expect during your float!

Is there a size or weight limit?

No, other than the actual size of the tank itself. The Tranquility Float pod can fit an individual up to 7 ft 8 in. However, we have a Float Cabin and an open float tank that can accommodate any size.

Is there an age limit to float?

Guests must be 16 years of age or older to receive treatments. Individuals under age 18 must have permission from parent or guardian.

Will I float? I don’t normally float in water.

Yes. It is impossible not to float in the tank. ~1000 pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in the water make a buoyant solution that is much denser than water alone. So no matter your weight or height, you will float on your back without effort. As you lay back, the water will reach the temples, leaving your eyes, nose, and mouth fully exposed.

What if I just dyed my hair? Or have a keratin treatment?

You typically need to wait 2 weeks after permanently coloring your hair before you can float, and 60 days if it’s temporary hair dye. We ask that you get your hair wet and rub it on a white towel, and if there’s no color transfer, you can then float (this is especially true for vibrant colors such as red or blue). If you do have a vibrant hair color, we will ask you to test on a white towel once you’re here. (Hair dye can stain the pod!) The salt could disrupt keratin treatments or the glue used in extensions, so you might want to postpone your float if you have had these procedures done recently.

Can I float with locks?

We have a policy against bringing any oils into the tank, whether on your skin or in your hair – because it negatively effects the water. So if you use wax, oil or cream you will not be able to float. However, if you only use a residue free soap or shampoo, then we are happy to have you float.

Can I float while I'm menstruating?

Yes. Please follow the same protocol you would for swimming. However, if you are expecting a heavy menstrual cycle, we ask that you reschedule your float for a better time of the month.

Can I float while I'm pregnant?

Yes. Pregnant women probably get more relief from floating than most people. The extra weight carried by the mother-to-be can be very stressful due to the forces of gravity. Floating eliminates the negative effects of gravity, which causes joint pain, inflammation, and stress on the organs as well as on the unborn baby.

Pregnant women have also reported a reduction of erratic movements of the baby inside the womb. This is due to a phenomenon called the “mirror effect.” The baby is safe and secure inside the womb, and the mother shares a similar experience in the isolation tank. Women report a stronger connection with their baby when exposed to this environment.

Can I float if I'm still breastfeeding?

Yes. However, we ask that you feed or pump just before your float to ensure no milk leaks into the float tank.

Are there any circumstances when I'm not able to float?

If you have an infectious disease, heart or kidney condition, diabetes, epilepsy, or inner ear issues. If you have a medical condition, we recommend that you get your physician’s approval before floating. We request you don’t float if you have a cold or any kind of infection. People have experienced vertigo while floating when unwell. If you are prone to motion sickness (car or sea), floating may cause similar feelings for you.

What if I can’t swim?

Floating doesn’t require any swimming skills. You’ll actually float effortlessly no matter what shape or size you are.

Am I locked in?

The tank door does not lock – it simply pushes open. The outer room may be locked for your comfort and to secure your personal possessions. You may leave a session at any time. Watch our video for more information on what to expect during your float!

Is it better to use the sauna before or after I float?

We recommend a 30 minute sauna session prior to your float. This detoxifies your body and opens your pores, allowing the magnesium from the Epsom salts to easily absorb into your body.

Is this sanitary?

Yes. The water is filtered 4 times between each client through a 10-micron filter, which is capable of filtering debris as small as 1/4 the diameter of a human hair. The water is treated with Ozone, UV light, and hydrogen peroxide which rids the pod of any micro-organisms that could survive the salt content (~1000 lbs of pharmaceutical grade Epsom salt). We test our water parameters daily to ensure our water quality remains pristine. We send our water off for lab testing regularly and post our score. We take the health of our water very seriously.

Is the water hot like a hot tub?

No. The water is kept at skin receptor neutral temperature. Floating is all about reduced sensation, and that includes touch. After a while, you can no longer feel where the water meets your body, and this gives you that ‘floating in space’ feeling.

Will I get dehydrated from soaking for so long?


What types of float therapy options do you have?

Synergy offers four floatation therapy options (Tranquility Float Tank, Float Cabin for Two, a luxury Float Pool, and the Revolution Float Orb). Watch our video for more information on your float options!

Can two people float in the same pod?

Yes. The Float Cabin and Pool can both accommodate two people. However, most people find floating to be more beneficial when done alone.

What if I am claustrophobic?

The thought of being in a dark space can be frightening to some. However, just like when your eyes are closed, total black does not create an enclosed, confined, limited, or restricted feeling; it actually seems vast or unlimited. Our Float Cabin for Two and a luxury Float Pool are big enough to stand and walk around in. Remember, you are in complete control of your surroundings, so if need be, you can exit the tank or pod at any time.

Can I drown if I fall asleep in the floatation tank?

No. Many people safely fall asleep in the tank as a result of being so relaxed. Even those who say they never sleep on their backs in bed do so very easily in the tank. People may think it is unsafe because of the fear of rolling over. If this were ever to happen, the salinity of the water would irritate the eyes and nose, immediately waking the person who is floating.

I just got a tattoo, should I float?

Floating and fresh tattoos do not mix! Not only could floating with a fresh tattoo be painful (salt + open wounds = ouch) but the water solution could cause fading or discoloration of your tattoo and permanently ruin its aesthetic appeal. How long you should wait before floating depends on the tattoo and how quickly it heals, but tattoo artists/floaters we have talked to have suggested waiting 4-6 weeks.

Do I have to stay in the whole time?

There aren’t any latches on the floatation tank doors, and you can get out anytime.  That said, the time usually goes by faster than you’d expect. Read our floating tips to calm your mind in the tank.

Does it have other names?

Yes: Sensory Deprivation Tank, Float Tank, floatation Tank, and Isolation Chamber.

Is it hard to do?

No. In fact, the less you do, the better. It may take a couple of sessions to get the hang of it. Read our floating tips to calm your mind in the tank.

Who invented the first floatation tank?

John C. Lily.

How long have floatation tanks been around?

The first float tank was developed in 1954. The first float tanks involved full submersion in water and a breathing device that completely covered your face. The first lay-down, commercial tanks were invented in the early 1970’s.

Can I give a float session as a gift?

Yes, many birthdays, special occasions or just the opportunity to experience something great are spent here courtesy of our gift vouchers. You can buy them online, over the phone, or during your visit.

Meet our new Energy Healer - Lakshmi Puri

I was given the name Lakshmi from a renowned Yoga Master as a baby and grew up in a spiritual ashram near Washington D.C. I was immersed in the smells of incense, chiming bells, devotional prayers, and dedication to the healing path through practicing yoga asanas, pranayama (breath work), performing holy rituals, and repeating a mantra in meditation. 

In meditation, a whole realm unveiled itself before me involving my intuitive wisdom to work with energy and connect to a higher consciousness beyond my mental comprehension and reasoning. It felt as if I had been doing this for lifetimes. I was guided to travel to Rajasthan, India where I started working with others as a healer here while strengthening my own Divine connection being in this Motherland of Spirituality. I then returned to the States to continue practicing with people all around the world. I truly look forward to connecting with you.  Sessions available on Sunday and Mondays starting on Feb. 19th.