Firstly, I believe that float experience can bring true rest to the brain.
Sleep is a state of consciousness everyone seeks. Simple a peaceful void away from all the overwhelming sensations of life. The quiet environment of Float tank and the buoyant comfortable water makes you so relaxed you’ll fall asleep. Such quiet environment induce heightened senses and mindfulness (since there’s nothing to perceive other than the mind). Possibly floating on water somehow keeps you alert (the brain’s mechanism to prevent drowning – but you can’t drown in 20 cm deep of water). Thus the tank has the ability to induce a trance – a waking sleep state. In lucid dreaming it’s called the hypnogogic state – a state everyone experience before going to sleep, but never prolonged. You also enter this state when you power-nap (napping for not exceeding 15 minutes) – after 15 minutes you’re no longer in pre-sleep and fall into deeper sleep, which gives you sleep inertia – a drowsy tiredness when you wake up.
In the hypnogogic pre-sleep state the brain gives out theta brainwaves. In theta state, you can experience yourself observing fleeting thoughts, dreamlike hallucinations, some weird sensations but they always come and go, you’re not engaging or clinging to any thoughts, emotions like in waking state but just observing (e.g you’re mad about something and the train of angry thoughts overwhelms your attention and become your experience – in theta state you let go it the anger easily). People who practiced Vipassana would find the workings of the mind in this state relatable.
Secondly, Float help us prolong theta state which normally hard to maintain.
Scientists have found that experienced meditator are able to maintain their brain in the theta state even in daily life, which means they can deliberately enter a state of sleep-like calmness. When you meditate and focus on your breathing or a mantra, you’re containing your attention on one single object that’s long-lasting and relatively unchanging, maybe with a repeating pattern. Your mind may get bored, you may lose your attention, fall asleep or into a trance of thoughts, maybe you get restless and choose to do something else. But you keep on, and overtime your attention is strengthened, you’re constantly mindfully observing your mind. You’re able to detach from your senses and direct your mind into a state of pure attentive observation.
Thirdly, float is a journey, you have to practice to make it perfect.
Like weight training, some days when you’re in a really good shape and have a blasting training session – when you begin practicing meditation, some sessions you suddenly experience profound change in perception. The Float tank gives you an edge by providing an excellent distraction-free environment to meditate in and profound changes can happen much more often. With the aid of the float tank, input from the senses is minimized and you’re obligated to be mindful of the only thing you can perceive: your body and mind.
As an owner/operator of a Float Center, I get to float a lot, whenever I want. I also get to observe and study what the tank do to everyone’s mind as during post-float conversations. Everyone feels different about floating. For me, floating in the morning is refreshing and peaceful, sometimes out of this world, in the evening it’s restless, fidgeting and I can’t resist going out and watch some TV – some people find it completely opposite.
Generally, the experience in a Float Tank if you just go in to relax or meditate without any goal in mind (like I do) is like a waking sleep. It feels like your body is asleep, your mind is asleep while you’re still conscious. The more you do it, or practice mindfulness meditation, the more conscious you remain in this state. Being conscious in sleep is very interesting. A drug addict would turn to meditation as soon as he witnesses firsthand the calmness and peace that sleep provides. Being conscious in sleep also means that you can experience dreams vividly with life-like qualities, maybe engineer them to your liking. It can be very spiritual if you believe dreams carry messages from the subconscious.
Had a nice and friendly staff member help us out! A great first experience and I hope to be back soon! Unfortunately the power went out towards the end but that is beyond their control as blackouts occur quite frequently in Vietnam
Great experience! It was my first time there and the staff member/ owner took his time to explain to us the benefits and walked us through the process. Unfortunately there was a power trip towards the end of my session, but the staff member/ owner were witty calm about it and brought it a huge speaker to wake us up (just in case we hadn’t got up).
This is an absolutley amazing find in Hanoi. I always tell people that floating is the perfect practice if your looking to improve your health, inner peace, and general wellbeing - and that is certainly the case at 'float Hanoi' as well! I have been floating regularly for a few years in the US, and I can say that the tanks and facilities here are truly top of the line. Also Minh, one of the owners, was incredibly welcoming and helpful - he even took me to find an ATM machine after my float so i could pay him! Then followed by showing me a gas station so I could fill up my motorbike (Ive only been here two days). 🙂 Float Hanoi exemplifies what selfless service is all about - I feel at home in Hanoi already just from my first experience here (Of course im also relaxed and rejuvinated from the float itself). I bought a package of 5 "one hour" floats, and when those are up, I will be buying a package of 5 "ninety minute" floats. All that said, just do yourself a big favor and give this place a real shot! You wont be at all dossapointed. ????
The last time I floated was back in Bangkok in 2019. My husband and I were regulars at the facility there. The Hanoi float center feels much more “homemade” than the one in Bangkok. Not saying that neither is better than the other; the setting feels very different, which is something to keep in mind. Otherwise, the tanks work the same - the only difference would be that you have the option to pry the tank’s cover open slightly with the ones in BKK but here, it’s either fully close or open, which can be uncomfortable for first-time floaters. Also, if you haven’t meditated for a long time, it can be pretty challenging during the first few sessions as your mind WILL keep wandering. We did the couple floating session for 60 minutes, and we didn’t regret giving it a try. It was nice, dark, and quiet (something you don’t get much from living in Hanoi). The staff understands and speaks English very well. The online reservation was hassle free, and the team will contact you a day before by phone to reconfirm. Note that they are not really responsive on Facebook messenger, so it’s better to call. It’s a straight forward experience, you go in, pay, rinse a bit, float, get out, rinse again, dress up and leave. Nothing to complain about and would personally return.
Quietest place in HCMC*. I've been floating for over four years and was so happy to find this place in Vietnam. The set up is very professional and sanitary. Owners are knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The prices do seem a bit high and geared towards tourists. I'll will return, but not as frequently as I'd like. *I would not suggest you float if there's going to be rain. During my float it started to pour and the noise was to the point you can not tune it out. I had to cut my float short as a result. No offer of offset cost or float time in the future, disappointing.
Luck play a small roles in deciding your experiences, sometimes you get a surprise gift.
In the Float Tank, I find myself to have a high affinity for vivid/lucid dreams as 3 out of 5 morning session I would get spontaneous multi-layered crazy dreams with physical sensations sharper than life! This could be a cognitive bias but one dream actually had a personal message that has been very beneficial to my personal growth. Sometimes I feel my body vibrating even intensely good, sensations of cool electricity buzzing and spreading from head to toe – I think it’s a sign/symptom of going into sleep paralysis and/or part of the dream process, some people says it’s chakras activating and energy is flowing through my body, but either way I feel good and excited when it happens. Though, I never expect to get such experience and when I float, I do it for the deeply relaxing sensation – it just feels good. After floating 3 times every week I find it so easy to fall asleep even when I have tons of problems which need solving asap on my mind – it’s like I found a special power to release my mind from any activity and sleep.
If you ever had a vivid dream or a lucid dream, you know that feeling of excitement when you wake up (it goes like “What just happened? Woww! What a crazy dream!”). Floating gives me such sensation, and it last around 6 hours until my mind is flooded with thoughts about my plan for the night. I feel energized and ready to tackle anything in the world. Senses are heightened after floating too. Because the brain always watches out for danger, it amps up your senses when you spend time in a dark and quiet environment – after floating colors are vivid, food tastes awesome and sound has more depth like I’m in a theater. It was rather subtle at first but as I float more often the effect improved and became more noticeable.
Lastly, all experiences are valuables.
Come try floating and share your experiences with us! As psychonauts, we love to hear every story people share after floating!
Minh & Duc @Float Vietnam