Float tanks – Is claustrophobia really an issue?

on August 30, 2018

Claustrophobia? A float center owner’s experience

Claustrophobia and float tanks is an important subject to discuss. A lot of people in the float industry refuse to accept it is even a problem.

Thanks to Phil Steward for allowing his blog to be republished below. Published on 27 February 2015 the original is at Here’s the blog:-

“Oh, I don’t think I could do one of those float things, I couldn’t stand to be in such a small space, I’m a bit claustrophobic.”

I hear this sentence or one very like it time and time again, so I’m putting down on a blog, what I say to people in the clinic.

Firstly you probably think its like this  (Homer in the float tank above), a tiny little space that you can hardly move in.

I see this image of the float “tank” time and time again, because it make good telly!

My first experience of floating was in a tiny little tank, that I could hardly sit up in with out banging my head on it, which I did……… D’Oh!
It looked just like the one to the left, truth be told it was claustrophobic, the experience getting in was not the best, stepping up grabbing the bar on the top and swinging yourself in feet first like an astronaut entering a space capsule. (Great when your back was in agony! Not.) But the results were outstanding! This is why I got into bobbing around in Epsom Salt saturated water. I had broken my back and after surgery that I had was left in so much pain I could hardly function. I was 20.

Floating saved me! Simple. It encouraged my body to heal itself and with some treatments and lots of self healing visualisations within the float tank and at home. I got better and better and beat the consultant’s opinion that, “there was nothing that could be done, except the fact you’ll probably be in a wheelchair by the time you are 30, go take pain killers and make yourself as comfortable as possible”

Tank or Room

How times have changed! All float “Tanks” and “Rooms” have the same 10″ of body temperature Epsom Salt saturated water in them. The space is the difference and this is why we choose a “Float Room“.

Ellie is claustrophobic and there is no way I could get her into a tank, we were opening a clinic. I wanted a float tank in it. Ellie was not so sure of the space, no matter how flash they now look, a tank is a small box with a lid on it, and I was not convincing her to get in it! “Well, you can leave the top open or ajar” I said. Not telling her of the annoying draught that would be felt on her skin and how that would ruin the experience. (This is how much I wanted a float tank).

Then we found the Float Room.

The size of a small sauna, is the best way I can explain it, over 2 meters high inside, easy to stand in even for a 6’4″ me. The bit you lie in is a generous 2.5m x 1.6m, loads of room.

There are sparkly fibre optic lights on the ceiling a great big door to get in through, (no more swinging in like an astronaut).

The most important thing is the space, there are no feelings of claustrophobia, even for Ellie!

The amount of clients who have seen it and said “Oh, that is not at all, as I thought it would be like” and then all admitted that they were worried it was a box with a lid!

Many regular floaters told me that they would never have tried it if it was a tank! The best thing we did was get a float room! Please if you think it is a coffin style tank, think again, click on the link to this 360º tour, or pop in to have a look for yourself!

Then get yourself booked in and understand what everyone is talking about, and why it is the ultimate environment for your body to heal itself!

Happy Floating Phil

chris brownFloat tanks – Is claustrophobia really an issue?