I’d Love To Try Floating... But I’m Claustrophobic

I’d love to try floating... but I’m claustrophobic. We hear this A LOT.


Everyone knows the benefits of floatation therapy:  relaxation; muscle recovery; mental clarity; the way it makes your skin feel great… We all know how good it is for us and we all want that calm post float glow, but there are still a lot of fellow wellness warriors out there who are just too anxious or claustrophobic to try floating.  To some, the idea of floating in a sensory deprivation pod just sounds plain terrifying.


Many people choose to float with the lid open for this reason. While that may help reduce some anxiety, the problem is that the pod isn’t designed to retain the heat with the lid open. Your body will start to get cold, which is distracting, and then you lose most of the benefits of the sensory deprivation environment, resulting in a substandard experience.


We love our pods at Clear Mind Studio, but we also understand that the experience is not for everyone. One of the barriers to floating is the client’s perception that the pod style is a little constricting in terms of space. There is an assumption that pods are tiny and the lid is only inches above your face (like a tanning bed or MRI scanner), but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The pods are like being in a small car (but without the kids and the dog in there with you).

But what if we told you that there was a way to break down those barriers and make floating available to even the most anxious and claustrophobic people out there?


At Clear Mind Studio we have a solution…


 Introducing the open float pool.


Photo courtesy of Floataway

Photo courtesy of Floataway

To help those that suffer from high levels of anxiety and depression, an open pool was developed by our friends at Floataway. This is a large circular pool that is capable of floating two people at once and the best part is that there is no lid, meaning that you have more control over the environment. You get all the benefits of a pod, but none of the negatives. Float pools are also recommended for those with disabilities, injuries, or younger floaters as there is more room, it’s easier to get in and out and you can bring your bestie to float with you.


I was at the float conference in Portland, Oregon, USA last year, and one of the biggest takeaways was how important it was to have an open pool at our studio. If you have never tried floating because you don’t like being in an enclosed space, then this is for you.

It’s still a sensory deprived environment i.e. no sound, no light, feeling of weightlessness, but you have more space around you and plenty of open air above you to keep your mind at ease. We heat the room and water to the same temperature as your skin. We control the humidity so that you can breathe easily. Care has been taken to make sure the room is soundproof (we’ve been consulting with an acoustic engineer). Nothing for you to worry about, but relax and float.


But don’t just take our word for it, here is a quote from one of the top floating researchers in the world, Dr Justin Feinstein, from the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, with whom I had the pleasure of speaking to last year. 

“The open-air design completely removes all feelings of claustrophobia. I cannot overemphasize the importance of having an open pool for anxious populations. Without it many of our patients would have refused to even try floating.”



A custom built Floataround Pool at LIBR. Photo courtesy of LIBR.

A custom built Floataround Pool at LIBR. Photo courtesy of LIBR.

Want another reason to love the open float pool? You can float with a friend or partner together in the same pool! What better way to connect than by sharing a float experience together? We all deal with stress, but when a couple goes through stress together it can often create roadblocks to relaxation. A shared experience that reduces stress can help a couple break down some of those barriers.

You may feel more confident to try floating with your partner or bestie by your side. Often people need support in their wellness journey, even if they know it will be beneficial to them. It might be something you have always wanted to try, but put it off for whatever reason. Floating with your bestie is also great as part of a spa day. Imagine starting your weekend with a float, feeling recharged after a yoga class and massage.


This will be WA’s first open pool and we are delighted to bring it to Perth.


More questions about floating or the open pool? Let us know in comments or contact us. You can even Sign up for our mailing list for a chance to win 1 of 50 free floats and be one of the first to try out the open pool.