2012 Schedule

10/12Friday Night Party

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

World Trade Center Auditorium

– FTA Workshop Begins –

For Workshop guests only.

An intensive training on everything you need to know to run a float business, from the most saltproof wall paint to how to increase your web presence.

The workshop is put on by the Float Tank Association. Read more about the workshop >

6:00 PM

4530 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Welcome Party

We’ll be getting together for food, drinks, and merriment near our float center on the East Side of Portland. Come meet everyone you’ll be spending the next couple days with, and get a peek at our shop while you’re at it.

10/131st Conference Day

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

World Trade Center Auditorium

– FTA Workshop, Part 2 –

For Workshop guests only.

The workshop continues with detailed business advice directed specifically at running a float business.

The workshop is put on by the Float Tank Association. Read more about the workshop >

10:30 AM

World Trade Center Auditorium

The Conference Begins!

by Ashkahn Jahromi

Welcomes, introductions, greetings, salutations, hugs, and if everything goes well, a 3 hour fireworks show erupting in the auditorium to start us off with a bang.

11:00 AM

The History of the Float Industry

by Lee Perry Glenn Perry

Glenn and Lee Perry (manufacturers of the Samadhi tank, the first commercial float tank) will start us off with an overview of the float industry as we know it. And who better than the people who have been in the float industry for as long as there has even been a float industry.

11:50 AM

Programming and Metaprogramming

by David Conneely

John Lilly defined a program as a “set of instructions.” Each person has thousands upon thousands of programs operating in their mind, and each program is like a diamond with many facets. David Conneely, co-owner of iFloat in Connecticut, will teach some basic facets of metaprogram theory, as defined by Lilly, and will show us the power of applying metaprogramming in the float space for the benefit of float clients.

12:35 PM

Float Tanks and Counseling

by Heather Stiles

Heather Stiles, a National Certified Counselor, will share what the research suggests creates positive changes in any individual despite theoretical orientation, modality, or profession. She will dialogue how she uses the floatation tank as a therapist and will provide insight into how we can support floatation clients who seek personal change.

12:50 PM

What You Really Need to Know About Epsom Salts

by Dan Elmer

Dan’s presentation will be a crash course on epsom salts, including how they are manufactured, what grades are available, and how to make an informed decision about which epsom salts are right for you.

1:00 PM



A catered lunch at the World Trade Center. We will be dining in a beautiful glass terraced dining room that over looks Portland’s main river!

A big thank you to the San Francisco Bath Salt Company for helping us provide this lunch for everyone.

2:00 PM

Waking Up to the Dreamlike Nature of Reality

by Paul Levy

We are currently in the middle of a collective psychosis of titanic proportions. Our species is suffering from a collective trauma. Individually and collectively. We have fallen under an enchantment which has become a self-reinforcing feedback loop in which we have not only forgotten who we are, but we have identified ourselves as being someone who we are not. When we begin to awaken to the dreamlike nature of reality, it is as if snapping out of a spell of self-imposed limitations, and realizing that we are much more multidimensional and interconnected – both inside ourselves and in the world at large – than we have previously imagined ourselves to be.

This realization, which occurs within and is an expression of our sacred, creative imagination itself, involves shedding light on the dark shadow content within each of us. We can discover that encoded within the shadow is a gift that can help us to awaken when it is brought forth into the light of the conscious self. In this balance of honoring both the lightness and darkness within ourselves we can begin to heal the personal traumas and collective psychosis of our world. If we solely identify with the light and subtly marginalize and project the darkness outside of ourselves we are then investing in the very seeming reality of the darkness we are contracting against. To mistakenly identify in this way does not address the magnitude of shadow in the world nor address the reality of what it is to be a human being. In fact, to do so is to unwittingly become a card-carrying member of the psychic epidemic that has infected our species leaving us in a state of amnesia about who we truly are. To see how the darkness covertly operates through our blind spots as it hides itself from being seen is to dis-spell its power over us while concurrently accessing our own intrinsic power of dreaming, effectively enabling us to create a much more grace-filled world in which to live.

2:45 PM

The Ego

by Michael Taft

Fifty thousand years ago, the human species was rocked by a radical shift in cognitive ability. In the blink of an evolutionary eye, we went from being smart apes to being fully human, from living at war with the elements and each other to being civilized. Although outwardly our bodies did not change, inwardly our experience of the world transformed. The burst of cognitive power, called the conceptual revolution, paved the way for civilization to take hold. It allowed our attention to shift from a focus on the physical world to focus on mental models so that we could plan more efficiently and image safer ways to live. But the most crucial new brain function that came on line during the conceptual revolution was the ego–the mental model of ourselves.

The function of the ego is to coordinate thoughts, emotions, body sensation, memories and desires. It is an avatar for the whole self, a mental stand-in for our total organism that allows us to engage in complex behavior. Most humans call this chimera of brain software “me”, firmly believing that this construction is actually who they are. Ego Identification has been the defining human experience for a millennia. But the age of the ego may be coming to a close. We will be talking about the evolution of the brain, the ego, and addressing how the next cognitive step forward in our evolution will be a massive expansion of conscious awareness, i.e. the ability we all have to witness our own usually subconscious brain function. When this leap in consciousness happens we see how we have the ability to finally make free will choices using the more evolved part of our brain. And we discover how this personal evolution of cognition directly contributes to the rise of a more enlightened humanity as a whole.

4:00 PM



4:10 PM

Cranial Rhythm, Meridian Lines, and the Float Experience

by Jon Hart

Jon Hart, professor at East West College of the Healing Arts, will share his in depth knowledge on Kinesiology with us, giving us a crash course about our own bodies, and unpacking what happens to our physical form as we enter the float environment.

4:35 PM

Peak Performance and the Tank

by Anthony Natale

Anthony Natale, after spending months researching the effects of floating on athletic performance, will be here to present to us his unique perspective on float tanks and the purposeful evolution of our bodies.

A veteran floater at Float On, a mixed martial artist, a painter, an expert in body work, Anthony will help us explore the very meaning of performance, and how it can be enhanced.

4:55 PM

A Speculative Experience: The float experience as an integral part of the somato-spiritual process

by Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson will be with us to introduce the concepts of Structural Integration, Fascial anatomy, and The Living Matrix, three different deep movement therapies.

He will take us on an exploration of these therapies with an emphasis on the float experience, as together they are the three aspects of self- mind, body and spirit.

5:15 PM

Floatation and Mental Health; the Psycho-biology of PTSD and Healing

by Dr. David Manfield

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an exciting topic within the floatation community. Every year we hear of more people who are receiving profound benefits from time in the float tanks. We are encouraged by the results, but many of us do not really know what PTSD is, exactly.

PTSD usually develops as a result of a terribly frightening, life-threatening, or otherwise highly unsafe experience. PTSD sufferers re-experience the traumatic event or events in many ways. They tend to avoid places, people, or things that remind them of the event (this is called avoidance). They are extremely sensitive to normal life experiences triggering past memories and living in a cycle of hyper arousal states. The fight or flight feedback loop gets triggered causing sufferers to experience high levels of anxiety and many other complex symptoms caused by the hyper arousal. Although this condition has likely existed since human beings endured trauma, it has only been recognized as a formal diagnosis since 1980. There are several different types of PTSD (basic ptsd and complex ptsd). Complex PTSD usually results from prolonged exposure to a traumatic event or series of difficult events.

In this talk Dr. David Manfield will educates us about what PTSD is, how it works inside the body, how it is experienced by the sufferer, why people get PTSD and different successful modalities of healing it.

5:35 PM

Peter Suedfeld Speaks on REST Research

by Dr. Peter Suedfeld

Dr. Suedfeld, one of the pioneering researchers in the field of REST and floatation, will be joining us to speak on the state of float research over the course of the last 50 years. Peter will talk about the research process, and the importance of this in progressing the float industry. In addition, he will offer a look back on his own work, and how it applies the knowledge we have of float tanks today.

6:10 PM

Floating for Lucidity: the Alternate Waking States Induction Method (AWSIM)

by Richard Bonk

Accessing and utilizing altered states of consciousness, including lucid dreams and OBEs for spiritual, community and personal reasons, has been of great interest across cultures and times. Our culture and time is no exception and as we continue to borrow from traditional cultures we are compelled to explore mnemonic, mechanistic and technologically assisted methods to more effectively induce targeted altered states. An often-overlooked tool for effectively inducing those states is the floatation tank and its related experience. Once romantically dramatized in fiction and by Hollywood and popular culture, this misunderstood system had fallen into relative obscurity until recently when a gentle if somewhat tentative resurgence occurred, riding the wave of the holistic, complimentary and alternative medicine movement.

Richard Bonk will be here to present 1) an introduction to the Alternate Waking States Induction Method (AWSIM), a technique which has proven effective in the engendering of “altered” states of consciousness in individuals while floating, 2) initial findings of AWSIM research, 3) a brief overview of significant phenomena observed with reference to categorization thereof – the AWSIM (hypnagogic) “spectrum” of consciousness, 4) implications and possible applications, with particular reference to hypnagogia, generating lucid dreams and OBEs , and 5) an invitation to be part of a float explorer’s club – the Alternate Waking States Investigation Matrix (another AWSIM!).

6:30 PM

7:30 PM


We’ll all go out to eat dinner, clink glasses, and celebrate the fact that together, we own a good portion of the world’s epsom salt.

10/142nd Conference Day

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

World Trade Center Auditorium

– FTA Workshop, Part 3 –

For Workshop guests only.

The workshop concludes with series of panels of experts on anything from Social Media to Accounting. This session will include a free roam period where workshop attendees can speak individually with any of the experts about questions specific to their float center.

The workshop is put on by the Float Tank Association. Read more about the workshop >

10:30 AM

World Trade Center Auditorium

The Conference Continues!

by Ashkahn Jahromi

Join us as we meet back up and try to piece together what happened last night.

11:00 AM

The Art of Selling Nothing

by Graham Talley

Ask anyone in the float industry what drives the most traffic and they’ll tell you ‘Word of Mouth.’ That’s because float tanks are word-of-mouth machines. This is not nearly as wishy-washy as it sounds: there is a science behind word of mouth marketing.

Graham Talley, one of the Float On founders, will be going over specific tactics and strategies for float centers to get more press, likes, tweets, dinner conversations, and forum posts about your business. Pack your tanks, and have even less work for yourself than you started with.

11:45 AM

The Fibromyalgia Flotation Project

by Dr. Rod Borrie Graham Talley

In 2010, Dr. Rod Borrie helped organize a collaborative research project between float centers across the world. They gathered data on the effects of float tanks on victims of Fibromyalgia. The results were incredibly positive, leading Rod to take the study to the next level.

He has been working with Float On to create an online medium for research collaboration between float tank centers on a large scale. Rod Borrie and Graham Talley will present this new website and its possibilities, with the Fibromyalgia Flotation Project being the flagship study that will kick it off.

1:00 PM


Catered at the World Trade Center

2:00 PM

The Swedish Floatation Association

by Anu Enok Catharina Jakobsson

The Swedish Floatation Association will tell us about their efforts to get floating covered by Swedish national health insurance, their float center accreditation program, and other ways they’ve been working to support the growing Swedish float tank industry.

3:00 PM

The US Float Tank Association

by Lee Perry

Originally Founded in the 80’s, the Float Tank Association has spent the last 2 decades in hiatus. But in the last year the organization has come out of hibernation, and has worked to restructure, reorganize, and revitalize itself into existence. They are here at the Portland Float Conference to introduce themselves to the float community, present what they’ve been up to for the last year, explain the election process, and invite membership.

4:00 PM



4:10 PM

Float Tank Sanitation

by Dr. Fred Colley

Fred Colley, a Microbiologist of over 30 years, and the current director of the Microbiology Department at Pyxis water testing laboratories, will be here to share his knowledge on disinfection, sanitation, and public health.

Dr. Colley will discuss the concept of our skin as an ecosystem, and how this ecosystem can transmit disease. In addition to this overview of sanitation, Colley will delve into the research he has recently been doing into Float Tank specific sanitation, including a breakdown of Hydrogen Peroxide, Ultraviolet Light, and Halophilic Bacteria (organisms that live in high salt environments).

He will also be here to answer questions and give a foundation for discussing the nuances of float tank sanitation.

5:15 PM

The German Floatation Association

by Benjamin Tochtermann

Originally founded in 2009, the German Floatation Association is now 30 members strong and growing. They are here to speak on the rapidly expanding float tank market in Germany, and what their association does to bolster that.

5:30 PM

The Key to Growth

by Benjamin Tochtermann

Benjamin Tochtermann, owner of a franchise of 12 float centers throughout Germany and Switzerland, will be here to discuss his experience in the German marketplace.

With both a business structure and a tank design that is unique in the float industry, Benjamin will present on what he has found is necessary to successfully run multiple centers, and give insight on what parts of your business you can streamline to help your growth.

6:00 PM

The English Float Tank Association

by Peter Bell

The English FTA has been around since the mid-80’s, helping to guide float centers in the UK and Eire in creating the ideal float environment, and supporting its member centers with both marketing and information.

Peter Bell will be here to tell us about the current state of the English FTA, and give us an update on what the organization has looked like for the last several years.

6:10 PM

Spreading the Word

by Peter Bell

Peter Bell of Floatworks, the world’s largest float tank center, will be here to tell us the work they’ve done to grow their center over the years.

Located in the heart of London for almost 20 years, Floatworks has done a tremendous amount of marketing to inform and educate the community on the existence and benefits of float tanks. Their efforts have built their customer base to the point where they are consistently sustaining a 9 float tank center.

Peter Bell will guide us through some fo the marketing techniques they have used that has truly helped them spread the word.

6:30 PM

End of the Conference

It’s sad, but all good things must come to an end.