2013 Schedule

8/16Float Center Workshop

Float Center Workshop Begins!

For Workshop Guests Only

The Float Center Workshop is an intensive day of training, covering everything you need to know to start and run your float business.

When we started Float On, there was almost no information or advice for people looking to run a float tank center. We have spent the years we’ve been running continuously experimenting and improving our center, learning first hand what works and what doesn’t.

This workshop is the information we would have loved to know when we were getting started. We will be covering everything from float tank maintenance, to float center construction, to float-specific marketing techniques that have worked for us.

We’ll be bringing in experts who are familiar with the float industry to cover specialized fields, such as insurance, legal coverage, and SEO marketing.

See the details for the Float Center Workshop >>

8:00 PM

through midnight

Newport Seafood Grill: Riverplace
0425 SW Montgomery St

Welcome Party

Join us for a casual get together to kick-off the conference festivities!

We’ll be at the Portland waterfront, a nice part of downtown Portland right along the main river that goes through town.

We’ll be meeting at the Newport Seafood Grill, known as “Portland’s only floating restaurant,” the building is actually floating on the river! We’ve reserved a few more casual bars and restaurants in the area as well.

We’ll also be premiering the videos from our Float Dance Project. Screenings will be happening in the park right outside the restaurant, and will be easy to find once you get here

We’ll be going until midnight, so feel free to come in and clink glasses with us at any point in the evening!

8/171st Conference Day

The Conference Begins!

We’ll have balloons, confetti, and giant foam fingers for everyone as we kick-off the great weekend that is ahead.

10:30 AM

Clinical Uses of Flotation REST

Dr. Borrie will be with us to present Flotation REST as a powerful, versatile therapeutic tool with effects that can be applied to a wide variety of clinical disorders. While there are a number of obstacles to be overcome for us to be able to have a clinical presence there are several reasons to make these efforts.

The population of patients who would benefit is enormous and they are people who would use flotation regularly for the relief they received. With greater acceptance we would also receive higher reimbursement rates for its coverage as a therapeutic modality. Finally, pursuing clinical applications of Flotation REST would enable us to reach the largest numbers of people through the primary prescribed therapeutic effect and allow them to discover the many other benefits on their own.

Dr. Borrie has been studying REST, or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (a term he coined) for several decades, and is one of the world’s leading experts on its capabilities and applications.

11:00 AM

Growing with your Business

Peter Bell is the marketing & PR manager for Floatworks, the largest float tank center in the world.

He’ll be here to share some of his & Floatworks’ successful strategies for drawing in the crowds and spreading the word on floating. With the creation of the i-sopod, their flagship float tank, they have been able to spread floating much further than just their own center.

11:30 AM

The Effects of Stress on the Body

Lara will be with us to talk about stress and the human body. Stress leads to imbalance which leads to inflammation which is linked to leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer and suicide. Experts are going as far as to say that 70 to 85 percent of all diseases and illnesses are stress-related.

Stress is the experience of a perceived threat (real or imagined) to one’s mental, physical, or spiritual well-being. That perceived threat has real physiological implications in the body system through the sympathetic nervous system. Chronic stress keeps the system out of balance which over time has negative health consequences.

Heart Variability and coherence are important in that it shows that our body system (including the brain) are working together much like a musical band in harmony. Our perception is an important component to how resilient we are to stress. Learning to relax and let go is part of relaxation response that you can experience by floating as part of your preventative measure.

12:00 PM

12:15 PM

The History of IRIS:
A Look Back at Float Tank Research

by Tom Fine

Tom Fine, one of the original researchers of float tanks and REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy), will be with us to give us a first hand account of his many years of research, and a look back into IRIS.

IRIS (the International REST Investigators Society) was an organization that facilitated and distributed REST research in the 80’s and early 90’s. Many scientists came together to be a part of this association, and in it is still responsible for a large bulk of the scientific studies we have on float tanks.

Tom was in the forefront of the IRIS organization, and continues to be interested and involved in promoting float research.

1:15 PM

The Story of Epsom Salt

Dan Elmer, owner of The San Francisco Bath Salt Company, has spent years delving deep into the world of salt.

He will be here to tell us about Epsom Salt, a salt that has come to be known for its rejuvenating physical benefits, its relaxing mental effects, and of course, for float tanks.

Dan will present on both the history of Epsom Salt, which reaches back hundreds of years in time, and its manufacturing process, which reaches down hundreds of yards into the earth. To learn about the different grades of Epsom Salt, and which to use in your float tank, watch his presentation from last year!

1:30 PM



A catered lunch at the PCPA. We will be dining on the top floor of the building, with a nice view over downtown Portland!

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

3:00 PM

The ‘Float Nation’ Documentary:
A Peek at some Exclusive New Footage

The folks at Float Nation traveled across the United States, meeting and filming the burgeoning new float industry as it has been developing. They are currently in the works of editing their experience into a feature length documentary.

In the meantime, they have come to join us at the Float Conference to show us an exclusive first look at some footage from their upcoming film.

3:30 PM

The Wellness Center Approach:
Integrating Float Tanks with Additional Modalities

Dylan Schmidt and Sandra Calm of The Float Shoppe in Portland, Oregon will take the audience through a discussion of combining float tanks with other modalities in your business.

Using The Float Shoppe as a model, they will discuss the therapeutic benefits of combining float tanks with massage, acupuncture, counseling, and other possibilities. Methods for facilitating flow between therapies will be discussed, in addition to scheduling other practical aspects. Business pros and cons of such integration will be also be covered, including the opportunity for you to estimate the financial implications of adding modalities to your own float center.

3:45 PM

The Float House Formula (to date)

Mike Zaremba, along with his brother and business partner, Andy, opened Float House just 3 months ago in May. In that short amount of time, they have managed to blast the Vancouver area with the bug of floating.

Mike will be here to share some stories of getting his center not just up and running, but thriving in the metropolitan area.

4:00 PM

Remembering Michael Hutchison

A tribute to the late Michael Hutchison, author of ‘The Book of Floating.’

4:15 PM

Much Ado About Nothing

by Lee Perry Glenn Perry

A Conversation with Glenn and Lee Perry.

Fifty nine years after the discovery of the floatation tank by the controversial scientist Dr. John Lilly, new healing aspects of floating are being investigated in the medical world (ex. fibromyalgia).

This talk explores the future of floating, considering the large shift in the interest of tank users in getting into the business of running centers. This interest is happening in the USA and Canada very strongly, and many other places in the world on a smaller scale. This is a major shift. 9.3 on the Richter scale. We would like it to be a successful shift that allows for many forms of participation in the floatation business.

Glenn and Lee will be here as representatives of the Floatation Tank Association.

“This place or places is called by different names: the Isolation Tank, Floatation Tank, the Solitude Tank, the Womb-to-Tomb Wet Box, the Place one can rent for Money to Seek Nothingness, etc. And then, the Isolation-Solitude-Confinement-Happiness-Freedom-Domain.

I realized that no one at that time would believe me if I used that name.”

From The Deep Self

Prologue to the Gateways edition

by John C. Lilly


5:00 PM

5:15 PM

Performance Enhancement with REST

Dr. Barabasz, one of the original researchers of REST and floataion, will be with us to present a review from his many years of REST research. He will be focusing on the effects of REST on performance enhancement.

In particular, Barabasz will give us an overview of studies that include the significant performance enhancement effects of six hours Dry Floatation REST on hypnotizability for pain control in university volunteers, the effects of repeated dry flotation REST on marksmanship scores, and the effects on intercollegiate basketball performance using repeated one hour sessions of traditional flotation REST.

Both dry flotation REST and traditional wet flotation REST continue to show reliable and significant performance gains in comparison to placebo treatments.

6:00 PM

An Engineer is Floating By

Colin Stanwell-Smith entered the float world from a background in engineering and technology. His curiosity and devotion to tinkering led him to manufacturing float tanks. In 1999 he started Floataway, and float tank manufacturing company based in England.

Colin will be here to share his insights from over a decade of developing float technology, researching float applications, and solving float mysteries.

7:00 PM

7:30 PM

The Heathman Hotel
(one block away from the conference)

Conference Reception Party

We’ve reserved part of the Heathman, Portland’s most famous historic hotel, to host a reception for this year’s Float Conference.

Join us as we celebrate the wonderful industry that we’ve all found ourselves a part of. This will be the best chance to meet everyone, mingle, and celebrate!

Hors d’oeuvres will be provided, and there will even be a live jazz band!

8/182nd Conference Day

Day 2: The Conference Continues!

We’ll gather back together for another exciting day of exploring The Void.

10:05 AM

Flotation REST in Integrative Behavioral Health

by Dr. Peter Suedfeld

Peter Suedfeld is one of the original researchers of REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) in addition to being the founding President of IRIS (the International REST Investigators Society). He has decades of work studying flotation, and is a large advocate of promoting the scientific exploration of the tank.

Peter will be here to discuss the nature of medical research, ranging from alternative to integrative practices, and where REST fits in to this wide spectrum of applied medicine.

11:00 AM

The Float Industry: A Salty Tale

by Graham Talley Ashkahn Jahromi

Graham and Ashkahn, two of the Float On co-founders, have been spending an increasing amount of time with other float centers. Consulting, answering random salty questions, and even hosting this conference.

For anyone involved in the float industry, it’s impossible to not feel a sense of excitement as you see what is happening around you. More float centers are opening, more manufacturers are building float tanks, more news articles are coming out about floating, and (most importantly) more and more people are hopping in the tanks.

Floating is gaining momentum. We are all lucky enough to be a part of this movement at such exciting stage. We get to not just see an industry grow around us, but shape the movement of its growth. Where can we go from here? Where SHOULD we go? Where will we go? It’s up to us.

12:00 PM

12:15 PM

Below the Cortex:
The Experience of Floating and our Thalamus

Jeffrey Bruno, Ph.D., will present a brain-based model to better explain the phenomenology of floating. How do we account for the sometimes dramatic shifts in consciousness, alterations in somatic awareness, resolution of pain, access to new cognitions and emergence of memories or images that frequently occur during the floatation experience?

New evolutionary perspectives on the role of the thalamus, our primary sensory switchboard, support numerous healing applications for floatation and R.E.S.T. tools. Additionally, Dr. Bruno will share on the precise use of light and sound to accelerate emotional processing and their potential and beneficial uses with floating.

1:00 PM

Bringing Float Tanks to Libraries

Chaz Rollins will be here to speak on the implications of expanding library services to provide the flotation tank experience. Libraries primarily focus on providing opportunities to experience information, but this one-sided approach creates an imbalance: information overload. Libraries can restore this equilibrium by providing a zero-information environment.

Libraries have traditionally valued things like privacy and solitude when learning and understanding. Sensory deprivation can serve as a catalyst in cultivating some of libraries’ higher values like problem-solving, sense-making, and creativity.

Furthermore, this approach would expand floatation into the cooperative system of libraries, which is community funded and available to all.

1:15 PM

Float Your Way To Euphoria

by Nick Janicki

Nick Janicki will be here to debut a video on his new float tank manufacturing company, Float Pod Therapies.

You’ll get a special peek at his entirely US made float pod that is just hitting the market.

1:30 PM


Float Pod Therapies

We’ll have a true Portland experience as we have lunch outside in the park, catered by local Portland food carts.

A big thank you to Float Pod Therapies for helping us provide this lunch for everyone.

3:00 PM

Float Dance Project

In collaboration with Float On, seven dancers jumped back into the void to see what would emerge, using the only tool we had when we came into the world.

Over the course of May 2013, each dancer received six 3-hour float sessions. At the end of the month, each dancer choreographed a solo movement piece that in some way reflected their float experience. They then worked with a videographer (who also floated) to create a short movement film that captured their choreography.

It’s a simple experiment:

42 floats + 7 dancers + 1 month + the void = ???

Sophia Emigh led the program, and will be with us to introduce it and show a few of the resulting films.

3:30 PM

The Benefits of Magnesium

Dr. Marz, an associate professor of nutrition at The National College of Naturopathic Medicine, has spent the last several years studying the effects of Magnesium on the human body. He will be at the conference to present a comprehensive overview of both the nutritional and therapeutic uses of Magnesium.

Magnesium is integral to the proper functioning of the human body. It is the second most abundant cation after potassium. Magnesium is used in many different parts of body, being stored in bones, muscles, soft tissue, and our bodily fluids.

It regulates the absorption of calcium and is involved in the structural integrity of bones and teeth, regulates the contractility of the heart muscle, decreases coagulation and acts as a calcium channel blocker, helps regulate blood pressure, and takes in active role in numerous enzymes throughout the body.

In addition to all of this, Magnesium has a relaxing effect on both the body and the mind.

Most adults are Magnesium deficient now-a-days, and Dr. Marz will explain the dangers of leading a Magnesium deprived life.

4:30 PM

Anxiety and the Float Tank

by Dr. Justin Feinstein

Dr. Feinstein is currently in postdoctoral study at the California Institute of Technology researching the effects of fear on the human brain.

Anxiety is an emotion that has gripped us all, and in such a bustling world, it is an emotion that is subconsciously being triggered in us all the time. This trigger, even at low levels, can cause prolonged and systematic health risks for the human body. In more extreme cases, fear and anxiety can lead to serious conditions such as Panic Disorder and PTSD.

Float tanks provide the body with an environment to effectively counteract this persistent stress, and as such can be an answer to many of these ailments. Dr. Feinstein will be here to explore this use of float tanks, and give a neurological overview of why floating can be useful tool to fight anxiety.

5:00 PM

5:15 PM

Swedish Floatation Association

The Swedish Floatation Association was not able to make it out to the conference this year, but has created a short video to share with us what has been happening in the world of floating over in Sweden.

Moving towards getting float tanks covered under national health care, creating float tank center certification programs, and collaborating with funded float tank research are all part of the productive workings of the Swedish Floatation Association.

5:30 PM

Self-Directed Evolution: Hacking the Float Experience

Anthony is one of the Float On crew, devoting his time to contemplating the physiology and the philosophy of the float tank. With a training in bodywork, martial arts, philosophy, painting, and plenty of time in the tank, Anthony seeks to actively explore the unique reaction between the human body and floatation.

Anthony will speak on progressive aspects of somatic and consciousness research and thought, including Theta-Nautics and Evolutionary Acts setting the stage for a radical rethinking of the organism as evolutionary vehicle.

6:00 PM

Biofeedback and the Theta State

Briant has many years in the field of biofeedback, studying brainwaves and their associated effects. He has worked extensively with the practice of Alpha-Theta training, bringing people into conscious Theta states.

He will be at the Float Conference to explain the frequency of brainwaves we have come to know and love, the Theta waves. In addition to giving a break down of what Theta waves are, and how they effet our body, Briant will explore the possibility of using training to enhance the theta experience during a floatation session.

6:30 PM

The Somato-Spiritual Practice

by Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson has worked as a Psychiatric Nurse for 27 years, and conducted a private practice as a Structural Integrator for over 20 years. He is an expert in anatomy, specializing in Fascial Anatomy, as well as being a Bio Somatic Movement educator.

Stephen’s presentation will focus on the re-definition of spirit as aspect of self, how this relates to cultural manifestations and a renewal of the sacred as essential to survival, this will be directly related to the float experience as a somato-spiritual practice.

7:00 PM

End of the Conference

As sad as it is, the conference must end sometime.

We’ll sweep up the confetti, say our goodbyes, and all get together to see if we can break the record for world’s largest group hug.