2014 Schedule

8/08Float Center Workshop

9:30 AM (Friday)

Lincoln Hall Theater
1620 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97201

(On the PSU Campus)

Workshop Sign In

Come early to get signed in.

No need to bring a ticket, if you registered for the Workshop ticket online, we have you on our list :)

10:00 AM

The Float Center Workshop Begins!

by Graham Talley Ashkahn Jahromi

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 also have our lawyer and our insurance agent (who both float with us all the time) at the workshop and available to answer questions.

See the details for the Float Center Workshop >>

10:05 AM

The Basics

Choosing a Location, Lease Negotiation, Legal, Financing, Insurance, Accounting…

11:00 AM


Choosing Contractors, Permits, Think About What You Want in Your Space, Layout, Soundproofing, Water & Salt proofing…

12:00 PM


At Peace Floatation Spas

We’ll have a catered lunch in Hoffman Hall, right near the conference theater.

A special thank you to At Peace Floatation Spas for helping us put this lunch together!

1:00 PM

Construction Continues

Flooring, Plumbing, Electrical, Environmental Controls, ADA Requirements…

2:00 PM

Tank Maintenance

What to Look for in a Float Tank, Hardware (pumps, filters, heaters, etc.), Types of Salt, Basic Water Chemistry (pH, alkalinity, temp, etc), Sanitation (H2O2, UV, ozone, bromine, etc), Health Departments, Making a Cleaning Regimen…

3:00 PM

3:15 PM

Shop Operations

Room Transitions Between Floaters, Shop Flow, Day-to-Day Operations, Staffing, Useful Software, Common Recurring Expenses…

5:00 PM

5:15 PM


Word of Mouth, Prices and Memberships, Website, Social Media, Daily Deals, Pre-Launch Marketing, Post-Launch Marketing, Directories and Forums…

7:15 PM

Rogue Hall
1717 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97201

(across the street from the conference)

Friday Welcome Party

Come join us for a casual get together at the Rogue Brewery, right across the street from where the conference is being held.

Rogue is one of the classic Oregon breweries, and their Portland location has a wide selection of their craft beers, along with a full bar and restaurant. It’s a perfect welcome to the city of Portland.

Float Nation World Premiere

Float Nation is a documentary about floatation that has been made over the course of the last few years. The film has just reached completion, and the World Premiere public showing will be at the 2014 Float Conference!

Carl Jessee and Jory Piglowski, the creators of the documentary, will both be at the conference to introduce the film and answer any questions.

8/091st Conference Day

9:30 AM (Saturday)

Lincoln Hall Theater
1620 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97201

(On the PSU Campus)

Conference Sign In

If you didn’t attend the Float Center Workshop, come early to get signed in for the conference.

There’s no need to bring a ticket. If you registered online, you’ll be on our list :)

10:00 AM

The Conference Begins!

The moment we’ve all been waiting for! We’ll fill the entire theater with saturated Epsom salt water and get the 2014 Float Conference going!

10:15 AM

The In-Between

by Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson will kick off the the conference with an introduction of the float experience as profundity within simplicity.

Stephen will present a welcome to speakers and their expertise, explore the many aspects of the float phenomenon in our culture, and introduce the ‘in-between.’

10:30 AM

The LIBR Float Clinic and Research Center

by Dr. Justin Feinstein

Dr. Justin Feinstein is a Clinical Neuropsychologist who presented at last year’s float conference about the potential benefits of floating for patients who suffer from anxiety. Last December, Dr. Feinstein was recruited away from his research at Caltech to pursue a very promising job opportunity at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The mission of this institute is to reduce the suffering of psychiatric patients by leveraging leading talent and technology to discover novel therapies. To this end, Dr. Feinstein is in the process of constructing one of the world’s premier float research clinics.

This presentation will unveil some of the exciting float-related research projects that will be conducted over the coming years, including clinical studies in patients with anxiety, addiction, and anorexia. The institute is attached to a major psychiatric hospital, making it an ideal environment for performing clinical research. In addition, the institute houses two state-of-the-art MRI scanners with high-density EEG, allowing for an unprecedented view into the effect of floating on the human brain. The presentation will conclude with a discussion about the unique features that go into creating a float facility for patient populations.

11:00 AM

82 Years in the Float Business

by Lee Perry Glenn Perry

Glenn and Lee Perry are the creators of the very first commercial float tank, the Samadhi tank. They designed and built the Samadhi Tank in 1974 with the help of John Lilly, and with it the float industry was born.

Glenn and Lee have been deeply involved in the float industry ever since then, and will be at the conference to share what they’ve learned over the course of the last 40 years.

11:45 AM

Float ES

by Kirk Sullivan

Kirk is the owner of Float ES, a float tank manufacturing company based out of Florida that has been making fiberglass pools for over 50 years as San Juan Pools.

Kirk will presenting information on his Float ES tank, as well as bringing one of his tanks to the conference for people to see up close!

12:00 PM


We’ve got a special treat in line for Saturday’s lunch. The Portland Farmer’s Market will be taking place right outside the conference theater on Saturday, and we’ve worked with them to get all of the conference guests special access!

The Portland Farmer’s Market is world famous, and is one of Portland’s main attractions during the summertime.

Each conference attendee will be given Farmer’s Market tokens which they can use to get food from any of the stands. We’ve even got special “Float Conference Only” lines set up at some of the hot food vendors.

With over 200 vendors of local food and produce, this is bound to be a meal you won’t soon forget.

A special thank you to Float ES for helping make this lunch possible!

2:00 PM

Change is A Float

by Dr. Lauretta Young

Come learn from Lauretta Young MD about the state of current US health insurance funding and how changes in the policies bring hope to the entities working on prevention of disease including float tanks!

Dr. Young is the current Chief Medical Officer of Health Republic Insurance– an innovative model writing new policies which include coverage for “alternative care”. Find out how this bodes well for the future of our health in this country and for your business models.

Part of Dr. Young’s background is training as an allopathic MD in a traditional medical school, however she has had further training in integrative medicine and now teaches medical students at OHSU about how to take care of their own health and how to refer to alternative care. Come learn a bit about what is new in the “neurobiology world”– in other words “the owner’s manual for the brain” and the menu of practices which made us resilient.

2:45 PM

The Float Experience

by Aubrey Marcus

Aubrey Marcus is the CEO of Onnit and founder of the Warrior Poet blog and podcast. He has been involved in the field of human optimization for years, and found float tanks in this process.

Aubrey has talked extensively about float tanks on his blog and podcast, and will be at the conference to expand on the idea of the float tank as a tool for inner exploration and expansion.

As a connoisseur of methods of enhancing the human brain and body, Aubrey has found float tanks to be a truly effective way of shifting and expanding one’s perspective.

3:15 PM

Make Self Care Your New Health Care

by Pete O’Brien

Pete O’Brien is a former professional baseball player and owner of At Peace Floatation Spa in Colleyville, Texas, which opened its doors in 2008.

Pete, along with his wife Donna, have recently started their newest venture, At Peace Spas, where they’ve started to manufacture room style float tanks.

Pete will give a peek at their new tank, and give some personal insight on owning a floatation spa.

3:30 PM

3:45 PM

Harnessing Dao: Becoming Bruce Lee

by Spencer Fossier

Spencer is the founder of NOLA Float Tanks down in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Spencer’s talk will cover the Mind-Body connection, and more specifically the Body-Mind connection and practical application of everyday use so that one may experience “floating” when not inside of the tank.

He will discuss how to tap into the “flow” in all areas of life by using float tanks as a tool of reference.

4:00 PM

Standards and Codes for Floatation Systems

by Rich Martin

Richard Martin of NSF International in Ann Arbor, MI will explain the interrelationship between products, systems, standards, and codes. Of particular interest is NSF/ANSI Standard 50 and NSF’s evaluation, testing and certification program for products such as: ozone systems, UV systems, pumps, piping, skimmers, filtration systems, swim spas, etc, and especially its new certification for float systems that is in development.

Richard will explain the criteria NSF has used to test and certify floatation systems. He will explain the standards and code development process and correlate that to how regulations are created in North America, and will break down what the impact of this certification could be on the floatation industry.

5:00 PM

5:15 PM

Oceans, Freediving, and Float Tanks

by James Nestor

James Nestor is a journalist, author, and avid floater, referencing both float tanks and John Lilly in his recent books.

In DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), journalist James Nestor embeds with a gang of extreme athletes and renegade researchers who are transforming not only our knowledge of the ocean and its creatures, but also our understanding of the human body and mind. Many of the same physical transformations that occur within our bodies inside the float tank also occur while freediving in the ocean.

Nestor will explore the float/freediving connection in a multimedia presentation, which includes photographs and videos of freedivers communing face-to-face with dolphins, whales, and sharks.

6:00 PM

Sensory Alternations in Pain Perception

by Dr. Jeffrey Bruno

Jeffrey Bruno is a psychologist who has been involved in REST research at both the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and with Tom Fine and John turner at the University of Toledo College of Medicine.

For most people, pain is an acute experience that happens only during times of injury or severe events. Yet for others, pain is a chronic state that influences nearly every aspect of their existence.

Jeffrey will talk about how changing a person’s sensory experience can shift thalamic function, with changes in emotions and pain perception. Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy can help release natural painkillers, shift emotional and body perception maps (schemas) and accelerate the healing process. Learn how REST may benefit people with sports injuries, fibromyalgia, pain medication addiction, cancer-related pains, and more.

7:30 PM

Hilton Hotel
921 SW 6th Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

Saturday Night Reception

Zero Gravit Float Tanks

Join us for the main celebratory event of the conference! We’ve rented out the banquet room on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Portland for a night of float festivities.

Get a chance to mingle, clink glasses, and swap salty stories with all of your fellow members of the floatation community. All while getting a stunning look over the entire city of Portland!

Hors D’oeuvres will be provided.

A special thanks to Zero Gravity Float Rooms for making this reception possible.

8/102nd Conference Day

Day 2: The Conference Continues!

We’ll gather back together for another exciting day of sensory excitation!

10:05 AM

Video from EJ Gold

EJ Gold has been involved with float tanks for many years, having worked both with Dr. John Lilly and Glenn and Lee Perry in the early days of floatation.

EJ is a jazz musician, painter, science fiction writer, comedian, and much more. He also co-authored “Tanks for the Memories” with John Lilly.

He’s made a video specifically for the 2014 Float Conference to tell us about his story of working with float tanks.

10:30 AM

Idealism at Work

by Graham Talley Ashkahn Jahromi

Graham and Ashkahn are two of the co-founders of Float On and organizers of this very Float Conference! They’ve spent the last several years diving deep into the world of floating, and have loved every minute of it.

They’re here to share a story with you about the power of unconventional actions. Running a business, and life in general, can all too easily fall into into the trappings of convention. But you cant change the world by doing things the way they’re normally done.

Graham and Ashkahn will show you that structuring your business based on your ideals is not only feasible, but can be the very thing that leads to your success.

11:45 AM

Floating: The Next Biggest Wellness Service

by Nick Janicki

Nick Janicki is the founder of True REST, a float center in Phoenix, Arizona, and owner of Float Pod Therapies, a float tank manufacturing company started in 2013.

Nick will be at the conference to introducing the launch of True REST Franchising as a complete turn key float business, and to introduce his new advisory board which includes the ex CEO of Massage Envy, one of the leaders in ocean desalination, a real estate expert, and a leader in new product launch marketing.

12:00 PM



Portland is famous for its food carts. You can drive all over the city to experience some of the most famous carts, but instead we’ve brought them all to you!

We’ve rented out the park right outside the conference theater and have food carts driving in from all over the city to form our own private food cart pod.

A special thanks to True REST for helping make this lunch possible!

1:30 PM

The Future of REST Research Is in Our Hands: How We Can All Turn Our Stories into Research

by Dr. Robert Schreyer

Dr. Robert Schreyer is a Licensed Physical Therapist and co-owner of the Aspire Center for Health and Wellness in New York. Aspire offers REST floatation, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Language pathology for individuals with Neurological and Orthopedic conditions.

Robert will start to bridge the gap between the float centers and the research labs. He will discuss easy methods to take all of the amazing success stories we have and turn them into “research” studies that can help get REST floatation into more minds as a possible adjunctive treatment for a multitude of injuries and pathologies.

Robert recently ran a small REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) research study using his float center to test the effects of REST on hypertonicity and function in patients with neurologic dysfunction.

He’ll present the results of this study at the Float and Ultimately explain how to set up small research studies at your own float center.

2:00 PM

Sanitizing Recreational & Therapeutic Waters with UV / H2O2

by Bob Crandall

Bob Crandall, the innovator and developer of the UV-hydrogen peroxide treatment process for spas and therapy pools, will be with us to share his experiences and thoughts regarding UV-hydrogen peroxide for float tanks.

He will be giving a brief history and overview of the process and how it works. Additionally, he will be providing background and insights about dealing with the regulatory and public health community, along with discussion about the use of UV-peroxide in float tanks.

3:15 PM

You Are Your Most Valuable Resource

by Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson is the founder of Zero Gravity Institute a state of the art floatation center, private research facility, and most recently, a float room manufacturer in Austin, TX.

Kevin has been floating since 1986, when he went to work for the world’s first commercial floatation center.

At this year’s conference, Kevin will be offering his ideas about becoming an expert in your field, marketing, branding, raising the value of your service, and using technology and new media to drive a successful floatation business.

3:30 PM

3:45 PM

Rerun: Experimental applications and experiential reports from the 1970s

by Jay Gunkelman

Jay Gunkelman is one of the world’s leading experts in the fields of both EEG and Biofeedback, and is now the co-founder of Brain Science International. He’s also one of the earliest people to do ever experiments with floatation.

Jay will recall these experiments done from 1972-1974 in his laboratory, measuring the EEG during a floatation/deprivation session, and using the EEG to control auditory stimulation. The work was done in a large custom tank with up to 16 channels of physiological monitoring. Transactional Analysis “rescripting” was attempted using the deprivation exposure to augment the rescripting.

He’ll share anecdotes of the experiments observations, as well as a discussion of the specific experimental procedures.

4:30 PM

Some Fine REST Research Possibilities

by Tom Fine

Thomas Fine, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toledo College of Medicine, initiated, with John Turner, the Float Tank research program at the Medical College of Ohio.

Over almost 20 years, beginning in 1978, research was conducted into the physiological effects and clinical potential of Floatation REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy).

Tom’s presentation will cover how advances in our knowledge of higher order brain mechanisms involved in stress regulation provide us with a more complete understanding of Floatation REST’s effects and suggest novel hypotheses for future research.

5:15 PM

5:30 PM

Flotation Tanks as the Modern Sanctuaries

by Bertil Fanger

Bertil Fanger has been floating since 1986. He’s run a float center Sweden, manufactured his own float tank, setup a tank for the Swedish Olympic teams, and helped start up REST research in Sweden.

Bertil is going to talk about sensory deprivation as a means of getting in touch with your sublime intuitive wisdom and as a modifier of cultural hypnosis, about language as virus and silence as the unmatched source of information, and also about the need to get more people to become inner oriented in this time of immense distraction.

6:00 PM

How to Prevent Burnout in a Float Center

by David Conneely

David is the owner and director of iFloat, a center in Westport, CT, offering float sessions and classes on programming and metaprogramming, as described by John C. Lilly.

If you own or work in a float center, then you probably plan on doing it for a long time. However, have you ever felt tired or frustrated after talking to a float client, but you could not explain why?

When experiences like that accumulate over time, an unconscious level of frustration builds up. If a float facilitator does not understand how to sort through what is going on in their mind as a result of interactions with clients, it can lead to burnout.

David will be at the float conference to discuss how signals are transmitted from float clients to float facilitators outside of one’s awareness.

6:30 PM

Putting It All Together

by Stephen Johnson

Stephen will come back to the stage to put an end cap onto the 2014 Float Conference.

Stephen will explore the conceptualization and manifestation of the in-between-ness of the human condition, and re-articulate the float experience and theta state as doorway, a technique of ex-stasis and somato-spiritual practice.

7:00 PM

End of the Conference

While it’ll be sad to see the 2014 Float Conference come to a close, it’ll also be the closest we’ve ever been to Float Conference 2015!