Nausea in the Float Tank

can you get nauseous in the float tank

Can floating make you nauseous?  Is nausea a common experience in the float tank?

From what I’ve read nausea is not very common during a float.  I experienced nausea during my first four floats.  The nausea came on slowly during the float.  I think my second float was the worst.  I nearly got out of the tank.  Obviously, you should get out to the tank if you feel like you are going to get sick, you don’t want to ruin the water.  I just focused on my breath and the nausea was tolerable.  The nausea quickly went away when I got out of the tank.

I’m not sure what causes the nausea.  Maybe the disorientating feeling one can have in the tank?  I’m not prone to car sickness, so I don’t think it is that.  Maybe it has to do will magnesium, the electrolyte changes from the magnesium being absorbed by the skin?

Either way, it doesn’t matter to me anymore.  I float frequently and have not had any nausea since my initial floats.  It doesn’t seem to be very common.  I wonder if taking a couple of ginger capsules before getting in the tank could prevent it?

Have you gotten nauseous in the float tank?  How did you deal with it?

41 comments… add one
  • Amy

    I did my first float last night and had to crawl out 40 minutes into my float out of fear of vomiting. I felt sick all the way until I went to bed. I was told it is due to vertigo, motion sickness/disorientation. I am afraid to do it again, so I think I will just stick to my massages and forego the float.

    • Bummer, Amy. I float all the time now and never get nauseous. I think it is worth it to get your body adjusted to being in the tank, but everyone needs to decide for themselves.

  • Tracy

    I experience this too … I just pop a gravol before (you can also get non-drowsy ones) and that solves it.

  • Ami

    First float last week and I barely made it through the 60 minutes. I experienced spinning almost immediately, was then nauseous the remainder of the time, and barely made it out of the pod without losing my cookies. I experienced nausea through the next day. It was not pleasant. I attribute it to either an inner ear or weightlessness issue as it started at once when I relaxed in the pod. There was no “detoxification” going into effect that quickly. I also tend to get seasick on smaller boats and in rough water while diving, which leads me to believe it is physiological.

  • Vivienne Simpson

    I have just done my first float and experienced severe nausea, a similar feeling to being car/sea sick. It came on relatively early in my float. I certainly feel disappointed as I was looking forward to the whole experience but it was not pleasant at all trying to fight the feeling !

    • Sounds like my experience too. My first two floats I was very nauseous, now I never have any symptoms.

    • Chris

      I came out of my first float 3 hours ago and still feel nauseas now! I came in early in the float! Not nice!

  • Jen

    I tried my first float on Thurs and I did ok until approx the 20 min mark and I have to get out bc I thought I was going to throw up. Ever since I have had horrible nausea and it’s Saturday night! Agh! I have taken Zofran to help and it only helps temporarily! No more floats for me!

  • Tom in Texas

    To balance this comment section out, I began floating in 2012 and have floated for over 150 hours and in that time I’ve never come close to anything resembling nausea at all. It’s been all positive for me. So it’s not everyone.

    • Tom, good point. I know after my first float I tried to find out why I got so nauseous and could find little information about others having the same experience. So, it is just a very small portion of floaters that will ever have this issue.

  • Rose

    It was nice to hear that I am not the only one who experienced this. 30minutes in and I had to sit up. Tried floating again & only lasted 5 minutes before I got out. I do get motion sickness, too. Was bummed as my friend that went in same time slept for 45 minutes!

  • Mz

    First float today and unfortunately had nausea and had to sit up and puke my lunch out at near the half hour point. Got back in but could not totally relax during the whole session due to some nausea coming back at some points. Hopefully the next one will be better, shall try to eat less few hours before floating.

  • Sarah

    Tonight was my first float and I was very excited as I have quite a bit of muscle pain and I’d heard great things. During the brief orientation the lady mentioned that some people do get motion sick. I tend to be prone to this so I was nervous but as I grew up swimming competitively I was confident this wouldn’t happen. Well it did. I fought through the whole hour concentrating on my breathing and got to the end but as soon as I stepped out of the pod I had to grab the waste paper basket and vomit. Took me at least an hour feel up to driving. My initial thought was this is not for me…. but I will see how I feel the next couple days. If I feel as good as they report I may give it another try and hope the nausea and vomiting goes away. But wow, that was rough.

  • LW

    Felt nauseous at around 20 minutes. I sat up a bit and then tried floating for a bit more time but I just got more and more dizzy. So I got off the tank at about 30 minutes and the nauseousness stayed for a long time.
    To me, what was also unbearable was the smell of the chemical they used to filter the water in the tank. It’s just like the smell of swimming pool, the float tank was warm and moist and contains high salt level… I thought my noise was going to bleed. So I had to open the door of the tank and let fresh air coming in.

  • Dani

    I haven’t been in a float tank ,but I just Google Drive this bc the last 2 times I was in my swimming pool floating on my back with 2 noodles holding me uo, ears underwater I started getting good really sick about 15 min in. The first time I thought I was going to throw up, I got sick While floating. Got put took a shower then aid down and napped it off. It was a horrible feeling. Just now I was floating..doing just fine and decided to get out to sun tan on the deck. As soon as my feet hit the floor and I stood up in the pool I got really nauseated and dizzy . I thought I was going to pass out again. So I got out. Now I’m trying not to puke on my deck. I do get motion sickness
    I figure it has to do with the antigravity. You know they say I space when you go from weightless to gravity you get sick.

  • Sabrina

    I floated my first time today so excited as I’m a big athlete and couldn’t wait to have those Epsom salts work their wonder and just relax zero gravity. But 30 mins I started to feel really nauseous and just had to get out. I think it’s motion sickness as I do get sea sick when out at sea. So beware – if you don’t do well on boats , you may not take well to floatation tanks!!!!

  • Josey

    I got nauseous half way through my first float, the owner suggested that it happens, and typically from being dehydrated. Dehydration happens during your float because of the highly saturated Epsom in the water. I was able to control my nausea fairly quickly by sitting up and cracking the door to the tank and letting in some cool air. After a few minutes of that I resumed my float with no problem. I found the air temp in the tub a little difficult for the rest of the float and mentioned that to the owner and he said he can adjust that for my next float and see if that will be a better experience for me. I will keep floating! The experience and benefits far out weigh some nausea.

  • Anne

    Wow, I tried floating for the first time after a 1 hour massage. It was intense. I was really excited to try it but after about 20 minutes I felt off. I didn’t know what it was. Another few minutes go by and I started feeling nauseous. So i opened the pod and sat up. Even the blue light in the pod was annoying me so I turned it off. I also removed my ear plugs as I felt they were contributing to my annoyance. Even the smell of the water was irritating. I guess I felt hyper sensitive about my surrounding. I got out before my time was up. I was really disoriented. Almost shaking. It was an effort to take a shower and get dressed. By the time I made it home, I was beat. Nausea went away eventually but I’m bagged! I read online it’s a result of stress leaving my body. I hope that is what it is. I may try this again. At least I will know what to expect. Hopefully, it will go away so I can enjoy the therapy.

  • Mike

    Just tried this for the first time. Got out after 49 minutes. Driving home, felt sick to my stomach and now I’m home feeling like I may vomit my dinner. The whole experience was horrible for me.

  • Tonya

    I just had my first float on Saturday evening and I felt fine during the session. However, I gradually started feeling nauseous afterward and am still experiencing nausea today (Monday). I also feel very fatigued and sore – Like I had a really overzealous massage.

  • Rachael

    Felt sick to my stomach within 10 minutes of each of my 2 floats. Not for me. Will stick with massages for relaxation

  • Leona

    I was so excited to float but ended leaving less than an hour after becoming nauseated twice. I do not get car or sea sick so this came as a surprise. Almost vomited the second time so thought I should quit while I was ahead.
    I am disappointed as I did enjoy the floating! Nausea lasted the rest of the day. 😢

  • Stacy

    Add me to the list. I just tried my first float today. I’m really disappointed that I got extremely nauseated after about 10 minutes. I felt dizzy at first, so I think its related to the inner ear. I’ve experienced it before when swimming, but I was hoping it wouldn’t happen if I just floated for a while. Glad to find out its not just me.

  • Misty

    So happy to find these comments. I did my first 60 minute float yesterday and during the last 2 minutes I became so nauseous I had to open the pod and get out. I can only compare it to getting sea sick, which has happened to me on one other occasion when I was on a boat for like 8 hours (but I was drinking). I was told that it is uncommon and perhaps it was related to what I ate that day. Don’t believe that was it b/c it was not out of the ordinary and I ate over 90 minutes before my float. I will try it again to see if my experience is different, but I’m not sure the results were any better than a good 60-90 minute massage.

  • Dmt

    As for motion sickness, me too! But in this experience, I found when I first got in or moved around, the water moves around for a few & bump me into or touching the walls. When i quit fighting that & focused on remaining calm, holding still, counting my breaths, I somehow ended up away from the walls just floating like I was suspended without touch pressure on the areas gravity usually connect me to.
    That calmed the nausea quite a bit but I was warned that’s a sign I’m carrying my stresses in my stomach, holding it all in. I’m new to this and don’t know a whole lot, but I do know a lot about holding stress in my stomach and getting sick over it and that explanation fit for me.
    Though nauseas, the relief everywhere else was worth it! I’m very sad to hear so many walking away from such a beautiful thing, writing it off to motion sickness in case your like me and need to work on dumping stomach stress.

  • Lauren Martin

    I am still in the building of the float studio I tried today. I was feeling mild waves of panic at arround 40 minutes. I was breathing them away and then 5 to 10 minutes in I thought I was going to vomit. I opened the pod and sat there as it passed. I felt a bit better so I lay back down with the door open and instantly felt sick again. I got out and showered. The nausea subsided as I showered but didn’t go away. I feel very shaky, heart racing and dissoriented. I am drinking water and eating a ginger candy hoping it will pass enough for me to drive home safely. I keep feeling waves of sick. I am sad that this is not for me.

  • Natalie Mullett

    I have to wonder if individuals who experience the spinning and nausea did on wear ear plugs or water got in to the ear. If you participate in a vertigo study at a doctor’s office for vertigo, the way they induce vertigo is to have a small amount of water poured in to the ear. Immediately things start spinning – really spinning and it can take hours to stop the spinning, and if the water remains in the ear canal – even longer. I have a balance disorder and while I become more aware that my balance is not even, as long as no water gets in to my ears it is ok.

  • Julie Runyon

    Was so excited about my float tonight….made it 15 minutes before I started getting itchy, my heart started racing and I got super nauseous. I don’t have motion sickness and I was not feeling claustrophobic at all. There is something to the salty water that people aren’t willing to talk about I guess. I had a similar experience breathing in too much salt water in Florida. It’s got something to do with hydration I think. I’m still nauseous hours later, but keep drinking water and am feeling much better.

  • Daniel Lizana

    I didnt experience nausea, i attribute that to the float enviroment. I floated in a float cabin……not a pod. If the pod is using an ozonator, most if not all do, it can generate a gas in confined spaces. I highly recommend to try an open room float or cabin and stay away from pods and enclosed tanks.

  • Carolyn

    Just did my 1st float today and experienced severe nauseau. I was soooo looking forward to the float, it was a birthday gift.
    I do have severe motion sick ess (even when i drive). Between the nauseau and smell of the room…i had to get out.

  • Mon

    Add me and my boyfriend to the list. We had our first floats today and both feeling very nauseous; it’s getting better but this is hours later. He wore earplugs, i didn’t, so don’t think it’s to do with that, as someone suggested. I wonder what the proportion of people who get these negative effects are because I wasn’t warned about it at the float centre.

  • Another Amy

    Me, too 🙁
    Was really looking forward to my first float today. I regularly do water exercise and swim, so I went into it having no thoughts at all about it being anything but a wonderful experience. Nope.
    Upon starting my float, I first felt almost like a wave of hunger (though I was not) followed by a nausea that started within minutes and would not let up. Had to sit up in the float cabin, cracked the door for cool air. I tried using the flat, floating halo to prop up my head as I floated, but that did not help. I had to get out only half way through the hour session. I experienced some motion sickness as a kid, and I cannot tolerate aerial yoga nor much inversion in land yoga because I get really nauseous. I’m so bummed this float wasn’t a great experience.

  • Lauren

    Unfortunately I too have not had a great 1st time float. After 15 mins the nausea was so great I got out, started to shake uncontrollably and felt faint needing to lie down for 30 mins before promptly doing an impression of the exorcist and vomitting severely 🤦‍♀️ I have been through an awful lot in the last month so was told that my body had a huge stress relief. Initially I felt really relaxed in the tank but fainting and puking means I will not try this again. Although I must add this has happened after a massage on a few occasions.

  • michelle

    FYI folks experiencing bad nausea may be having a reaction to sulfate (Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate) if you have a CBS gene mutation expressing and a hampered transsulfuration pathway you can absolutely react and become symptomatic with severe nausea. Just google search to learn more about it. If you are someone who doesn’t digest sulfurous foods well (like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, onion, garlic, etc…) then it would be even more likely that your symptoms are coming from gene mutations in the transsulfuration pathway that are expressing… hence leading to symptoms like awful nausea, vertigo, uneasiness, anxiety, and/or a headache when exposed to too much sulfate. I say “too much” because there are many folks with these mutations that do okay with SMALL amounts of sulfurous foods but do NOT do okay when exposed to an abundance of sulfate.

    I am SHOCKED more float owners and those in the float community are not aware of this. Please google search, read up, and spread the awareness.

    Not everything is for every body.

    Yes, I meant to write every body – as in each individual chemical makeup.

    And on a pondering thought of my own….. water holds energy. Think of all the folks who have floated in there without ever having changed the water. Makes me wonder for those who are strong empaths if they can unconsciously and unknowingly absorb some negative funk from that water? I mean a lot of folks ‘release’ their anxieties, worries, and even their innermost demons in those tanks and LOVE it for that very reason…. but… in what way does that charge the water???? ((Google Dr. Masaru Emoto to learn more about the energy water creates and/or holds))

    • Felicia

      I have floated for 9 months, and have over the last 65days been on a whole foods eating plan. No sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, etc.. and I have felt amazing. I did this weekend drink some wine, and decided to float to help with the detox. My stomach was a little nauseated, and I now have the runs.
      I am also allergic to sulfa drugs (a common antibiotic).
      Thank you for this, I am betting that there are some interesting discoveries coming my way.

  • Brenda

    I just had my first and last float on Saturday. Afterwards, I felt really tired and unmotivated to do anything. Even today, Sunday, I felt very tired which has turned into nausea and I am wondering if I will feel like work tomorrow. I used the wax earplugs and no water got into my ears. I do get seasick on small boats in choppy water. Not much information about these side effects on the internet.

  • chris koster

    I ran a float center for 9 years and over that time I encountered this about a dozen times, with a couple of people actually throwing up in the toilet. A float is a calm experience; you should settle and barely move; the opposite conditions for creating motion sickness and nausea.
    Floating allows for huge stress release on all levels and nausea is usually related to very powerful emotional stress release. It is sometimes accompanied by emotions or other sensations.My experience with the clients is that when this was explained and they returned for a 2nd float, they were a lot better and by the 3rd, completely OK and had felt that something had lifted.
    That is not to dismiss the possibility that if someone moves around a lot in the water as they are settling down, their body may not be used to that kind of motion. Approach settling into your float carefully. Hold the sides and wait for the water to calm, then gently and evenly release your hold.

  • Pauline

    Yesterday I experienced my first float and found the whole thing quite relaxing, but at home later last night I started to feel extremely ill, my head was pounding and I felt like vomiting, all I can say is I felt absolutely dreadful and didn’t know where to put myself! Until I read other people’s comments it hadn’t occurred to me that the way I felt was just like being seasick, I suffer badly from this! So I can only assume that having the Float has caused me to feel this bad! I would appreciate anyone’s thoughts on this matter, thank you!

  • Julie

    Ughhh. I had my first float today and it was awful. I have crazy bad anxiety and I was so excited to get some relief. I lasted maybe 10 minutes before I projectile vomited inside the tank. I was mortified. The worst part is I didn’t use the Groupon I had bought because they had an introductory special. I won’t be back for awhile… but does anyone have any suggestions as to how this can be prevented? I did wear ear plugs and do get motion sickness, but it’s usually not so extreme. I feel like if my head could have stayed still it might have worked out.

  • CJ

    I went last night for my first float and started feeling a little nausea after the first 20 min. Initially I had the dome cracked open to allow a little air flow. Later I closed the lid completely to try and enjoy the darkness but the air in the tank began to get thick and the smell was making it unbearable. I had to sit up and open the the lid for fresh air about 45 min into the float. It was the only thing I could do to keep from getting sick. Personally I felt it was the odor of the water and not the movement but I’m a noob at this so what do I know. My wife said she read somewhere it had to do with toxins in your skin being pulled out by the epsom salt. I’ll try it again and see if its any better next time.

  • Tammy

    Just returned from my first float. Was so excited. No one mentioned a possible problem for people prone to motion sickness when I signed up. Reasonable that they do not screen for this as it is apparently not common. Enjoyed 30 minutes, made it through about 40. Sudden onset severe nausea. Yeah, I get car sick. Going to g oh be it a few weeks then try with the lid open (it was hot) and light on. I did not move much, but perhaps a focal point and being as still as possible will do the trick.

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