Float On Portland – The Amazing Impact of Nothing

Float On Portland
Float On Portland (photo: Aaron Cushman)

One of the great things about Portland is the abundance of wellness options available.  Portland has an incredibly high ratio of acupuncturists, massage therapists, and naturopaths per capita than almost any other city. It’s in this wellness-rich enviroment that a business like Float On could not only exist, but thrive.

Float On provides flotation tanks that let you float weightlessly on a high concentration of epsom salt water (more than 3x the density of the Dead Sea) in an environment that is complete dark and silent. As you walk into the lobby of Float On, there are huge piles of epsom salt, stacked almost like sandbags at the edge of a river. Christopher Messer, one of the owners of Float On, points to a large pile and says, “It takes all this salt to fill one tank.”

Flotation tanks aren’t a new concept and there have been a number of them in Portland, but Float On is one of the few places that focus exclusively on these flotation tanks. Float On has been open in its SE Hawthorne location for over a year, and I had been aware of it for some time. But to be quite honest, dark, tight spaces scare the crap out of me, so even though I was curious to give it a try, I was reticent to actually take the plunge.