Sensory Deprivation Tank: It’s easier than you think!
Prerequisite for this article: Watch this:
I remember watching this episode as a starry eyed adolescent and thinking about how cool it would be to do this. I knew back then that the likelihood of ever actually getting to float in a sensory deprivation tank was slim to none. Fourteen years later, I was lucky enough to live next door to someone with the same desire, and slightly more ambition than me. My neighbor found us a place near by to “float.” In fact, the place she found had just opened up in Seattle. We booked our appointments at Urban Float (go ahead and click the link, there’s a lot of good information there) and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was completely affordable (only $45 for an hour*.)
When we arrived for our appointment we were greeted by a very accommodating staff. You could really tell they enjoyed what they were doing.
This is called an i-So Pod. No, it’s not designed by Apple, but it looks like it could be. This pod is filled with super saturated salt water; Epsom salts to be specific. The water is so dense, that it’s imposible to not float in it. It’s imposible to drown in these things so people who are worried about that don’t have to be. Trust me, if there was a way to drown in there, I would have found it. I’m that guy. On one side you have a button to control the glowing light, on the other is a call button for the front desk. When you get into the pod you pull the door down behind you. It’s a very light door so those of you who are worried about getting locked in, don’t be. For ten minutes gentle music will lull you into a confort zone. At this point it’s ideal to turn out the lights. By the time the music is over you should be in a near state of sensory deprivation. I could barely feel my own body; it was like it didn’t exist. Despite my claustrophobia, I didn’t feel confined. I was at peace. Floating comfortably in oblivion. I wanted to think about things, like my troubles and worries. I’ve heard that working through emotional issues comes easy in the tank, but I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t recall any of my worries and I quickly realized that was a good thing. I was too confortable to care. After a while I opened my eyes to see if I could see anything. It was absolutely dark, but I kept my eyes open. Before too long I was seeing hallucinations. I was watching a personal light show being put on by my brain for my own enjoyment. I saw colors so vibrant and bright it was like I was in a Dario Argento film about the aurora borealis. My two hours flew by and by the time the music started back up (music signifies 5 minutes left) I was shocked that I had been peacefully floating there for so long. I came out feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The effects of the pod lasted me for days. My back felt beter, my neck felt better, it was like going to the chiropractor. I plan on getting on a schedule to do this twice a month. Not just as an experiment, but as physical therapy for my aches and pains.
I give floating a 10 out of 10
Please google floating in your area to see how close a tank is to you. I think it’s an experience everyone should have!
People’s anxieties about sensory deprivation have even spawned a horror movie directed by Ken Russel. I understand having some anxiety going into it. If you ever try it though, you’ll quickly realize there is nothing to worry about except when the next time you can float is.
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*$45 is the rate for first timers. Floating is like crack and they want to get you hooked, but they have super affordable monthly rates.