Imagine what it would be like to be deprived of all your senses. You can’t see, hear, taste, smell, or feel anything. You are released from gravity’s grip causing you lose your sense of direction. Sound a little scary? Well, it’s not, and people are finding many psychological and physical benefits to doing just that.
You may be familiar with the idea of sensory deprivation if you’ve ever seen Stranger Things. In this wildly popular TV series, one of the leading characters, Eleven, who has psychic abilities is immersed into an isolation tank allowing her to access some of her skills. You might not have known it at first, or maybe you did, but this was a form of sensory deprivation. In fact, in the beginning, stages of floating, this was how they did it. Lucky for you and I, much more comfortable devices have been invented.
Imagine getting into a small tank about 8ft long and 4ft wide. In this tank is about a foot of water mixed with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. You get into the body of water, naked and lay your head back as the door to the tank closes. You’ve now entered a state that is deprived of all sensory sensations. It’s pitch black, you hear no sound, and you’re floating without even moving.
The health benefits, especially the promise of mindfulness has caused floating to become increasingly popular all across the United States, and maybe even worldwide, although I am not for sure. When I first heard about this so-called floating, I was immediately intrigued. However, my acute claustrophobia made me hesitant.
In my little research about sensory deprivation, I found some fascinating information about this whole concept. I discovered that John Lenon used sensory deprivation to overcome his heroin addiction. Wow, the psychological benefits must be astounding. However, I didn’t necessarily experience the out of body experience that everyone talks about. But that’s ok. Here’s why.
During my first time I had a bunch of questions, the lady at the front desk was so helpful and answered them all and discussed all the details with me. Her advice to me was this:
You have to float at least three times before you experience the full effects and benefits of floating. Usually, people don’t go in their first time and come out completely changed and in awe.
This was definitely my experience. The first time was kind of awkward and just normal. It takes a bit to get used to just floating there, and you’re almost afraid that you won’t float. (Don’t worry, you can’t drown) I jumped in and realized I forgot my earplugs, so I had to jump out. I kept twisting and floating around because it was just so weird to float so effortlessly. Then I accidentally got a drop of water in my eye, OUCH! Don’t let that happen. If I had just sat still like I was supposed to, I wouldn’t have had this problem. After that whole fiasco, I was able to relax, clear my mind and meditate for the remaining 40 minutes of my 60-minute session.
Chances are, you’re likely to have the same experience I had. If you don’t experience the out-of-body sensations or have an epiphany about your life’s purpose, go at least three times before you make any final decisions about floating. But, if you’re eager to get the most out of the 1st experience, here are a few tips!
This comes from an excellent article I read about someone’s experience with floatings. In this article, the author, Shelley Levitt discussed the book, The Book of Sacred Baths: 52 Bathing Rituals to Revitalize Your Spirit, and mentions the quote,
“You have great access to your higher self when you float,” Sherman said. “You could consider the float tank a think tank and go in there and ask your higher self for a solution to whatever’s troubling you.”
I loved this and thought it was a great idea. The author of the article asked herself, “What can I do to be more productive?” and was able to come up with a short list and gained great insight. If you want to get the most out of your session, go in with an intentional question you ask yourself. It can be anything.
Here are some ideas of what to ask yourself:
I found a perfect, zen place to float here in Orlando. In fact, I found them because I found this float coupon on Groupon, which was a great deal. Here is a link if you’re interested. The place is called “Total Zen Float and Yoga.” They have a yoga studio in the place as well. If you’re interested in trying out floating, I would highly recommend here. The atmosphere is calm and comforting, and the rooms are quiet and really nice with the new installment that they just recently finished! Below are some pictures of the place during my last visit. I wanted to show you what the room and tank.
If you’re considering giving sensory deprivation a chance, then I want to provide you with a few tips and tricks and what to expect.
Don’t worry. It’s not scary, you won’t feel claustrophobic, and I think you’ll really appreciate the experience. If you’re anything like me and are searching for different ways to de-stress, unwind, discover yourself, and meditate, then I would highly recommend sensory deprivation.
If you’re in the Orlando area, check out Total Zen Float and Yoga. It’s a great comfortable place!
If you enjoyed this article, please like and comment below with your thoughts on this whole floating phenomenon. Have you tried it before? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, thank you for reading.