I Tried Floating In A Sensory Deprivation Tank And Was Finally Able To Meditate

Author Roger Vogel

Posted Mar 8, 2023

Reads 13.3K

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Have you ever tried meditating, but just can't seem to turn off your thoughts? As a health editor who loves kale (but don't worry, I won't judge if you don't), I've had a tough time turning off my brain even for just 5 minutes flat. That's why when I heard about sensory deprivation tanks years ago, I was intrigued. The idea of being in a small pitch-black tank filled with salt water where distractions are nonexistent seemed simultaneously ominous and appealing.

Recently they've gone mainstream, popping up in hip hoods like Los Angeles and New York City. Flotation therapy, or the use of sensory deprivation tanks, is becoming more popular as people seek ways to disconnect from their busy lives. It's like stepping into a small pool full of salty water - think Dead Sea - or one of those deep freezers filled with small pods (like a tanning bed but with zero UV rays). At Floating Lotus in Manhattan, co-founder Joel Granik (a licensed acupuncturist and Eastern medicine practitioner) shows me around the cozy space that includes an acupuncture room and two sensory deprivation tanks. "If you're floating and your fists sweat uncontrollably," he says, "that means you're connected." Shower stalls are connected to each tank so patrons can rinse before and after their float.

I admit that as someone who hates needles but gets a yearly flu shot anyway because it's good for me, I was nervous about the full experience. But when I arrived at Floating Lotus on a recent Saturday morning, I decided I'd face my irrational fear head-on. Granik poked his head in while preparing the tank: "If you're in a good place and you're floating, you shouldn't need this," he said as he handed me an emergency button to press if anything went wrong during my session.

What is a sensory deprivation tank (isolation tank)?

Also known as a flotation tank or restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) chamber, a sensory deprivation tank is essentially a dark, soundproof tank filled with salt water. It was first introduced in the 1950s by an American physician who began experimenting with sensory deprivation as a way to achieve a trance-like state without the use of fast-acting anesthetic drugs.

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In the 1970s, commercial float tanks were introduced and took off in popularity. Today, there are many float centers and spas offering float therapy to those interested in its health benefits. While controversial at times, scientific evidence studies suggest time spent floating in a sensory deprivation tank may result in muscle relaxation, decreased stress, better sleep and more.

If you're like most healthy people these days finding ways to relax and unwind are so important for your overall well-being. If you're looking for something new that you haven't tried before, why not consider visiting one of the many spas or float centers offering float therapy? Spending time in a sensory deprivation tank has been shown to provide numerous health benefits including muscle relaxation, sleep decrease and decreased stress levels.

Discover the Price of Floating in a Sensory Deprivation Tank

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If you're interested in trying out a sensory deprivation tank, you may be wondering how much it will cost. The price of a one-hour float session at a float spa ranges from $50 to $100, depending on your location and the amenities offered. Alternatively, if you're looking for a more affordable option, you could consider purchasing a home sensory deprivation tank, which can range from around $2,000 to $20,000.

Sensory deprivation effects

Sensory deprivation tanks have become popular in recent years due to their potential health benefits. These tanks are designed to deprive the user of all stimulation including sound, sight, and touch. The tank is filled with water and Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) providing buoyancy so that the user can float weightless.

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Once inside the tank, with its lid closed, the user will experience a deeply relaxed state. This relaxation is due to the lack of stimuli which reduces brain activity ranging from beta (wide awake) to alpha (relaxed), theta (meditative) and even delta (sleep). During this time, skin temperature decreases slightly while still remaining warm as the water is heated to body temperature.

Sensory deprivation tank therapy has been known to have positive effects on individuals who suffer from anxiety or depression. Many users report feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated after their session in the tank. Additionally, some people have experienced enhanced creativity following a session in a sensory deprivation tank. Overall, if you're looking for an alternative form of relaxation or therapy, consider trying out a sensory deprivation tank!

1. Do you have hallucinations in a sensory deprivation tank?

Many people wonder if they will experience hallucinations while inside a sensory deprivation tank. Over the years, studies have shown that sensory deprivation can induce psychosis-like experiences in some individuals.

In a 2015 study divided into two groups based on their susceptibility to hallucinations, researchers found that both low-prone and high-prone groups experienced sensory deprivation-induced similar experiences. However, the high-prone group reported more vivid hallucinations and unusual bodily sensations compared to the low-prone group. While not everyone may experience hallucinations in a sensory deprivation tank, it is important to be aware of the potential for intense sensory experiences.

2. Will it make me more creative?

Research has shown that sensory deprivation tanks, also known as "float tanks," can enhance creativity. An article published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine Floating has found that using a sensory deprivation tank can increase originality and imagination, leading to enhanced creativity. By removing external stimuli and allowing the mind to rest, floatation therapy has been shown to stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.

So if you're looking to tap into your inner artist or unlock new ideas for your next project, a sensory deprivation tank may be just what you need. Give it a try and see how floating can help you unleash your creativity!

3. Can it improve concentration and focus?

Sensory deprivation tanks are known to improve focus and concentration. When you are in a sensory deprivation tank, there are no external distractions, which can help the mind focus on precise thinking. This can lead to improved learning and enhanced performance in different career groups, such as athletes or performers who need to concentrate on their craft.

Furthermore, sensory deprivation tanks can also help those who suffer from anxiety or stress. By removing external stimuli, the mind is allowed to relax and focus on inner thoughts, leading to a calmer state of mind. Overall, sensory deprivation tanks have shown great potential for improving mental health and cognitive abilities.

4. Does it improve athletic performance?

Sensory deprivation tank therapy has been found effective in improving athletic performance. In a 2016 study, 24 college students who underwent sensory deprivation tank therapy experienced decreased blood lactate levels after strenuous physical training. Another study involving 60 elite athletes showed that sensory deprivation tank therapy improved psychological recovery following intense training.

These findings suggest that sensory deprivation tank therapy can play a role in enhancing athletic performance by helping athletes recover faster and reduce the negative effects of intense physical exertion. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of this therapy, it's clear that it has the potential to be a valuable tool for athletes looking to take their performance to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much salt is needed for a sensory deprivation tank?

Typically, about 800-1000 pounds of Epsom salt is needed to fill a sensory deprivation tank.

Who makes float tanks?

Float tanks are typically made by specialized manufacturers who create high-quality sensory deprivation tanks designed for relaxation and meditation purposes.

How long can you float in a sensory deprivation tank?

You can float in a sensory deprivation tank for up to 90 minutes, which is the average recommended time. However, some people prefer shorter or longer sessions based on their individual needs and preferences.

How much does an oasis float tank cost?

The cost of an oasis float tank varies depending on the model and features, but typically ranges from $5,000 to $15,000.

What are the benefits of float tanks?

Float tanks offer a wide range of benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep quality, and easing chronic pain. The sensory deprivation experience allows the mind and body to fully relax and rejuvenate.

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Roger Vogel

Writer at RHTB

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Roger Vogel is a seasoned writer with an extensive background in journalism, creative writing, and content marketing. He has developed a reputation for creating engaging, informative content that resonates with readers and drives traffic to websites. Throughout his career, Roger has worked with a diverse range of clients across numerous industries, including healthcare, technology, finance, and more.

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