What is an Isolation Tank?
Developed in 1954 by John C Lilly, an isolation tank is a large pod or a small room that is both light proof and sound proof. The pod or room also known as a tank, is filled with epsom salt and warm water which creates buoyancy, allowing you to float on top of it. The water is very close to the temperature of your skin so it is relaxing and feels very comfortable. Floating on the water provides your body with the needed support while helping you to feel weightless, allowing you to relax more deeply than you normally would. The absence of light and sound also enhance your experience by giving you clarity of thought, something that can be hard to find from the over stimulation of senses in every day life. An Isolation Tank is also known as, flotation tank, sensory deprivation tank, sensory deprivation chamber, sensory deprivation flotation, or simply float therapy.
“It is nice finding that place where you can just go and relax.” Moises Arias
What to expect from an Isolation Tank
If it is your first time using an isolation tank be sure to arrive a few minutes early so that you can be given a proper orientation. This should include a breakdown of the tank, how it works, and the potential experience you will be having. To begin the flotation, you will need to undress and take a quick shower with the use of soap and shampoo before entering the tank. You can chose to float with a swim suit or naked as the flotation experience is private. Next you step inside and close the door behind you. This may be a little scary at first with no light or sound, but you will soon become acclimated to your surroundings and realize there is nothing to be afraid of as the experience is actually quiet enjoyable. Some people prefer using earbuds to prevent water from entering their ears and / or to completely shut out any potential noise occurring outside of the chamber. You float weightlessly for about an hour (longer if preferred) until you hear a knocking on the door acknowledging your float session has ended. Your finish the process by taking another shower to remove any epsom salt that may still be on your body and get dressed. You are given the option of ending the experience by drinking a cup of warm tea or water which can help to bring you fully back into your surroundings. The relaxed sensation you feel from the flotation should stay with you throughout the rest of the day, the mental benefits should last much longer.
Benefits of an Isolation Tank
There are many benefits associated with the experience of an isolation tank. Here are a few of the benefits that I have experienced from my several trips to the flotation tanks in my city.
- Deep Relaxation
- Stress Release
- Calm Mind
- Speeds up the process of natural healing
- More at peace with myself and surroundings
- Letting go is much easier
- Centered Feeling
- Less pain
- Clearer Thinking
- Increased Flexibility
- More laid-back and carefree attitude
- Out of Body Experience
- and much more…
“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” Sydney J. Harris
My Thoughts on Isolation Tanks
Floating has been a tremendously positive experience for me and can be for you too. Aside from all of the benefits listed above, I feel like a more complete person, ready to take on just about anything after a nice relaxing float. If I was to suggest some things for a first time floater, my recommendation would go something like this…
You will probably want to abstain from taking caffeine or alcohol the day before your float as doing so can help to enhance your flotation experience. Personally, I avoid eating breakfast that morning of a float because a heavy stomach is not the best feeling while floating in water. Instead, I choose to go out and each lunch after my flotation is complete. That’s not to say you can’t eat before a float, I just wouldn’t recommend doing so at least one hour before your session. Now, if you must eat before your float I recommend eating something light like fruit, or a small salad.
Ultimately, sensory deprivation tanks are a good way to relax and clear your mind. I recommend everyone give it a try at least once and decide for yourself if isolation tanks are right for you.
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Isolation Tank Wikipedia