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Sensory Deprivation Therapy: The Key to Relaxing Completely

Sensory Deprivation Therapy: The Key to Relaxing Completely

The sensory deprivation therapy has come to know by many names over the years. It is known as an isolation tank or chamber originally called the sensory deprivation tank (a.k.a sensory attenuation tank, flotation tank, etc.). It is a large enclosed bathtub filled with a temperature regulated salt water isolating the occupant from various sensory inputs.

A Dip in the Sensory Deprivation Tank

Increasingly, this treatment has become an essential practice to have work-life balance. It is expected that sensory deprivation tanks will take off and are a promise for a total-body rehabilitation session.

These 1,000-plus pounds tanks were developed by John C. Lilly back in the 1950s. He was an American physician, neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, inventor, etc. So how does it exactly work? A person is immersed in 25 cm deep of super-saturated Epsom salt solution. The experience or sensation is like floating effortlessly.

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This buoyancy effect is created by the Epsom salt, which comes in contact with the body and removes the effects of gravity in the body. The Epsom salt solution is utilised to give the water enough density to float with little to no effort. It helps replenish a common malnourishment from a lack of magnesium, and there are no known risks of having an overloading effect.

Below are the conditions that are improved by floating:

  • Muscular pain
  • Stress relief
  • Chronic pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Migraine headache
  • Depression
  • Pre-menstrual tension
  • Rheumatism

A typical therapy session inside a flotation tank ranges from 60 to 120 minutes in duration. Prices will vary by location along with different membership packages.

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The Basics of a Floating Experience

Now that we know what the relaxation of floating consists of we can look at how this entire process works. The following infographic highlights a 10-step process for a typical appointment:

  1. Arrive and check in
  2. Cover the frequently asked questions
  3. Then you shower
  4. Put in earplugs
  5. Step into the float tank
  6. Settle into the tank
  7. 45 minutes floating
  8. Turn on the lights
  9. Shower
  10. Enjoy the rest of your day

This sensory deprivation therapy resets the body’s hormonal and metabolic balance. In addition, it leads to strengthening resistance from the effects of stress-related factors, a strenuous activity or injury. In other words, it is like having an out-of-body experience (OOBE) or feel like floating in out space.

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The Floatation Tank [Infographic]

    Precautions & Side Effects

    This treatment gets positive reviews and overall considered a great remedy. In spite of all of the great recommendations behind this therapeutic treatment, it is advised for some groups of people to check beforehand if their doctor approves of it. Specifically, those who suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease or a kidney condition should consult with a medical professional.

    A prolonged period of time exposed to the Epsom salt solution may cause diarrhoea and dry skin. Aside from these recommendations floatation rest, in general, has no known severe side effects, in accordance to Encyclopedia.com.

    Conclusion:

    Sensory deprivation therapy will continue to experience interest. It is not surprising individuals are seeking this therapeutic treatment to relieve daily pressures or common stressors that people encounter every day.

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    This sensory deprivation therapy or restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) brings about an extremely deep level of relaxation, which is a great way to reduce high levels of stress. There are significant mental and physical health benefits produced by using these techniques.

    In today’s high paced world, it is importance to prevent getting burned out. This comes as no surprise that people are shifting their daily routines. This means exercising more, eating healthier foods and trying out alternative therapies like sensory deprivation. Coming out of these isolation tanks is like resetting our bodies and feeling completely renewed.

    Featured photo credit: By S Pisharam via Flickr via flickr.com

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    Anthony Carranza

    Educator, contributing writer and experienced journalist.

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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