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.
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
- Pre-menstrual tension
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.
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:
- Arrive and check in
- Cover the frequently asked questions
- Then you shower
- Put in earplugs
- Step into the float tank
- Settle into the tank
- 45 minutes floating
- Turn on the lights
- 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.
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.
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.
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