Just imagine...you climb in the chamber, close the hatch, and ease yourself down into the twelve inches of warm water. There’s so much Epsom salt dissolved in the water your body immediately floats.
It’s so dark inside the chamber that you can see nothing, there’s no sound, and you’re floating in water warmed to your exact body temperature, around ninety-eight degrees. Due to the lack of stimuli what happens after a few minutes is you lose all sense that you have a body, you enter into a state of deep relaxation.
The particular spa I go to has a really old tank. It reminds me of an old Macintosh computer from the 1980's and looks like something someone could've made in their garage. Although it many not be as attractive on the outside as the newer sensory deprivation tanks but it still accomplishes the same thing. The modern tanks look more like space pods (as you can see below) and have a hatch that opens up wider so they’re easier to get in and out of. These would be better for the elderly or those with disabilities.
Today, I did my fifth float and I have to say no two floats have ever been the same but the experience gets somewhat deeper and more intense every time. I’ve been meditating for nearly a quarter of a century so I’m used to long periods of exploring inner-space but the sensory deprivation float tank takes things to an entirely different level. Today my session was about ninety minutes in total and it took ten minutes to really settle in and start to relax.
Once I found a comfortable position, my body and mind gradually started to surrender to relaxation and what I call the inner light show began. This same show of lights happens in deep meditation as well but in the tank it doesn’t end when you open your eyes because you’re in complete and total darkness.
Today all I saw was purple, it kind of reminded me of a song from one of my hometown’s most famous musicians. The light and dark shades of purple swirled almost as though I was staring into a lava lamp and shortly after the hallucinations began.
At one point it felt as though I was actually floating in the darkness of deep space with pinpoints of light twinkling around me. I’ve never tried hallucinogenic drugs but after your first few floats, the tank induces an altered state of consciousness very similar to how I’ve heard people describe an LSD or psychedelic mushroom trip. My first float I considered “practice” and it produced nothing more than relaxation but each successive float has gotten better. So if you try it once and aren’t particularly impressed try to be patient and give it one or two more tries.
“When I first tried a sensory deprivation tank, people thought I had lost my mind. In fact, I had found it.” ― Ryan Lilly
My seventy-seven year old father is the only person I’ve ever talked to who had an intense experience during his first float. He was standoffish at first but ended up having a very positive and comforting emotional experience. My father told me he had a vision of his mother, who passed away before I was born, and explained it was so real that it seemed like she was actually there with him.
The Epsom salt is actually comprised of the mineral compound magnesium sulfate and is highly beneficial to your body. The Samadhi tank that I floated in has 800 pounds of salt dissolved into the water so you’re getting a pretty large dose absorbed through your skin. It has incredible health benefits (Click here to learn more about the benefits of Epsom salt.)
It’s been about twelve hours since my session this morning and I’m still extremely relaxed. My creativity is heightened as well. I’d like to stay up and write more but at this point what I’m looking forward to most is climbing under some warm covers a drifting off to dreamland.
If you are looking for an incredible (and legal) inner adventure as well as a good way to relax your body and mind I would consider giving the sensory deprivation float tank a try.
(Gif sourced from Giphy.com.)
"The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness." ― Lao Tzu
I am an American novelist, poet, traveler, and Steemit enthusiast. If you’ve enjoyed my work, my handmade poetry chapbook, Emancipation, is for sale on Peerhub for a limited time.