The Power of the Sensory Deprivation Isolation Tank
What do you get when you take a spa, a closed off pool and 10,000 lbs of sea salt? An isolation tank. I first heard about isolation tanks from the Joe Rogan podcast, basically you have a pool with over a ton of salt poured in to simulate an environment similar to the dead sea. With so much salt in the water you naturally float without any effort.
Even when you are lying down to sleep at night, you are using stabilizer muscles in your back to balance yourself out, in the isolation tank you don’t have to use any. So what happens instead, is that all that energy gets re-routed to your brain, and you can practice some intense meditation or creative thought.
Something else you might experience while in the tank is a very ‘out of body’ almost psychedelic experience, if you are not used to experiences like that, it may take a couple of tries really get use to what is going on, as well as get all the benefits.
What are the benefits?
Well for one, I think everyone especially in our overly stimulated and information overloaded society, needs to experience from time to time, complete breaks of silence and time alone for meditation and introspection. Now I’m not talking about just being by yourself playing a game, reading a book, or even sleeping, but really being in the moment, being mindful, looking inward, stopping all the irrelevant noise, shutting everything off and just listening and letting the common sense and your inner voice come up to the forefront.
Several sessions in the sensory-deprivation isolation tank is a great way to get started with calming your mind and getting some new self-perspectives. Watch this video below and listen to Joe Rogan describe the tank.
My first time in the tank
In Dallas I go to Adrift Spa, the staff were very nice and accommodating, I was taken into a room with a massage chair at first to relax even before getting in the tank. You are asked what kind of music if any you’d like while in the room (I choose their generic meditation track) Next you’re taken to the room with the tank, there is an attached shower next to the tank to wash before getting in naked. Also inside there are a couple of big round buttons on the side tank which are used to turn off the music and light.
It’s pretty freaky at first being in the water in a completely dark room, not trying to float and not drowning. It may take you a few minutes to get use to the almost zero-gravity like feeling. The next several minutes I concentrated on settling in, clearing my mind and readying to take in the full experience. One of the first things I noticed was that my breathing was very resonate. I could compare it to what I imagine the wind blowing across a barren desert sounds like. Sense of time starts to fade away as well, it took me a bit to stop trying to calculate how long I had been in, and also some time to lower all the noise of random thoughts in my mind.
After the settling in phase, I started to concentrate my focus on areas in my life that I needed to work on. I would picture the food I eat, understand and feel the nutrition flowing into my body. Next I would envision myself meeting my physical challenge goals in the new few months, running a marathon by the end of the year, all really motivational and energy giving thoughts. However a thought would run off in one direction and spawn another eco-system of ideas and past reflection. I did stumble into some dark areas of my past, pains I had compartmentalized, but I acknowledged them and moved on, understanding that I can come back to and fix problems after I’ve fixed other areas of my life.
The more you think positive the more positive thoughts will radiate out of the original though, it’s easier to see the next positive step or idea to take, same goes for the path of negative thoughts and emotions. All of us have the power to control this, but it’s just too hard while going through your average day and wading through all the noise of society.
At the end of the hour in the tank, the lights slowly started to turn back on, I go up, washed and came out feeling really refreshed. Also feeling a bit more centered… I also did not feel the need to immediately check Facebook on my phone or think about what I was going to watch or eat that night. I was just at ease, calm and satisfied.
I hope that has peaked your interested in also trying the tank. And If you do decide to try out an Isolation tank in your area, please come back and leave a comment letting me know how it went for you!