What I learned in a Sensory Deprivation Tank

Sensory deprivation has been the talk of the town.  It has been the topic of many of the podcasts I listen to and even featured on Stranger Things.  I recall being exposed to them many years ago while watching episode of Fringe.  Even though I found it interesting at the time, I stored it on the back burner and didn’t think much of it until recently. How often do I need to use my telepathic abilities to scope out parallel universes?  Not often, I’ll tell ya that much!

Scrolling along Instagram I across a new place that opened nearby. I jumped at the chance to float once I became aware of a studio in town that offered this service.   After reading plenty about all the benefits for the body and mind curiosity definitely had the best of me.  I knew my session would not allow me to teleport to another realm like Eleven but I wanted to experience firsthand all the health benefits I kept reading about.   Full disclaimer I scoured the internet but could not find any actual studies that delved into the paranormal.

Float therapy has been around for a few decades but has only started to gain popularity recently.  Many studios offering this therapy have sprouted in cities across the country to meet the demand.  The numerous benefits people experience after a float session makes them likely to continue treatment.  Who doesn’t want to take a break from the intense stimuli we are all exposed to daily?  Count me in for some deep relaxation any day 🙂

Not sure how up to speed you are on the subject but a flotation therapy session touts some major benefits to your body and mind.

  • Reduce stress on your body that is caused by gravity (Spine, Hips and Joints)
  • Muscular tension and pain relief thanks to the epsom salt
  • Improve circulation
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Relieves insomnia, jet lag and fatigue so you can sleep like a log
  • Deep relaxation and stress relief
  • Anxiety relief
  • Boost performance
  • Increases endorphins
  • Aids visualization and creativity

Just Relax

My experience with Pure Sweat + Float Studio was great from the get go.  They were able to answer my questions, address concerns setting up the appointment was easier than expected. Perfect timing considering I couldn’t wait to try it out.  Once I arrived, the staff walked me through the procedure.  Step by step every detail was explained.  It was comforting to know I would not be alone and could obtain help if I needed it during my session.   The room is tastefully decorated with the essentials and soft candlelight to ease your transition into a relaxing space. You are not alone if you experience any anxiety during the session and can call for help if needed. Reassuring for those that do not do well in certain situations that involve tight spaces.

PSFS - Calming Hallway

This is the hallway that leads to your float session. What a calming walk, enveloped in the softest light to and the soothing pictures to gaze at. Just look at that chair. Adorbs!

Lo and behold the pod looks like a giant egg. I could not get past the resemblance to an egg.  Coincidence, an analogy for the rebirth some will experience during their session or just a futuristic design element to make you feel a little space age.  You decide what suits you. Nonetheless, it definitely got my imagination going.  The pod doesn’t provide enough space to swim around but sufficient space to float comfortably.  The amount of epsom salt added to the water will keep you floating without any issues.  No need to worry about sinking or struggling to stay afloat.

Lo and behold, the Float Pod. What an odd looking contraption. What does this remind you of?

Relax, you really can’t drown if you fall asleep because you are literally floating in less that 10 inches of water and you have a nifty floating pillow that cradles your head.  Sure that may or may not be the technical name for the floated but you know what I mean.  This device was cooler that what it initially seems like.  I suggest you try it to see if it is something that works for you.

The pods offer options to help you ease into your session.  You can accompany your float session to the rhythm of soft and soothing instrumental music.  The pod also offers the opportunity to keep the lights on.  Both features can be gradually modified to establish your ideal ambiance.  Each session can be customized to suit you and your mood. You also have the option of keeping the pod open or ajar based on your level of comfort. The temperature is also controlled to remain the same your body temperature so you will not feel cold at all.

The Low Down

Keeping it real, I have to admit that my first session did not go as planned.  You can always count on me to be honest and share the good, the bad and the ugly.  No need to sugar coat anything here since not everything goes according to plan.  That is life and you are invited to join me on my journey.

Once I found myself in total darkness and silence it freaked me out a little bit.  I felt uneasy and claustrophobic when I closed the lid. I don’t consider myself claustrophobic so this totally took me by surprise and threw me completely off guard. The sound of my heartbeat was overwhelming.  Just listening to it alone in complete darkness made my heart race even faster.  I tried to control myself and calm down but it was not as easy as I thought it would be.

So, I opened the hatch, sat up for a few minutes to center myself and ease back into it.  Once I regained my thoughts and slowed down my heartbeat I went back in.  The opportunity to get into the zone was something I had longed for.  I took my time to ease back into it but most importantly reevaluated my expectations for the session.  This was not going to be as easy as I had anticipated so I set realistic expectations.  The anticipation of what was to come, the benefits I was going to achieve and all the research I had done was swirling around my brain.  All of this contradicts the actual action of sensory deprivation.    The brain needs to be shut down in order for you to enter a new realm of relaxation.

PS+FS provides the most adorable little epsom salt packet for you to add to your bath at home. A little pampering at home 🙂 remember to shave after the pampering sesh.

It took a little finessing. I talked myself down when I started to feel nervous but aside from that I let myself go.  Pretended I was floating in the middle of the ocean, my happy place.  The biggest difference between floating at the beach and in the pod is that I always hold on to my surroundings because I am always afraid the waves will take me to far out.  There are no currents to drag you out to far. Also no sharks.  Yes, I think about sharks sometimes.  I grew up on an island and during the 80s so I am a little bit traumatized thanks to Jaws.

Also, shaving before the session was not the best idea. The salt can irritate your skin and make you itch as soon as you dip into the tank.  In spite of reading about this, I totally forgot.  Shaving is a part of my daily shower routine so I do it without thinking.  You would think I knew better growing up on an island. Shaving must be done the night before you head to the beach.  If not, you will regret it once you jump in the water.  Uncomfortable does not begin to explain how your skin will feel.  If you have been through this then you know what I am talking about. Hard to concentrate and be still when everything is itchy.

To My Surprise

My experience at Pure Sweat + Float Studio was phenomenal and I can’t wait to go back.  I can’t describe how relaxed I felt afterwards.  The salt did wonders on my body, my back spams were significantly reduced and my sore muscles were very happy.  It was totally worth it!  I left my session feeling creative. My creative juices were also flowing stronger than usual.  I could not wait to get home to tackle my to do list add the new items I wanted to explore.  I can’t wait to try another session since I know what to look forward to.

I learned a couple of things about myself during that session. I recognize that I’m guilty of setting expectations that are too high sometimes and can get discouraged when things don’t go the way I planned.  Working on this but not something that can be resolved overnight.  Each situation presents an opportunity to re-frame and practice another way of dealing with it.  I have also learned that I can’t control everything around me but I can only control my reaction to things.  What a beautiful lesson. A lesson that has taken me longer to learn. I can be fooled into wishing this was something I learned in the past but there is really no need to dwell on the past. I am taking measures to embrace in the present and future.  Just learn the lesson at hand and apply when necessary moving forward.

Don’t expect to ace your first float session.  You may not even be able to silence your thoughts or drift out into your happy place.  Just embrace the moment and see what your particular experience will be.  Have you tried floating in a sensory deprivation tank?  Tell me all about it! I would love to hear what your experience was like.

Join me on my journey!



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