I had my first experience in a floatation tank yesterday. Twenty four later I am still feeling the effects of it, my body feels floppy and my mind is relaxed.
WHAT IS IT A floatation tank – also known as an isolation tank, sensory-deprivation tank or restricted environmental stimulation therapy tank – is sold on the idea that it is the closest possible simulation of being in the womb. You float naked and weightless in complete darkness, enveloped in a salty solution. But, unlike the womb you can play music.
WHAT HAPPENED After taking my clothes off and a quick shower, I stepped into the tank which was about ten inches deep, made up of a solution of Epsom salts and water that is the same temperature as the outside of your skin. Once in, I closed the door shut, switched off the lights and lay myself down in a supine position with my arms over my head (as instructed). I let the music relax me into it. There was a little movement at first as my body adjusted but then there was just stillness.
As for my mind… firstly I had these random thoughts – ‘there is water going in my ears’ ‘can I drown’ ‘how do I possibly stay buoyant the entire time’ ‘if I fall asleep how will remember so I can blog it’ 😉 – but then as the music stopped I could feel my brain activity reducing to nothingness and I entered into a near meditative state of complete calm and in this state I could only hear my heartbeat. One hour later music played again to announce that the float session was coming to a close. I was so out of it I wasn’t even aware of it coming back on. It wasn’t until the pumps started that I gently aroused back into consciousness. Taking my time to get my bearings, I made my way out of the tank and had a refreshing shower to rid myself of the salts and then after getting dressed I made my way to the chill out lounge. Feeling like wobbly jelly I plopped myself onto a sofa and relaxed with a cup a tea.
AND IT FEELS LIKE As for the experience, as mentioned above, it is meant to feel like being in the womb but I can’t remember that far back so can’t quite relate to that. I can only akin it to the idea of being in space or being buoyant like seaweed – that kind of weightlessness. As I transitioned back to the real world I could feel my senses heightened. Out in the street the surroundings felt sharper. I went to lunch afterwards and as I was seated everything around me felt brighter and my hearing was more acute, my taste buds more intense. This is to be expected as being in the tank effectively shuts down all your senses. I also had a very deep sleep last night (not usual for me).
It is called floatation therapy even though there is no therapist involved, it is just you and the tank but it is a form of therapy. Epsom salts are made from naturally occurring minerals and are renowned for their health and beauty benefits; reducing stress, soothing muscles, helping with anxiety, pain, swelling, insomnia and jet lag. I will definitely be doing it again (and again and again). If you want an all over feeling of immense relaxation that lasts definitely give it a go; even on the off chance you have no need for relaxation in your life, it is still a pretty amazing experience to try.