Week 31: Float Lab, a Sensory Deprivation Experience
"The irony of sensory deprivation tanks is that in order to think outside the box, you must first go inside one.” - Ryan Lilly
What did I do:
Ever wonder what it's like to sit in a small, dark room with no light or sound and nothing but yourself and your thoughts? To some this sounds like heaven, while to others it may sound like an absolute nightmare.
If what I described sounds at all appealing or interesting, you've got to give floating a try. I booked my appointment at Float Lab. Their sensory deprivation chambers remove all light and sound while you lay in a pool of Epsom Salt solution. The high density solution gives you a feeling of weightlessness which is the heart of the floating experience.
Disclaimer: Short-term sessions of sensory deprivation are described as relaxing and conducive to meditation. However, extended or forced sensory deprivation can result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations and depression. - So don't stay in there too long!
Who was with me:
My friend Mariola is a champ. I text her the morning of and asked if she wanted to join me. She said yes without really knowing what she was signing up for. Truly blessed to have her by my side through many of my adventures this past year.
What did I learn:
When I first got onsite, I was asked to shower with their all natural shampoos and soaps to thoroughly cleanse my body. Then, I entered the chamber which is quite small and completely pitch black. This made me slightly claustrophobic.
The secret ingredient to these sensory deprivation chambers is the epsom salt (magnesium) solution. Nearly a thousand pounds of epsom salt is dissolved in a couple hundred gallons of water, creating an almost zero gravity environment and making it impossible not to float. I learned that floating has many benefits:
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Relieves pain
- Aids in sports recovery
- Promotes relaxation and restful sleep
- Facilitates meditation
- Reduces headaches
- Increases circulation
It took me 45 minutes to really relax and let go. In fact, at one point, I had to step out because I got some salt in my eyes. After washing my face and going back in, I was finally able to relax. There was a moment of complete stillness in which I was floating with my eyes closed. It felt as though I was in the center of the universe surrounded by the stardust and magic of the cosmos. It is a state of mind I am able to achieve during meditation but it felt exceptionally deeper while floating.
Before my appointment, I was not feeling great. I had recently gone through a break up and my energy was a bit low. Later that night, I felt incredibly clear, at peace and slept like a baby. In fact, this peaceful way of being lasted for several days. My body and mind had re-harmonized.
Would I do this again:
Now that I know what to expect, I will definitely go back. The first experience was a shock to my system. I loved the way I felt afterwards and can see why this has become such a trend.