I tried the sensory deprivation/ float tank experience
Float tanks are definitely having a moment right now. You might have heard them names lots of things (isolation tank, float tank, sensory deprivation tank, floatarium), but they’re all essentially a really fancy bath/pod that is filled with water and epsom salt to allow you to easily float on the surface of the water. There is only about one foot of water, and the air, water, and your body are all supposed to be the same temperature. This floating/temperature is supposed to allow for freedom of mind and body… apparently.
So. On to the apparent benefits of this floating experience.
Freedom of body and mind/meditation (my main reason for going)
Sometimes covered by insurance (mine wasn’t)
Reducing chronic pain
PREPPING FOR THE EXPERIENCE
Before going into the float, there are a couple of things I researched about this experience. The first was that, though this can be used as a treatment for medical issues, this is more of a spa experience and the facilities treat it as such.
There are also a couple of things you are supposed to do before you float.
Step 1: Go to the loo! It’s important for the experience that there are no distractions while you float for one hour. Go to the bathroom.
Step 2: Get naked! Soo, you don’t HAVE to get completely naked and you can wear a swimsuit. But if you want the full experience, take everything off. The room is very private and the staff do make you feel comfortable.
Step 3: Rinse off! Like any public pool or spa experience, it’s important to rinse yourself off before getting in to keep things sanitary.
Step 4: Earplug-it-up! These guys help prevent getting salty water in your ears, as well as enhance the whole ‘sensory-deprivation’ thing.
Step 5: Hop in!
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
In general, I found the experience kind of odd. It’s like being in this inbetween space of dreaming, sleeping, and being awake and thinking. I try and meditate sometimes, and so I treated it like that and tried to keep my mind clear and focus on myself. I haven’t been keeping up with my meditation, and I am an antsy/anxious person, so this was kind of difficult.
The actual act of floating was fine, but sometimes I felt as though the world was tilting. I don’t know if that is a thing that just happens to me or not, but it is something to keep in mind if you do have vertigo or get dizzy easily. I also drifted side-to-side and bumped into the walls of the tank a few times.
There was a moment when I opened my eyes and had a mini freak-out where I didn’t know where the handle/light switch was. In that process I got water in my eyes and mouth, which stung pretty badly and tasted awful too. Try your best not to do this.
They always recommend you eat something before the float even if you aren’t hungry. I didn’t do this, and found that my stomach made a noise near the end of the float which kind of pulled me out of the experience.
Finally, at the end of the float a soft alarm warns you that your time is up. You hop out of the tank and shower. The salt made my skin feel super soft, and I did feel relaxed after the whole experience.
Something else to note about the location that I went to, they had both pods and open concept rooms. The pod did make the experience a little odd and cumbersome, so maybe the open concept room would be easier for floating newbies.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Overall, I did feel like the experience was a lot like meditation. A lot like meditation, the first time you do it you find it a little odd. Having to sit still and try and clear your mind is hard, but after doing it a few times you start to understand it and it benefits you.
WAS IT CLEAN?
Yep! They filter the water and use UV light to clean it, as well as use the epsom salt to naturally keep it free of bacteria. Think of it like a pool rather than a bathtub. It was like a spa, and so simply finding a ‘good’ spa will determine how clean the facilities are.
HOW MUCH DID IT COST?
At the place that I went to, it was $69 before tax for one single float, with tax it came up to around $80, which felt a little steep to me. They do have packages where if you buy multiple floats at once, you get almost half off of each float. If you do decide to get the package, then you have a chance to get used to the floating experience and maybe see benefits.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?
I don’t know! I might do it again just to get used to it and see if I benefit from it doing it a second time. If I do do it again, you’ll see on our vlog channel on YouTube (click here to see!). If you have any tips of tricks for me, let me know on Twitter (@TheSorryGirls).
Check out the video below to see some of the experience!