My New Happy: Try Something New: Sensory Deprivation Tank

Monday, March 19, 2018

Try Something New: Sensory Deprivation Tank

One of my goals for 2018 is to try something new every month.  As I get older, I realize it's important to push myself outside of my comfort zone and keep the body and brain engaged.  In January George and I went snowshoeing, and this month we tried something completely different - immersion therapy in a sensory deprivation tank.


When George first suggested this, I had no idea what he was talking about.  So I jumped on the Google to find out the details.  And promptly said hell no.  I'm up for adventure, but also a teensy bit claustrophobic.  Then I googled a little more, and decided the benefits outweighed my concern.  

Despite the fact that the float tanks look like a flower pod from "Little Shop of Horrors", they're pretty cool.  Filled with 10-12" of water and 800 pounds of Epsom salt, then heated to body temperature, it's the closest thing to zero gravity you can get without being an astronaut.

Once inside, you turn off the lights and music, lay back...and float.  But what's the point?  Well, the complete lack of stimuli calms your buzzing mind and allows your nervous system to take a break.  Float tanks have been proven to boost immunity, improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, increase the production of endorphins for stress and anxiety relief, and ease chronic pain. Plus, the massive amount of Epsom salt mineralizes and nourishes your skin.

Okay, fine.  That all sounded like good stuff.  Still nervous, I booked our appointment and we headed to Seattle.  This guy, on the other hand, was really excited to get started.


We each had a private room with a shower, changing area, and the pod-people-looking tank.


After rinsing off, I gave the tank a final once over, and stepped inside.  The water was perfectly warm, but not hot, and felt a little slippery due to all the salt.  I was comforted by the fact that I could open and shut the tank by hand, and the light and sound controls were nearby.  But I wanted to give it the old college try, so I turned everything off, shut the door, and lay back.


It was completely dark, and totally silent, and I'll admit it took about five minutes to calm my breathing down.  But then I realized...I'm actually floating!  Which was cool for a bit, until I thought...I have to lay here for 50 more minutes?  My multi tasking brain didn't think that was possible.  But apparently my mind figured it out, because before I knew it, the music and lights came back on.  I hadn't completely fallen asleep, but definitely experienced the theta brainwaves - those calming moments right before you drift off.

My thoughts?  Try it.  It was very relaxing, and the feeling of floating on top of water with no effort was divine.  My skin was silky smooth.  To experience the full benefits of sensory deprivation therapy, you need repeat visits.  And at $50-$90 an hour, it's spendy.

But even one trip taught me an important lesson.  Our minds and bodies NEED a break from the constant stimulation of everyday life.  Whether it's floating, or meditation, or just turning off the phone and computer for a bit every day, finding some peace is essential to our health.


Have a peaceful week, friends!

24 comments:

  1. So cool and a very important lesson but with my claustrophobic mind, I am not sure I could do it, maybe I would take a Xanax before I get in cause I so love the idea of this awesome relaxation!

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    1. It's really not bad. The top of the pod is pretty high so it doesn't feel close.

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  2. Oh, I have heard of this... but, it makes me nervous too!!! I am so claustrophobic and that is a long time to just lay there and float. And I'd worry I'd fall asleep and drown! Lol! Ok, can you tell I overthink everything? ;) I am sure it is so worth it!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. Ha - I had all the same worries! Your head floats too so it never goes under water - even if you fall asleep!

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  3. I laughed out loud at your "prompt hell no" and would be a little nervous about trying this for the same reasons as you. But, maybe I might enjoy this!

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  4. Wow...I bet this was fabulous. We all need to get away from the stimulation from time to time. Good for you for trying it Lana!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Thanks Jodie. It really was fabulous.

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  5. I have such a hard time relaxing like that. I don't even like massages and can't stand doing nothing. This would certainly be a challenge for me but I'd be willing to give it a try! Thanks for sharing this, I loved reading about your experience.
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. I don't like massages either, and was sure I'd get bored. But I was so relaxed it went quickly!

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  6. Snowshoeing looked like a serious workout. I’ve heard of these Sensory deprivation tanks and I’m dying to try it myself. These do look like the flower pods from little show of horror. Theres a popular float tank by my house that the Gold State Warriors go to, it’s right down the street from me. I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree our mind and bodies need totally rest weekly if not daily.

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    1. You would love this Mary - let me know if you do it!

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  7. Interesting! I've never heard of this. But I'm intrigued! What happens if you do fall asleep? You're floating with no effort, right? So you're not going to drown?

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    1. There's no way to drown, because there's so much salt in the water. You float without even trying. It feels wonderful!

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  8. I am so glad that you tried this and blogged about it. For the past 8 months or I have been thinking about doing it, though it totally creeps me out. My BFF did it and had about a 15 minute breakdown and once she relaxed she was sad that she wasted the first 15 minutes freaking out because it was so relaxing. Have to give it a try.

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  9. Wow, this article is good, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds
    of things, thus I am going to inform her.

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  10. How cool! I am a bit claustrophobic so I think it would be too difficult for me to relax. I love this idea of a new something every month!

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  11. I think its marvellous to push yourself to do new things and try things you even might be ipsy about. Great camper!

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  12. I'm so like you with calming my mind/breathing and whatnot, and I'm the slightest bit claustrophobic but I think this would be ok because you can control it. And I'd give it the old college try too!

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  13. This sounds like an amazing experience.
    I would love to try it (although I'm a bit claustrophobic too!)
    Julia x
    http://www.thevelvetrunway.com/

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