Yesterday I had my first experience in a floatation tank. I first heard about floatation tanks and sensory deprivation from Joe Rogan he personally has his own tank and uses it regularly. On his show they talked about the benefits they feel of conginitive unloading and purely ‘letting go’. This really apealed to the escapist within me. For those of you whom dont know who he is check out his podcast. Too much to sum up in a couple of lines. However he has some great content that is worth checking out. Lets get stuck into SD and floating…
A Sensory deprivation tank is a lightless, soundproof tank with high epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) content filled with salt water at skin temperature, in which individuals float. These tanks were first used in the 50’s to assess the effects of sensory deprivation but there is limited research on the subject that I can find (I hope I am wrong). But after listening to Joe Rogan talk about it on his podcast and the fact that I like the idea of a no distraction enviroment I thought I would give it a try. Also I enjoy a good bath. When Joe spoke about this before he mentioned people using mild forms of LSD and other ‘drugs’ to enhance the experience. Now this wasnt for me. However I did consume some L-Trypotophan which is a natural mild serotonin enhancer which I feel added to the relaxation of my experience.
During my time in the tank I spent alot of time focussing on varying breathing techniques hoping to create a realxed state. I am a big advocate of deliberate breathing practive in the reduction of stress but when in the tank I found out something very cool. As you are in pitch black you start to see yourself breath in your minds eye and your heart beat sounds like a drum. What I mean here is that this is the only thing apparent to you. The only thing you are truely aware of. As you breathe in the colours in the darkness change shape and vice vera on the way out. Everyone has this when they close their eyes in a normal enviroment because of the ever chaging enviroment. But when the enviroment is static and fixed aka dark and quiet it makes for something pretty cool. I have spent time before on meditation and centering which helps to remove the mental distraction of stress, trauma and life so I think I managed to slip into this intitial state quite easily. However you do spend lots of time flickering in and out of arguments with yourslef, questioning what you do with your life and who you are. Overall I cannot wait until my next float tank session.
If you are interested Take 5 minutes to listen to Joe talk about it. I have actually booked another 3 treatments. I aim to dig deeper and expose myself to more of myself!!!
By Sam Portland