The sensory deprivation chamber reveals everything that feel uncomfortable about in your life. All the things that you aren’t happy with will come to the surface. Shutting down your senses will truly awaken your mind to what you need to change in your life.
Floating, known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST), promises many lifestyle benefits, including lasting calm, heightened creative thought, and greater suppleness of skin.
What Does A Sensory Deprivation Chamber Do?
The quantity of salt that the tank contains, makes it virtually impossible to not float in the tank. The salt is dissolved in roughly 10 inches of water.
The body temperature of the water eventually leads to a hovering feeling of just your mind, as you cease to notice your other limbs. As you lie there, your ears sink below the surface leaving only smell and taste as the remaining senses.
Shutting out as many sensory inputs as possible is the point of the tank. There is evidence that the process supports rejuvenation, the relaxing of muscles and eases anxiety. It is an extremely unusual condition for your body, as having such a reduction in the use of your senses was probably when you were in your mother’s womb!
The tank is pitch black inside, although there is a light inside for emergencies and for when you enter and leave the tank. The soundproof nature of the tank causes fewer distractions from the outside.
Inside the tank there is enough water for you to float on your back. Floating negates the effects of gravity, further reducing outside influences..
The effects of the sensory deprivation tank will vary from person to person. The majority of people benefit from a feeling of increased relaxation leading to reductions in anxiety and stress. A study found this to be especially true if the session was longer than 45 min.
The Health Benefits Of A Sensory Deprivation Chamber
Studies from the Karlstad University found out that regular chamber sessions provide lots of health benefits. Especially relating to stress-related problems, as prolonged sessions decrease the levels in cortisol in our body. This helps anxiety, stress and depression in individuals. They concluded that after flotation people feel happier and sleep better.
Several pilot studies have shown that people have benefited from increased creativity. Experts say the relaxation encourages our creativity through giving us opportunity to dive into our thoughts more closely. Although experts have warned that the effects are not felt by all and often claims were exaggerated.
Possible anxiety treatment
Research has also concluded that sensory deprivation tanks have the power to reduce our levels of anxiety. A 2018 study discovered that it could help with depression and anxiety. Lowering our stress hormone; cortisol played a major part in the findings, still larger scale studies were still necessary to find more concrete results.
Another study backed this up along with results that showed it also reduced blood pressure within participants.
Increased Performance For Athletes
A study suggested that athletes benefit from increased focus and performance. Professional archers floated for 45 minutes and found that they benefited from increased accuracy that those you did not float.
How Do People Describe the Experience?
Many people say its somewhere between being awake and asleep. Once the body surrenders itself a great sense of rest and relaxation will overcome it. The peaceful sensations that people go through are very rarely experienced, and are stark contrast to what we many of us face in our stress-filled lives.
There is a subtle change in our consciousness, as our thoughts via towards the present moment.
There is music playing in the room, but after a short while the music turns off, and you are all alone with your thoughts, floating. After the opening minutes is disorientation, you slowly get used to the surroundings. Occasionally bumping into the sides, reassures yourself of where you are.
The trick is to completely surrender yourself to the experience. Fully reclining your head in the water, and laying completely relaxed. It takes some time to be fully comfortable with the environment, and once you do your mind will go to places you have never been before.
A Faster Form Of Meditation?
Without the presence of external stimuli, it has been said that it’s possible to reach advanced meditation states. This is without the need of much effort and hours of actual meditation. A short-cut to enlightenment? Very doubtful, but could you reach a state of mind that some monks cultivate after hours of meditation? Possibly.
How Did The Idea Come About?
First thought up by a psychiatrist named John C. Lilley, the chamber is soundproof and void of all light. The salt water in which you lie in is kept at skin temperature. The chamber shuts off your sense as you float to the sound of your own thoughts. People have said:
It all fades away, all that is left is your mind
The idea came about, as neuro scientists questioned the origin of the brain’s energy. They proposed that if you cut off all outside stimuli the brain will simply go to sleep. Lilley tested this hypothesis through the use of a sensory deprivation chamber.
Common Questions People Ask
Does The Time Go Quick Or Slow?
After getting over the initial surrealness of the experience, time does go very quickly. Shutting yourself off from everything apart from our own thoughts, makes you lose track of any sort of time reference. As soon as you close the front panel and you start to relax it will be all over!
Can You Drown In A Sensory Deprivation Chamber?
The salt in the water makes you float, and depending on your body mass there will be around an inch of water between you and the bottom. The idea is to completely surrender to the feeling on weightlessness, so if you are negatively buoyant maybe give it a miss!
Can You Do It At Home?
You sure can, it just won’t come cheap! Tank prices vary hugely, they start at $2000 and go up to $30,000. The industry is still in its early stages, but once demand rises manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.
If you plan on making one yourself, you’ll need to replace the salts each time. Having a tank with it’s own filtration system is a very complex operation.
Can you fall Asleep?
It obviously can happen, yet it is less likely than you think. It’s more probable you will enter a state of hypnagogia – somewhere between being awake and asleep.
Does It Cause Dehydration?
You’ll need to float for a few hours before the effects of osmosis take place, leading to dehydration. An hour inside the chamber would negligible effects on your hydration levels.
How Long Can You Stay In A Sensory Deprivation Chamber?
Experts recommend doing it for 90 minutes for the first time. Anything more and it will cease becoming an awakening experience and more of an ordeal. Once you become more accustomed, then people opt for two or three hours at a time.
How Effective Was It For Me?
Research seems to support how I felt. I have done 3 sessions so far and the process has been positive in decreasing my anxiety. I’m sure the more you do it, the more benefits you will feel.
Proceed with everyone! There are lots of people advertising treatments that seem too good to be real. Just make sure you do your research.
It should be noted that this is not a complete cure for any of the mentioned conditions. Use it as a support for other activities that benefit your overall health.
Where to do it?
Sensory deprivation chambers are becoming more popular year on year. Find options near you.