There’s a Zen proverb that goes: “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”
These days we’re always running around, multitasking and staying connected through all types of media while having information and stimulus continually thrown at us, whether we like it or not. We become stressed, anxious and we burn out.
Some call it a floatation tank or floatation therapy, it’s called an isolation tank or a sensory deprivation therapy or even just a float tank.
There has been done research both in the US and in Sweden on the effects on this type of therapy and it has been found to decrease stress and pains, as well as increasing creativity and helping you focus. The tank uses Epsom salt and the session lasts about an hour.
My hour begins with losing my hearing. The rooms are soundproof so the second you step inside and close the door, you shut the sounds of the world out. All that sounds is now made by you. The second sense to leave me is my sight. After I get in the tank and close the egg, I push a button inside the tank and everything goes dark. Eyes open or eyes closed, it’s all the same.
The water is the same temperature as the air and my body, 38 degrees and it creates a zero gravity experience. I cannot feel where I end and the water begins. I love that part, blending completely into my environment and not feeling like I’m in my body. I like to think that my senses are not deprived, but liberated. Is there any other way you can allow them to not sense? Do we not owe our senses a minute of rest occasionally?
How loud your heart can beat sometimes. Amplified by isolation, it’s all I hear. The coffee I had earlier has no outlet in my senseless and motionless body and it’s moved on to making my mind sprint. The more I try to think of nothing, the more I think of everything. I’m running circles around everything I’m feeling inside, it’s compensating for not feeling anything outside.
To shut off and let go isn’t as easy as you would think. Relaxing is actually something that requires a bit of practice. If I’m going to guess I would say it took me a solid 40 minutes to let go completely. I probably got a valuable 10 minutes of actual theta meditative state. (Or I fell asleep, is there any way to know for sure?) And the last 10 minutes I’m sure I was just wondering if it was going to end soon.
Overall a very pleasant experience, which lessened my migraine and gave me a great start to the weekend. I highly recommend it.