I’ve always had an open mind when it comes to finding new ways to boost yourself both mentally and physically. Like many people, when first hearing of sensory deprivation tanks as a form of therapy I immediately thought of pop culture references such as the Simpsons episode where Lisa and Homer try it out but after hearing it from the likes of Joe Rogan and Aubrey Marcus a couple of years ago who highly recommend floating, I grew even more curious.
It took me quite a while before I got around to doing my first float. I spent quite some time researching the topic through websites, youtube videos, ebooks, case studies, and testimonials. While you can never know enough about anything at this stage I felt like I knew a hell of a lot for a guy who hasn’t even jumped in a tank yet!
Upon my first session, I still had a few concerns regarding how to get the most of my session (pre-session diet, caffeine intake, stress, sleep etc) but the most important tip I can give you is to come in with no expectations and enjoy it for what it is. Jumping into the tank for the first time I found it awkward to relax my body in a natural floating position. I refused to use an air cushion for my neck and as a result, I felt soreness from a tense neck until I realised you don’t need to make any effort to stay afloat and you can let your head sink back.
It didn’t take long for me to get into a meditative state and in a matter of minutes I was starting to see colour patterns (spirals and waves – I’ll go into further detail in future posts) while my eyes were closed – I was amazed! It didn’t last long however as my conscious side was trying to interpret it the colours disappeared and I was back in total darkness. At this stage, I was excited and needed to get back into a relaxed state, didn’t take long again and this time I was starting to vividly daydream.
After my hour was up I got out feeling more refreshed than ever before. The combination of the high-density Epsom salt water, lack of distractions and sense of floating in space is unlike anything else. Physically I felt rejuvenated. Earlier that day I played soccer while suffering a minor hamstring tear and when comparing the pain level in basic movements before and after I would say it went from a 7 to a 1. This isn’t a fix for sports injuries but definitely a viable pain relief method considering the magnesium levels in the Epsom salts. I was left feeling content, mellow and calm in contrast to my state when I walked in – happy but mind was on a million things at once. In conclusion, I can sum up my first floating experience as a good one which started a journey of many other sessions which has done a world of good for my wellbeing.