I Had A Spiritual Experience Inside A Sensory Deprivation Pod. Here’s Why They Are So HealingBlog » I Had A Spiritual Experience Inside A Sensory Deprivation Pod. Here’s Why They Are So Healing
by Melissa Field – May 30, 2017 5:50 AM
I was first drawn to float tanks by stories I’d heard that sounded like mind-altering drug trips except the people telling them were completely sober. They were, quite simply, just floating on water. I had to try it and figure out for myself what made it a life-changing experience for so many.
Why were float tanks invented?
The flotation tanks, which are also called isolation or sensory deprivation tanks, were created in the 1950s by Dr. John C. Lilly. He was a neuroscientist and psychoanalyst with interests in philosophy and invention. He was deeply passionate about exploring human consciousness, particularly regarding what we could access within ourselves when we completely tune out outside stimuli.
He wanted to know who we are when we are completely free of the noise, sensations, and impositions of the outside world. Who are we when all we are aware of is our inner self?
This might sound like something you could answer through meditation, and I am a big proponent of meditation. However, as someone who meditates daily, I believe the isolation tank takes us on a journey far different from any meditation.
What is sensory deprivation, exactly?
It is a form of meditation but in a way more akin to yoga in that it is as much physical as it is mental. Float tanks interact directly with your body, and some even feel as if they become one with the water, which can create a feeling of being infinite. The water is warmed to 98 degrees, which is the same as body temperature. Each tank has around 1,000 pounds of salt in it, which ensures all people, of all shapes and sizes, will float on this buoyant water.
Floating on a cushion of saltwater for an hour counteracts the pressure of gravity. Your joints, tissues, and muscles will feel as if you’ve just received a superb massage, your spine will thank you, and the Epsom salt will do wonders for your skin and circulation.
The physical sensation of floating connects us right into the mental feelings of surrender and release. It’s one of the most comforting sensations I’ve ever felt. It’s as if I am being held in my own little cushion of support, and whatever it is that bothers me can safely be let go. I feel completely held and taken care of. This mental release is a large part of what makes the isolation tank so powerful.
Here’s what happened when I developed a regular sensory deprivation practice.
Once you are comfortable with the sensation of floating (you may not reach this on your first time), you will gently ease into deeper and deeper levels of surrender and letting go. At some point, you will naturally lose track of time. You will slowly forget where you are, maybe even who you are. You will fall into your subconscious, but you will still be awake, allowing you to forge a connection with all of the power that resides there. The more times you go to the tank, the more you…continue reading…