Float tanks just host isolated meditative environments. There’s no prerequisite to get stoned, nor are you forced to do anything, other than perhaps relax. Sure, you can keep the tank lid open and some tanks can play music. Otherwise, it’s just you and your mind. I’ve found that with my sensory inputs dampened by the tank environment, I can conceptualize bigger or broader ideas, or I can address deep rooted psychological issues. Nothing psychedelic, man…
We’re taught to only go for the sure shots, play it safe, and at all costs do not step outside your comfort zone! I got into floating after seeing a sandwich board on my lunchtime walks, and after some research, I jumped in. That business recently stepped toward inviting sensory deprivation chambers into everyone’s comfort zones by working with health insurers to provide discounts. Maybe doctors will prescribe float sessions like they prescribe chiropractic sessions?
After 2 days of warehouse work, moving boxes and shrink-wrapping pallets or heavy abuse to my body, I needed a float session. It’s been over 2 months. The tragedy of life is that you can abuse many parts of your body and mind, and usually they’ll snap back into order, except your spine. Your spine is the foundation for all activities, to be considered “spineless” is a sin, yet how do we go about repairing our spines?
If you want to get better at anything, you’ve got to practice. In basketball, if you want to practice free throws, it works best on an empty court. Just you and the hoop. It’s not as interesting as a basketball court filled with people and it’s not as fun as playing a game. Studying how you’ve thrown each shot, however, will lead to more insight. Similarly, float tanks are like clearing the court of distraction.
Nature unites us, even in the digital age. Natural events like 2017’s solar eclipse may occasionally remind us that there are more important events out there than the technological trivialities that we’ve accidentally become addicted to as technojunkie zombies. We will probably still process this information through digital lenses, either through photography or interacting with others abroad, though is that really that bad? Shouldn’t we embrace tools that enable us to experience life more vivaciously?
Most people meditate to clear their minds of thoughts. I meditate to defragment the thoughts in my mind that chatter. I organize the idle ideas that linger loudly. Float tanks are specialized daydreaming spots for me, like the Hyperbolic Time Chamber in Dragon Ball Z, because that hour or four you’ve booked is reserved for you tending to your thoughts. Sensory deprivation chambers can be overwhelming if you’re not fully ready to declutter your mind.
Continuing last time’s discussion of the physicality what you could experience inside of float tanks, as a means to demystify, clarify, and otherwise squeegee the misconceptions of resting in an epsom salt water bath, let’s chat about accessibility. How accessible is “floating” to most individuals? How about for individuals that have physical impairments? Mental equivalents? How about if you don’t have access to a float tank center in your area? How about increasing future accessibility?
Having booked over forty float tank sessions within two years, clocking over seventy hours, I’d like to help demystify, clarify, and otherwise squeegee the misconceptions of what it’s like to rest in an epsom salt water bath in an occasional series. While I’d like to write objective, empirical data that can be peer-reviewed, most of this is subjective, heady stuff that’s all about what’s in your mind. Let’s start with the physical stuff you’ll encounter.
How can I remain content and motivated in the rat race? How can I keep this excited state of contentment that tends to happen for me between accepting a new job and some months after starting the new job? I just quit my job and got another. So many people I’ve met are miserable, or subconsciously miserable, and I don’t want to keep in that content-misery cycle. How can I surpass that? Those were some of my questions going into the sensory deprivation chamber.
I was unhappy. To reference Csikszentmihalyi‘s Flow Model, I’d fallen from flow at work and into constant anxiety with destructive apathy. The mental challenge was gone. My brain was rotting away. I know myself well enough to know that this leads to bad behavior. Friday morning exploded. The details of the catalytic moment could have one thousand variations. It was at this spot, before I took this photograph, that I realized something needed to change. The four-hour float tank session I’d scheduled for the next morning couldn’t have been better scheduled to help me figure out what I needed to do.