The Sensory Deprivation Tank, or my $70 salt-water bath

The Tank in all it’s ethereal splendor

So about a year or so ago I heard about a new spa in the area called “Float”. Their shtick? Fancy tubs in dark rooms where you can float in almost complete sensory isolation.

I was OBSESSED.

Then I think the pandemic hit, or maybe my dad’s diagnosis hit, or my mom was stalking me….either way it fell to the wayside and I nearly forgot my desire to lay in the dark, suspended by water, in the hopes of some otherworldly experience.

Until yesterday that is.

For no discernible reason I remembered that long ago wish and booked a tub for the next day. Then my friend was in town so I pushed it back an hour, all the white wondering what ethereal experiences awaited me.

Well, despite my hopes for transcendence I spent most of my sixty minutes trying to avoid getting salt in my eyes (and furiously rubbing them with my terry cloth towel when I failed). I left feeling wonky (read:dehydrated) with my hair a salty dried out disaster.

However, dear reader, I did learn some things so don’t despair. Not all is lost.

  • Wear goggles on your eyes, duh.
  • Don’t turn the music up super loud, you’ll only hear the bass at first and you’ll be convinced you’ve been unwittingly cast in a bad horror movie.
  • Ignore your body. No really, it’s called sensory deprivation for a REASON. If you spend the whole time visualizing the body you can’t feel it kinda defeats the purpose.
  • Probably hydrate more beforehand.
  • Also maybe meditate a bit to prepare
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: Listen. Just let go of whatever pre conceived notions you have about meditation and Listen. Listen to the nothing, the music, stretch your hearing and take it all in. *this one is extra important to me, as I easily get caught up in mental monologues and lose sight of the Here & Now*

So yeah. Would I go again? Yeah probably. Do I expect to leave a new person, transformed by my time in The Tank? Nah, at least not after one visit. Like anything worth doing, I think practice will improve the experience.

So here’s to more meditation, and maybe a bit more peace of mind.

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