Everything You Need to Know about Using a Deprivation Chamber
In general, our brains are constantly engaged with the input we get through our senses. Even in the dead of night when you’re awake, you can still see something with the lights turned off. You can hear insects and the wind outside your window, the whirring of a fan, and even the ticking of a clock. You also feel your own weight pressing on your mattress. But if you’re in a sensory deprivation chamber, it’s as if you suddenly lose every input from your senses. And such a feeling can have many benefits.
What Is a Sensory Deprivation Tank?
Deprivation chambers are also called floatation tanks, because of how they work. These chambers are filled with about 10 inches of water, which is saturated by 800 to 1,000 pounds of high-grade Epsom salts. The high salt concentration forces your body to float and it gives you a feeling of weightlessness.
What adds to the sensory deprivation is the temperature of the water, which matches the temperature of your body. This is achieved with radiant heating pads. Then you’re also totally enclosed inside the chamber so you’re in total darkness. The enclosure also keeps outside noise from coming in, although you already don’t hear much because your ears are in the water. It’s also recommended that you don’t wear anything so the water engulfs you.
How Do You Use It?
It’s actually very easy to use. First you just strip down, and then you close the enclosure and lie back in the water. Just relax and keep still. The salt-saturated water will soon force your body to float. Then you lie back and close your eyes.
Usually, the experience is begun with some form of relaxing music in the background. The music volume gradually decreases until there’s complete silence. Add the complete darkness and the feeling of weightlessness, and you will feel totally relaxed. Your brain may veer off into strange thoughts, to preoccupy itself during this period of reduced sensory input.
You may also wish to begin any type of meditative technique. Breathing exercises can be very effective. You can focus on your breathing and achieve a meditative state more easily because you won’t have any distractions. After a while, you’ll lose your sense of time.
After an hour or 90 minutes, the music may start again to signal the end of the session. The music should be very soft and increase in volume very gradually. You can then get out, wipe yourself down, and maybe take a shower afterwards. You may also wish to engage in some doodling or writing right after the session, to capture any insights that may have come to you but which you may forget later on. In many ways, it feels like a waking dream.
Who Uses These Tanks?
These tanks were invented way back in the 1950s and 1960s, and it shouldn’t surprise you to discover that its inventor was a friend of Timothy Leary. Today, many types of people use it:
- It is often used by people who want a different form of relaxation that can help them relieve their stress and anxiety.
- Older people use it to relieve themselves from their chronic pain. Often the hour they spend in the chamber is the most pain-free period of their day. But they feeling can linger afterwards, and in the next few days their pain may be lessened.
- Athletes have come to appreciate this device, since it’s very effective in alleviating pain. For example, the New England Patriots have two of these tanks in their locker room. In addition, many believe that this can also improve athletic performance because it helps athletes concentrate better.
- Hipsters and hippies love this because it can offer the some sort of “altered state”. It may feel like doing LSD, except this is legal and safe.
- Many creative types can also make use of this because it encourages the brain to think “out of the box.” Artists and writers may get some exciting new ideas, while programmers and mathematicians may find exciting solutions to their workplace problems.
- Insomniacs can also make use of these tanks, because they’re very effective sleep aids. After an hour in this tank during the day, your body will be primed for sleep right away when your regular sleeping time comes.
- This can also be used by patients with painful medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.
How Do You Buy a Float Deprivation Tank?
Just a few years ago, it was simply impractical to think about buying one of these things. That’s because floating tanks were as expensive as cars. Units that cost $10,000 were considered cheap, as others can have a price tag of up to $30,000. At these prices, paying $70 to $80 a session was eminently more reasonable.
But nowadays you can buy one for a much lower price. Some cost only $4,500. One brand, the Zen Float Tent, has been featured in many magazines and newspapers because its price is less than $2,000.
To buy one, you need to think about the following factors aside from the price:
- Durability. It should be high quality and designed to last. Some chambers, for example, can have a warranty for up to 10 years at least for the non-mechanical parts. But you should be able to replace any mechanical parts that break down after normal wear and tear. And the water should leak through the materials.
- Safety. It should be made of non-toxic materials, and the heating pads should work properly so that you don’t get burned. There also shouldn’t be any sharp edges.
- Low maintenance requirements. It should be very easy for you to take care of your tank. It won’t really help if the tank gives you more things to worry about.
- Portability and size. If you’re going to relocate, then it should be easy for you to drain the chamber so you can move it with you. And its dimensions should fit in your avalale space.
Pick the right one, and you will have the most relaxing experience ever. It will make you healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally!