What Happened When I Went Into A Sensory Deprivation Tank
As I looked at the scene in the picture above, I was wondering if it was my doorway to enlightenment, a hatch to heaven, An opening to relaxation, or a pathway to panic. I was about to "float".
Some organizations use sensory deprivation as a method of torture. I was about to willingly put myself in a silent, pitch black, and no tactile sensation environment. And I was looking forward to it.
I've read a lot about floating - some float for pain relief, some float to relax, and some see it as more of a transcendental experience. I was curious, and open to whatever floating brought me. So I headed to TaoMassage in Asbury Park and embarked on my journey.
I showered to remove all products from my body and hair, put plugs in my ears, and entered the pod.
When you've never done this before, there's definitely a period of adjustment as you're taking in everything that you're experiencing. Since it was pitch dark, I felt around myself to figure out where I was in relation to the walls, floor, ceiling, and perhaps most importantly - the hatch to get out.
First, you have to find out what's most comfortable for you (arms at your sides, above your head, etc), and then you have to stop moving. Obviously, motion causes the water to move, which makes you bump into the walls.
Once you get comfortable and get still, that's when the whole experience really begins.
The first thing that I became aware of was any muscle tension that my body had been holding.
I also realized that I had no idea how much time had already passed or how much time I had left. Once I thought of that though, I told myself that thinking like that defeats the purpose - the whole point is to not worry about time.
I tried to turn my thoughts a little mystical - thinking about loved ones who are no longer with us (no, I didn't get any responses). I tried to breathe slowly and just zone out. I tried to clear my mind. I had some success, but I felt like every time I really started to go blank, something pulled me back in to reality.
So, would I do it again? Absolutely. In fact, I think you have to do it more than once to get the whole experience. The first time, you're getting your bearings. You're learning what the experience is like. You learn what to expect. Now that I know what it's like, I feel like I can be more prepared to really take in the experience. If you want to try for yourself, I enthusiastically recommend TaoMassage. Vivian and the whole crew there are friendly, comforting, patient, and relaxing.
Have you ever tried "floating"? Would you? Tell us in the comments section!