If you’re like me, when you hear the words “sensory deprivation tank”, your immediate thought might be: Torture. Before my first float, I had absolutely no idea what this experience was all about. Now that I do, I’m already planning my return and contemplating a monthly membership.
Let’s break it down.
Sensory deprivation tanks have been around for a while. It’s a form of therapy where you basically are stripped of all stimulation and are forced to sit alone with your thoughts and just breathe (that might actually sound like torture to some but it’s essentially just meditation in a special bathtub). Upon further research, the benefits of this thing seem pretty legit. A float is said to help relieve stress, relax the body, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, lower inflammation, and even help with chronic pain management. The tank is loaded, and I mean LOADED, with enough epsom salt so that it’s impossible to sink even if you tried. The temperature of the water is the exact temperature of your body so it feels like … Nothing. The room is dark so you see … Nothing. There’s no scent … There’s nothing to touch … You just kind of lay there naked and float for 90 minutes.
I was a bit hesitant when I arrived at the float center … Even a little scared. I don’t like confined spaces. I’m not good at sitting still. I’m afraid of the dark. And I get nightmares when I fall asleep on my back. Floating seemed like the ultimate worst idea for me, however, since I’ve been all about facing my fears lately, I decided to give it a try.
Before the float, they have you take a quick shower to rinse off any oils and cover any minor cuts you might have in petroleum jelly. Do NOT skip this step. The salt will burn like hell if you don’t properly cover even the smallest of paper cuts. They also give you a pair of ear plugs which I recommend shoving so far into your ear canal you worry they might get lost. Again, the salt will either feel amazing or like torture if you don’t properly prepare your body.
The next, and final step, is to simply just lay in the water and float away. That’s it. Close your eyes. Unclench your muscles. Relax. And breathe until your time is up.
You guys … I have never felt more zen in my entire life. The water is weirdly comforting. Your body feels light and safe and detached from the world. Once you start listening to the sound of your breath, your mind starts to drift away and you just stop caring about everything else you have going on. It took me a few minutes to settle in and get used to the tank, but once I did, the 90 minutes flew by and I couldn’t believe I laid still for that long without doing a single thing.
A few other benefits I noticed post-float:
- Your hair and skin will feel AMAZING. The salt serves as a natural exfoliant and made my skin feel so smooth and soft afterwards. I also noticed it took out a lot of the build up in my hair.
- I slept like a baby that night. Floating basically floods your body with Magnesium which is essential for good sleep. I usually wake up at least once during the night but was out cold until the sun came up.
- My legs felt fresh and alive when I went running the next morning — Epsom salt is great for muscle soreness and athletic recovery and my worn out legs felt brand new!
If you’re in the Denver area, I recommend checking out Samana Float Center. It’s in the heart of RiNo. Your first float is only $49. And I promise it’s worth every penny.