Have you heard of flotation tanks? You might have also heard them being called sensory deprivation tanks? Anyway, they are these big tanks, or ‘pods’ that are filled with water and magnesium sulphate so that when you lay in the water, (you guessed it) you float! I’ve been wanting to try it out for a couple of years now, and yesterday I finally got around to giving it a go. There is only one flotation tank up here on the Fraser Coast, and it is at the store called Mind, Body and Soul. A shop that I have been frequenting a bit over the past 6 months, and was eagerly waiting to hear the tank was ready for customers.
Yesterday, I walked in to the store, was welcomed and had a little tour of their backroom facilities, and the functions of buttons in the tank etc. After running through the process of it all, I was left to shower, and get in the tank. Trevor explained that the music would be playing for about 10 minutes and then would go off; but would come back on about 5 minutes before the end of the session to wake me up in case I fell asleep. It is also recommended to turn the lights off when you’re in the tank, as it is supposed to ‘sensory deprivation’.
So, I hopped in, closed the lid of the tank, and turned the lights off.
I have been to the Dead Sea before, so the floating thing wasn’t all that bizarre to me; but what I did find really weird is that my arms couldn’t seem to get comfortable. Having them by my side I felt they were too buoyant and were slightly painful. I tried putting them behind my head, which worked for a little while, but I didn’t really want any of my limbs to be touching each other – sensory deprivation and all – so they ended up beside my head.
I wasn’t too keen on the music, so I just lay there hoping the 10 minutes would be up soon. Sure enough, the music turned off and it was just me, floating in what felt like being in mid-air. See, the water temperature is set to ‘body temperature’ so that you don’t feel where the water is up to on your skin. That was a very cool sensation. At one point, I thought one foot was under the water, while the other one was above it!
Anyway, I lay there, focusing on my breath, wondering if I would in fact fall asleep. I didn’t think I would in all honesty; but then like magic, next thing I know, the music started playing again and I was waking up! I hopped out, showered to get all the magnesium off my skin, and headed on out.
I felt refreshed and rejuvenated, only slightly, but Trevor did mention that ‘your first float is always your worst float’. All in all, it was an interesting and unique experience, that I wouldn’t mind doing a few times here and there when I feel I need it.
Definitely something people should experience if they want to and get the chance, because reading about it, is nothing like experiencing it yourself!