Sitting in the lobby wearing nothing but a blue robe and rubber sandals, I would have called you a bold-faced liar if you told me I would be in this position.
One of my favorite and most popular podcasts in the world – The Joe Rogan Experience – always mentions sensory deprivation tanks; also known as floatation tanks. A stand up comedian, Joe uses float tanks to create new bits for his shows. I think he even has one in his house.
Fast-forward a few months later, I recently began Morning Page’s and there is this concept of the “Artist’s Date”. The “Artist’s Date” is a solo adventure each week where you take yourself on a date and do something fun. I use the Artist’s Date to try something new each week – like going to the movies by myself (my date for this week) or to float. If you aren’t familiar with Morning Page’s I highly recommend checking them out.
Sensory deprivation has been around since 1954, but the past decade has enjoyed a nationwide renaissance – thanks to celebrities like Joe Rogan.
Floatation tanks are simple: you float naked, typically for an hour, on your back in skin-temperature water mixed with 1,250 pounds of Epsom salt in a small chamber that is both light and sound proof. ChillSpaceNYC mention on their website:
“This unique environment creates a “womb-like” experience resulting in a host of physical and mental health benefits. You do not need to meditate or know how to meditate to have a beneficial experience – the combination of darkness, warmth, weightlessness, and silence creates the perfect habitat for healing and relaxation.”
Floatation tanks have a variety of health benefits, but namely:
- Decreasing inflammation and pain
- Improving sleep
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Heightened creativity
I tried my first float at a location called ChillSpaceNYC in Manhattan. I went after an intense workout to help me be more relaxed (I was nervous). After pacing around outside, I built up the courage and walked in. The lady at the check in desk was nice and accommodating. I quickly filled out paper work and then went to a changing room to put on my blue robe and rubber sandals.
I headed down a spiral staircase to the floatation room where another lady gave me a quick rundown of how the floatation tank works. Basically the only instructions were to shower before and after the tank with shampoo and conditioner. Easy!
After showering, I hopped into the tank and shut the door behind me. It was like a entering a large bathtub, except I floated and initially felt claustrophobic. I quickly relaxed. I imagined myself floating as yolk inside of an egg. The water felt warm and gooey?
I pushed a button to turn off the lights and the music. A lot of random thoughts came and passed, but I kept chuckling to myself that this was actually happening and how ridiculous this was in the middle of New York City. As I was trying to calculate how long I had been floating – not more than 30 minutes – the lights came on signaling an hour had passed. It was the quickest hour of my life.
It felt like stepping out of a dream. I climbed back up the spiral staircase and was greeted by the staff asking how my experience was. I said it felt super quick and they were pleased! When I got back to my apartment later that night, I wasn’t even sure if that had actually transpired.
Overall, it was awesome and felt like a once in a lifetime experience. I still felt super relaxed when I woke up the next morning. I highly recommend floating at least once. I’m not in a rush to try it again soon, but can definitely see floating again in the future.
The total cost of 1 float at ChillSpaceNYC is $105, but they offer an introductory special – 3 sessions for $199. Go to their website and check it out!
Have you ever used a Sensory Deprivation Tank? What was your experience like? One recommendation I will use for next time is sit in the sauna before my next floating session.