My Isolation Tank Experience
Ever fantasised about being locked in a dark chamber filled with salt water for an hour? I spent an hour in a floatation tank last weekend at Thaisolate Ko Samui, It has been something I have wanted to do for over two years but never got the opportunity until now.
Here is Thaisolate’s description of what an isolation tank is.
“Floating” as some people call it, (or floatation) is a method developed over decades of experimentation to isolate the mind from the body by removing oneself from all sensory stimuli. Floating in an enclosed pod with 600 kilos of epsom salt solution; the body becomes completely weightless, simulating a zero-gravity. Both the air and water in our tanks are heated to skin-temperature to remove any sense of hot or cold. In the peace and solitude of the isolation tank it is also possible to remove both sounds and lights. Usually between 20-40 minutes into a float you lose all feeling in your body and become nothing more than a floating consciousness. The mind loses all sense of time and space as your brain waves move into a theta state akin to those of a young child or someone in deep meditation. Many people experience deep euphoria, around 5% of people even experience vivid hallucinations, some have out-of-body experiences and everyone leaves with a deep and lasting sense of relaxation.
When inside you have a light switch where you can either go in complete darkness or else leave on the blue LED light.
It is a strange experience and I understand why it could be a bit off-putting. I planned to surprise my girlfriend by bringing her but after explaining what it was, she looked at my like I had 3 heads. “Why would you pay money to let someone lock you in a dark chamber for 60 minutes”?
Floating shuts off your senses and gives them a much-needed break. From the time you wake to the time you sleep you are constantly “switched on”. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Reading, listening, talking. The majority of us now spend more time online than we sleep.
This is a huge stress on our bodies and mind. Everyday we are consuming more and recovering less.
Floating acts the same way as a charger works for your phone. It gives your body a chance to recover and recharge similar to what meditation does.
The chances of you just sitting and doing 60 minutes of meditation are slim the first time but with this you don’t have a choice.
Listen to Joe Rogan rave out floating below.
Personally I found it to be okay. Not amazing and not bad. It was something I will do again but two reasons it wasn’t as good as I had imagined:
- I build it up to much
- I found it difficult to relax
I wanted to do this for over two years and had heard numerous people raving about it. I guess I expected more from this 1 hour session than I got from it.
I found the act of floating difficult. I had tension in my neck as I felt my head would go under when I lay back completely. Of course, this didn’t happen but it was a natural response like when your lying in the sea. In the isolation tank you have to fully relax like your lying back on a bed.
Another reason I don’t feel I benefited was because I have found deeper peace from 60 minutes of meditation. Again this is through practice and being able to relax properly. It took quite a few months to be able to do 60 minutes of meditation and relax into it.
Like Rogan talks about, letting go is the key and it takes a few times to achieve that level.
I would recommend this to anyone (who is not claustrophobic). It will act as a re charge just like you charge your phone everyday.
If you are someone who hasn’t the patience to invest the time into meditation then this is another option for you.