Sensory Deprivation Therapy

This one has been on my “to check out” list for quite a while now. On a recent staycation in Ireland, we were visiting our much loved city of Cork in the south of Ireland. It is here where I first came across floatation tanks, also known as isolation tanks or sensory deprivation tanks. They are named so as they aim to cut off all external stimuli to allow the body and mind relax, rest, repair and recover as part of a therapy known as a REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy).

I can’t think of a time in history when a service like this was more required. With our 24/7 on demand, always connected modern day mess we call a society, finding a place where you can remove yourself from all external stimulation can be very difficult to find. No phones, no internet, no advertisements, no emails, no whatsapps, no facebook, no people, just you. Imagine!

Here’s what happened when I tried this.

The process is roughly:

  • If it’s your first time, try get there early and relax before your session
  • Remove all of your clothes or just wear some swimming clothes 
  • Have a quick shower 
  • Enter the tank and close the lid
  • Lie back and experience the buoyancy of the water
  • Music plays for 10 minutes at the start of your session to help you relax
  • Let your mind drift wherever it wants and float for an hour
  • Towards the end of your session, music will start to play to indicate the last five minutes of your session
  • Get out of the tank, another quick shower and get dressed
  • Re-enter the world a more chilled and relaxed you!

The tank contains about 1 foot of water and 500-600 kgs of epsom salts. It is the salt that creates the buoyancy in the tank and it is the magnesium sulphate in the salt that bestows so many benefits on your body – relaxes tense muscles, relieves stress, supports your immune system and so on.

When I first got in and floated about for a while, I had a real stiffness in my neck. I thought I was leaning back into the water too far but as the float progressed I realised it was just the stress in my neck area I was feeling now that all other stimuli were tuned out. Over the course of the hour, I could literally feel this tension and stress dissolve from my neck. Amazing!

Here’s a quick video I shot just after the float.

For this experience, I went to zerogravityfloat.ie just outside Cork city. It costs €60 per hour and is well worth it. Check it out for yourself!

Yours in health and happiness,

JP

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