Sensory Deprivation Tank

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A sensory deprivation tank, also called an isolation tank or flotation tank, is used for restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST). It is a dark, soundproof tank that is filled with a foot or less of salt water. Created by John C. Lilly, an American physician and neuroscientist, the Sensory Deprivation Tank was first developed in 1954. The water in a sensory deprivation tank is heated to skin temperature and nearly saturated with Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate), providing buoyancy so you float more easily. You enter the tank nude and are cut off from all outside stimulation, including sound, sight, and gravity when the tank’s lid or door is closed. As you float weightless in the silence and darkness, the brain is supposed to enter into a deeply relaxed state, which is not normal for many people as our lives have become overwhelmed with many different aspects. Many people have reported a sense of a high even if they haven’t taken drugs that were first used in the use of Sensory Deprivation Tanks or Float Tanks. Along with that, many people think that you could fall asleep and possibly drowned in the tank. While it is possible to drown in any pool of liquid, float tanks are much safer than most other bodies of water because they contain a high concentration of salt. It is almost impossible to sink in a float tank and I’m sure they are totally safe for the use of relaxation. My interest in Sensory Deprivation Tanks stems from the weird nature of them. Not very many spas place you in total darkness with no sound in order to allow your brain to recuperate and in a sense, pull itself together. If I was to go into a sensory spa and spend one hour in there, the normal amount of time people spend in a tank, I feel as if I would be worrying that I would drown inside or that I would worry the whole time and not have the ability to relax. Flotation in these tanks has been found to be effective in reducing anxiety. A 2018 study showed that a single one-hour session in a sensory deprivation tank was capable of a significant reduction in anxiety and improvement in mood in the 50 participants with stress and anxiety related disorders. This is great news because I have anxiety that I induce on myself, which I don’t know why, but this could provide some possible relief to my sweating and anxiety that you guys see everyday in school :). I think I would go crazy in one of these Sensory Deprivation Tanks, but I also feel that the physiological benefits may outweigh my fears.

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