Sensory Deprivation Tank

Sensory Deprivation Tank

Everything You Need to Know About Sensory Deprivation Tank Therapy 

Sensory Deprivation Tank treatment, sometimes referred to as isolation tank treatment, flotation therapy, or just floating, is becoming more and more well-liked as a holistic method of stress reduction, mental clarity, and relaxation. We will go into the intriguing realm of sensory deprivation tank therapy in this blog, including its history, the actual experience, possible health advantages, and things to consider before committing. 

The History of Sensory Deprivation Tank Therapy: 

Sensory deprivation tank therapy may seem like a recent trend, but its roots can be traced back to the mid-20th century. Let’s delve into the history of this unique practice. 

Origins of the Isolation Tank:  

  • Neuroscientist John C. Lilly first came up with the idea of sensory deprivation tanks in the 1950s.  
  • Lilly wanted to investigate how sensory seclusion affected people’s minds and consciousness.   
  • Though the early tanks were very different from the contemporary models, they served as the model for modern flotation therapy. 

The Counterculture Movement: 

  • During the 1960s and 1970s, sensory deprivation tanks gained popularity among counterculture enthusiasts and those interested in altered states of consciousness. 
  • The therapy was associated with self-discovery and exploration of the mind. 

What to Expect During a Sensory Deprivation Tank Session? 

Sensory deprivation tank therapy involves immersing yourself in a tank filled with warm water and a high concentration of Epsom salt, creating a buoyant and almost gravity-free experience. Here’s what to expect during a session: 

  • The Tank: Sensory deprivation tanks are usually light-, sound-, and space-efficient. The water in the tank is skin-temperature, and you may float with ease because to the high concentration of salt.  
  • Sensory Deprivation: You will notice a significant decrease in sensory input as soon as you close the lid and enter the tank. You are surrounded by quiet, warm water, and salt, and are not able to see, hear, or feel outside stimuli.  
  • Relaxation and Mindfulness: The purpose of the event is to encourage both mindfulness and relaxation. You can pay attention to your breathing, your thoughts, your sensations, or just take in the silence while you float weightlessly in the tank. 

The Potential Health Benefits of Sensory Deprivation Tank Therapy: 

Sensory deprivation tank therapy is believed to offer a wide range of health benefits, both physical and mental. While research is ongoing, here are some of the potential advantages of floating: 

  • Stress Reduction: By encouraging relaxation, sensory isolation helps to lower tension and anxiety. After a session, a lot of floaters say they feel noticeably calmer and more relaxed.  
  • Pain Relief: Saltwater’s buoyancy may relieve pressure on muscles and joints, which makes it a useful tool for managing pain. Those suffering from ailments like fibromyalgia and arthritis might benefit from flotation therapy.  
  • Better Sleep: Floating can help with insomnia and improve the quality of sleep. The calmness felt in the tank can translate into better sleep habits. 
  • Enhanced Creativity: After floating, some users claim to have more creativity and improved problem-solving abilities. The experience of sensory deprivation might inspire fresh concepts and viewpoints.  
  • Mental Clarity: Using sensory deprivation tanks while meditation can help with attention and mental clarity. Floating can offer a respite from the nonstop sensory overload of contemporary life.  
  • Enhanced Self-Awareness: A lot of people who float report feeling more introspective and self-aware. The tank can serve as a space for introspection and personal development.  
  • Muscle healing: To speed up the healing of their muscles, athletes and fitness fanatics employ sensory deprivation tanks. The high concentration of salt can help with post-workout recovery and minimize inflammation. 

What You Need to Know Before Trying Sensory Deprivation Tank Therapy? 

Before you book a session, there are several important considerations and tips to keep in mind: 

  • Health and Safety: Consult with a healthcare professional before trying sensory deprivation therapy, especially if you have any medical conditions. Pregnant women, individuals with open wounds, or people with a history of epilepsy should avoid floatation tanks. 
  • Hygiene: Strict hygiene regulations, including as water filtration and cleaning procedures, are upheld by sensory deprivation tank centers. Showering before and after a session is crucial to get rid of any oils, lotions, or impurities from your skin.  
  • Personal Preferences: Depending on your preferences, you can float with or without lights, music, or a closed tank lid. Tailor the experience to your tastes and degree of comfort.  
  • Patience: To properly enjoy the sensory deprivation experience, it could take a few sessions. Give yourself time and patience so that your mind can adjust to the new surroundings. 


Dr Hafsa Ilyas

Onco-Radiologist & Medical Research Writer

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