I did a crazy thing. (Well, two. I went to Brooklyn.) I spent an hour in a sensory deprivation tank, and you guys? It was amazing.
I’d heard about Float from a few friends who’d traversed the island to go to Brooklyn for it, and all I could think of were those episodes of Fringe where Olivia is laying in there hooked up to all sorts of things. So basically I had zero idea what to expect because, as we all know, sci-fi television is unreliable at best.
Float’s website has this to say about the basics of floating:
I think the key to the whole thing is being open-minded. I showed up, signed some forms, and made sure to pee (…twice). The space definitely has that spa-like feeling, with lots of natural light, neutral colors, comfortable couches, and beverages for you to sip on before and after.
Once everything was ready, they took us back to our respective rooms. Float has two options, either a pod or a room. The pods looked less intimidating when I saw them in person, so I don’t think I’d hesitate to book one of those in going back. But I have to say, I’m glad I booked the room. The staff explained the differences between the two, which basically amount to the pods having the option to play music, and the rooms have a star-lit ceiling. Both give you the option to control the lighting. Each room also has a shower with body wash, shampoo, and conditioner, along with towels. You’re given ear plugs for while you’re in the tank, and vaseline to cover any cuts because the salt can sting.
The tank itself is about a foot of water that is regulated to your skin temperature so you have no idea what’s actually in the water and what’s not (side note: you don’t wear anything for this). There’s so much epsom salt that you’re completely buoyant. You couldn’t drown if you tried.
Once you’re in, and the door is closed, you’re completely cut off from the rest of the world. No sounds, no phone, no external stimuli. I played around with the lighting, trying out the base blue lighting, as well as the twinkling starlight on the ceiling, but in the end opted to turn everything off and just lay in the pitch black. You can’t even see your hand an inch from your face. You basically just exist somewhere in space for an hour, and it’s the most bizarre yet relaxing feeling ever. You’re free to let your mind wander, I was told some people meditate, one of the guys who had an appointment at the same time said he fell asleep. The time is completely up to you to make of it what you want.
The woman at the front desk told me an hour in the tank is equivalent to 4 hours of sleep, which is another great thing to keep in mind. I dunno how they calculate that, but I believe it.
If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I’ve basically been broken for about a year. Something always hurts at this point. But for an entire hour, I felt like a normal person again. My joints didn’t ache, my hip didn’t hurt. And that feeling lasted for a day or two after, which was exhilarating for someone who’s gotten used to being in constant pain. So for that reason alone, I highly recommend it. I can only imagine how great this would feel after running a marathon.
Floating is becoming more and more of a thing these days — I did some googling and you can even find some places back in Wisconsin. The idea is kind of strange, and the sensation is somewhat bizarre, but I haven’t felt that relaxed in I can’t tell you how long. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but introductory floats are often cheaper, and you can probably find them on Groupon once and a while. Or even as a gift instead of a spa visit. This is a great alternative. I would definitely go again, given the chance. Even if it is in Brooklyn.