Benefits of floating in a sensory deprivation tank

An article written by: Lee Sonogan

These isolation tanks, formerly used to test the effects of sensory deprivation, are now being used for relaxation, mediation and alternative medicine. Flotation therapy has been academically studied in the USA and in Sweden with published results showing a reduction of both pain and stress.


Modern life is stressful. Floating allows you to experience of peaceful rest by relieving your mind from distractions and your body of tension. The incredible silence and stillness inside the pod allows you to achieve a deep meditative state of theta-brainwaves which simulates a therapeutic dreamlike state. You can feel more vibrant and alive.

The isolation tank was developed in 1954 by John C. Lilly, a medical practitioner and neuropshiatrist. During his training in psychoanalysis at the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Lilly experimented with sensory deprivation. There had been an open question about what keeps the brain going and the origin of its energy sources. One hypothesis was that the energy sources are biological and internal and do not depend upon the outside environment. It was argued that if all stimuli are cut off to the brain, then the brain would go to sleep. Lilly decided to test this hypothesis and, with this in mind, created an environment which isolated an individual from external stimulation. From here, he studied the origin of consciousness and its relation to the brain.

Floating may:
  • Boost endorphins, blood circulation, muscle & nerve function.

  • Reduce tenderness, strain & stiffness in musculoskeletal framework (e.g. back & neck pain).

  • Reduce stress hormones, heart rate, inflammation & build up of toxins.

  • Alleviate chronic pain symptoms (e.g., arthritis, asthma, fibromyalgia, migraine & multiple sclerosis).

  • Relieve discomfort from common menopausal, pre-menstrual & pregnancy symptoms.

  • Enhance physical, mental and emotional resilience to allow the body to manage pain & heal itself.

Research undertaken at the Human Performance Laboratory at Karlstad University Sven-Åke Bood concludes that regular flotation tank s

Sessions can give significant relief for chronic stress-related ailments. Studies involving 140 people with long-term conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression and fibromyalgia found that more than three quarters experienced noticeable improvements.

 “Through relaxing in floating tanks, people with long-term fibromyalgia, for instance, or depression and anxiety felt substantially better after only 12 treatments” – Dr. Bood

I have experienced the sensory deprivation tank twice and i look to go again. As my muscles relaxed, my mind became more clear. I had felt like my body had gone and it was just my mind in a relaxed state, like i have never felt before.The hour session seemed longer. I even begain to see shapes and shadows. Also, what i can only describe as a glowing orange circle transforming into four winged butterfly. Only through the isolation tanks, i have had through my perspective, a meditated state.


It’s like layers of an onion, when you first start doing the isolation tank you can only get a couple layers of the onion in, a couple skins loose, you cant really go to the core it’s too hard, it’s too hard to completely let go of who you are, but as you get better at it, and as you get more and more comfortable with the experience you get better at actually letting go, really letting go, letting go from letting go, letting go from the feeling of letting go, letting go from that point, ok I’ve let go, no you havent let go more, and then you become gone, you disappear, while your disappearing this is what happens; you start thinking I can’t believe I’m disappearing then your back again you got to start from square one, you got to let go and let go and let go and you got to get to the point where you literally completely relax.”  – Joe Rogan, UFC commentator, Stand up, Podcaster, 2012


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