Health

The Zen Float Tent: Everything You Need to Know

The Zen Float Tent is an isolation tank. Ever seen the movie Altered States? Well…it’s nothing like that. Now that we got that out of the way, let me give you a quick rundown on what exactly an isolation tank is. Also known as a sensory deprivation chamber, it does exactly that…deprives your senses.

Zen sensory deprivation tank.jpg

How does it do this? The tank is well, a tank. Picture a rectangular box about the size of a twin bed. Got it? Now imagine roughly 12-inches of water completely saturated in Epsom salt.  The user gets into the tank and lays down, much like you would in say, a tanning bed. The interior of the tank is completely dark (depriving you of sight), and totally soundproof (depriving you of sound). The high proportion of salt in the water renders the user weightless (depriving you of touch). And lastly, both the air in the tank and the temperature of the water are set to match that of the human body, making it difficult to differentiate one from the other. By removing these external stimuli, the mind is then free to operate without restriction.

Isolation tanks were first introduced in the 1950s by a man named John C. Lilly. Lilly used the tanks in sensory deprivation research and its effects on the brain. If you short circuited reading that last sentence, just know that essentially Lilly was researching human consciousness. Groovy right? Other researchers like Peter Suedfeld and Roderick Borrie hopped on the bandwagon and continued isolation tank research through the 1970s. And yes, they did what all scientists in the 60s and 70s would do…experimented with mind-bending hallucinogens.

However, by the early 1980s isolation tanks had pretty much dropped off the grid. They remained in the shadows, used only by diehard enthusiasts until recently. Within the last 10 years, isolation tanks have seen a resurgence in private and commercial usage.  Up until now, if you wanted to float you could either fork over $15K-$30K for your own tank, or drop $50+ for a single-use session at a float spa. Now, most of us don’t have multiple thousands of dollars hanging around in our bank accounts so purchasing a private tank has only worked for a small fraction of the population. And unless you live in a progressive, free-thinking city (i.e., New York, Los Angles, Portland, Denver etc.) that actually has float centers, well then…you’re screwed.

By this point in the article your interested should be piqued just enough to want to know the essential question: Why float?

I could go on and on about the positive benefits associated with floating, but that might give me carpel tunnel trying to type it all out and you might get bored, so I’ll only give you the highlights. The first and probably most common reason to float is relaxation. The isolation tank gets rid of worldly distractions to allow your mind time to rest, think, and recharge. It’s pretty much like meditating….but way better. Folks who regularly float often report they feel more calm, centered, happy, and balanced.

In addition to experiencing all those feel-good emotions mentioned above, floating is also a helpful tool for pain management. Remember how I said the water is saturated with Epsom salt? Well, Epsom salt contains a high proportion of a compound known as magnesium sulfate. In an environment like the tank where the user is immersed in a magnesium rich solution, the salty water has the ability to draw toxins from the body, reduce swelling, relax muscles, aid with skin problems, lower blood pressure, increase the effectiveness of insulin (for folks with Diabetes), and can even help ease problems associated with the common old and congestion. Bottom line? Floating is good for your mind, body, and soul.

So now that you’re jazzed on floating, let me wrap up by bringing this whole thing full circle and coming back to the Zen Float Tent. The Float Tent is what it sounds like. It’s a sensory deprivation tent. It maintains all the traditional elements of the isolation tank, but in a new revolutionary design that is affordable and intended for home-use. For less than $1,800 users can purchase the Zen Float Tent and not have to worry about expensive plumbing issues, or time constraints. Set up the Float Tent in any part of your home and float as many times a week as you wish, for as long as you want.

This is cool not only for me as a writer, but for everyone in the floating community and industry. It is the first time that floating has been made available to the masses at a cost effective price. Think of the people who can now afford to float…and all the positive rewards from floating they’ll now be able to reap! Don’t know about you, but I’m excited for better vibes to be brought into the world. Many thanks to the creators of Zen Float Tents for making it possible.

Here is a link to our Kickstarter which will run until May 29th, 2014http://floatathome.com

Mainstream media vs floating

Media promotes inaccurate stereotypes about the nature of floating. 

happy after sensory deprivation tank float.jpg

What do you see in your mind when you picture an isolation tank? What words enter your head when you think of floating?

If popular culture exerts a powerful influence in your life, there’s a good chance those thoughts and words are not positive. Mainstream media has never approached floating or float tanks with an open mind. The whole concept is treated as mysterious, dangerous or odd.

Zen Float Microphone.jpg

Floating traces its roots to ancient cultures and has improved the lives of thousands of people all over the world. Such a rich history does not seem to matter in mainstream media. You rarely see floating portrayed in a positive light.

Two viewpoints usually emerge when floating is discussed. It is mocked and dismissed as a bizarre new-age ritual by some critics. Other critics shroud it in fear and mystery and work hard to dissuade people from giving floating a chance by convincing them it will cause negative changes to their personality and character.

These stereotypes paint an inaccurate picture of the true effect floating has on the mind and body. Spending even an hour inside an isolation tank produces a multitude of positive changes.

Floating in a sensory deprivation tank.jpg

A person who floats feels better. Stress melts away. Pain decreases. Learning increases. New thoughts and ideas emerge from the unlocked subconscious mind. The best part is it feels good because it is natural to who we really want to be deep down.

Isolation tanks are not objects to be feared or ridiculed because of a lack of understanding. They can serve as the greatest tools for unlocking the mind and healing the body. A person who gives floating a chance can truly impact their own life in positive ways.

Media reports that fail to capture what the true essence of floating is have missed the point of why people do it in the first place.

Finding balance in floating

It is a simple truth that the human body craves balance. Our muscles, bones, nerves and organs are designed to act in harmony with one another. When external or internal forces upset this equilibrium, it can mean bad things for our physical, mental and emotional health.

balance from floating.jpg

Stress is the biggest disruption of this balance. When stress attacks the body and mind, it can lower a person’s quality of life. Diseases can attack the body easier. It can lead to other unhealthy emotions. Anger, sadness, frustration and jealousy are all an outgrowth of stress breaking down internal harmony.


That’s one reason why floating needs to be in the picture. Floating in an isolation tank is the perfect antidote to stress.


Through floating, a person can restore that internal balance. The mind and body should be treated as an equal system. Both need to be in harmony with each other to achieve optimal levels of good health and happiness. There is simply no better path.

You deal with many external forces each day that threaten the harmony between body and mind. It can be the smallest changes in what we see, what we hear and what we touch that affect us the most.

sensory deprivation tank lady.jpg

Those unwanted changes can be combated through floating. Floaters can counter disruptions to that internal balance because time spent in the isolation tank removes those external sources of pressure and disruption long enough for both body and mind to revert to their natural state.

Floating channels our energies into restoring balance. The reward is feeling happy to be alive.