sensory deprivation tank for home

How To Experience Sensory Deprivation At Home

Float tanks and people raving about sensory deprivation seems to be all over the media these days. From professional athletes that float, like Steph Curry and the New England Patriots, to comedians Joe Rogan and Duncan Trussell.

So what is all the hype about? And if they are that great (which, they are), how can I experience it at home?

To answer this question let’s dive a little deeper into sensory deprivation and float tanks...

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What is sensory deprivation?

Sensory deprivation is technically when you “deprive” your senses of all stimulus, such as light, sound, touch, etc. Though this may sound freaky, sensory deprivation is a great way for your body to fully relax, your brain to refresh and for you to take a moment, disconnect and be with yourself. This technique is commonly used in meditation, as it allows easier access to deeper meditative states.

As you are probably thinking, it can be very difficult to get total sensory deprivation in today’s world. And that is where a sensory deprivation tank, or a float tank, comes into play. These tanks make it extremely easy to achieve this sensory deprivation. A float tank is basically a giant pod filled with body-temperature, salt-water. The water is supersaturated with epsom salt, so any person can float easily on top of the water. And, because you are in a pod, no light or sound enters, helping to completely remove you from outside stimulation. And with the relief of gravity, your mind and body can relax too.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the different types of float tanks.    

 

What does it feel like to be in a sensory deprivation tank? 

At first, heading into a sensory deprivation tank can seem a little scary. A lot of fear can come up around being claustrophobic and getting anxious (even though floating helps with anxiety… but more about that later). But once you get comfortable and are able to relax, being in a sensory deprivation tank is like nothing else. You feel weightless. Not only in your body but also in your mind. There is no pain in your joints or neck or back. Eventually your mind starts to relax too, you reach a state of deep meditation, and it almost feels like you are asleep.

For anyone new to floating we recommend trying it three times before deciding whether or not it’s for you. That will allow you a few floats to find your groove and get comfortable. For tips on your first float and avoiding claustrophobia check out this blog: 6 Steps To Overcoming Claustrophobia And Enjoying Your First Float   

 

Benefits of Floating 

It's important to understand first what sensory deprivation does to the body, so you can understand why it has so many positive health benefits. 

Sensory deprivation from a float tank provides the body with relaxation, relief from pressure + tension, and a chance to heal sore muscles. Float tanks are filled with over almost 1,000 pounds of epsom salt, and the magnesium in the epsom salt helps break down lactic acid that has built up in the muscles. This allows any tightness or soreness to decrease within the body and prompts muscles to relax. Also, you are lying down but fully suspended in water. This takes the pressure from work and gravity off of your body. It allows your spine and joints to be released of any weight that may be pressing down on it.

The epsom salt in the tanks also lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is our stress response hormone, and even a slight increase in stress can build up overtime increasing your cortisol levels. When our cortisol levels are too high for too long we start to experience anxiety. And floating actually lowers these cortisol levels, helping you relax.  

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Sensory deprivation and floating have a similar effect on the brain as meditation. But, there is much research specific to floating and the brain thanks to Dr. Feinstein at the Laureate Institute of Brain Research. His work has shown that floating in a sensory deprivation tank can have the same effect on your brain as taking anti-anxiety medication (Schumann).

Not only does floating help ease anxiety and panic, but it can also reduce chronic pain in patients suffering from fibromyalgia (Kjellgren, Anette, et al) and patients with severe whiplash (Edebol, Hanna, et al). Though these are very specific studies, floating can reduce pain and tension throughout the entire body.

Lastly, many people using floating for their creative endeavors. One study found that floating boosted creativity by assisting one to think more freely. And floating has been used as an effective tool for problem solving, brainstorming new ideas, and learning new information. 

CLICK HERE to read more about the benefits of floating.

 

How do you achieve sensory deprivation at home?

As mentioned above, the easiest way to achieve sensory deprivation is with a float tank because that is exactly what they are designed to do. There are generally two ways to access a float tank. The first is to go to a float center. Believe it or not, there are full-on float spas popping up all over the world. CLICK HERE to find a float center near you. Some of the benefits of going to a center is you will meet like-minded people, and the employees are float experts who will be able to set you up with everything you need for an enjoyable float. However, they can get costly depending on how often you float.

Two alternatives to going to a float center are either building or buying a tank for your home. Up until only a few years ago a sensory deprivation tank would cost upwards of $20k to purchase. However, now with Zen Float Tent/Tank you can get started with a floating practice at home for just a few thousand dollars. And if you float enough this will save you money and time. Some more pro’s to having a float tank is you can float at your own convenience, no scheduling necessary. Plus, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.   

If you want to learn more about the new Zen Float Tank CLICK HERE   

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There is also the option to build your own float tank. The founder of Zen Float Co. built his own home tank about 8 years ago.All of his plans to build an at-home float tank can be found online at isolationtankplans.com. This comes with shopping lists, receipts and step-by-step instructions.

 

Confused about what option would be the best for you?

Register for a FREE float consultation with one of Zen’s floating experts by clicking the button below. They will be able to answer any questions and come up with a solution of the best floating options for you and your lifestyle.


Bibliography

  1. Edebol, Hanna, et al. “Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorders and Their Treatment Using Flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique).” Qualitative Health Research, vol. 18, no. 4, Apr. 2008, pp. 480–488

  2. Kjellgren, Anette, et al. Effects of Flotation-REST on Muscle Tension Pain. Karlstad University, Sweden, Nov. 2000.

  3. Norlander, Torsten, et al. “Treating Stress-Related Pain with the Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique: Are There Differences between Women and Men?”Pain Research & Management : The Journal of the Canadian Pain Society, Pulsus Group Inc, 2009.

  4. Norlander, Torsten, et al. “Effects of Flotation REST on Creative Problem Solving and Originality.” Research Gate, Dec. 1998.

  5. Schumann, John Henning. “Floating Away Your Anxiety And Stress.” NPR, NPR, 16 Oct. 2017.

  6. Seppala, Emma. “20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 11 Sept. 2013.

  7. Turner, J W, and Thomas H Fine. “Effects of Relaxation Associated with Brief Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) on Plasma Cortisol, ACTH, and LH.”Research Gate, Apr. 1983.

  8. Vigneron, Peter. “Steph Curry's Secret to Mental Strength.” Outside Online, 14 Nov. 2016

  9. Vigneron, Peter. “Steph Curry's Secret to Mental Strength.” Outside Online, 14 Nov. 201

  10. Wagaman, Jeffrey D., et al. “Flotation Rest and Imagery in the Improvement of Collegiate Basketball Performance.” Research Gate, Feb. 1991

DIY Float Tank vs Buying

Thinking of building a sensory deprivation tank? This post will help you compare the choice of DIY vs Buying

So you want to be able to experience the benefits of floating from home. Do you build a float tank or just buy one? That is the question. 

Just a few years ago the choice between building a DIY tank or buying a float tank use to be a very easy one if the main concern was cost. 

You were going to spend at least $12,000+ for a new one or you might find a used one on Craigslist for around $6,000 if you were really lucky. Even then, you would have to freight it in and some how move it into your home. Not an easy task.

So with the cost of building a float tank at only $2,500-$3,000, the DIY route used to be the most affordable option. However, the invention of the Float Tent changed all of that drastically.

Now, you can own a float tank for around $2,000 and have it shipped anywhere in the world for relatively nothing. This is a big game changer and largely why our Kickstarter back in April of 2014 did so well.

Though there still are reasons you may consider building over buying. Let's cover them below: 

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The Pros of a DIY Float Tank

Basically, if you are a handy builder type you may enjoy the process of crafting your own tank just how you like it. You could could make it bigger, or smaller, or do a killer outer design. You could make it match your float room perfectly. All sorts of ideas come to mind.

You could even do a Float Room which would allow you to stand up in the tank when getting in. The options are endless, but the budget will be too. If you build a bare bones DIY float tank like the one on IsolationTankPlans.com, it's going to run you at least $3,000+ and that doesn't include the salt. 

The other pro would be sound dampening. Currently the Float Tent does not provide much sound dampening, but usually a float room is quiet and you're wearing ear plugs when you float so it's not an issue. Seriously, go lay down in your bathtub with your earplugs in and your ears under water–you won't be able to hear much.

Or the other option would be to custom build a float room that's quiet and still get a Float Tent. Your call on that one but it comes down again to how much time and money you want to save in the process.

 

The Pros of Buying A Tank

I've personally gone down both routes and can speak from experience that the most convenient and affordable way to float at home is in a Float Tent. 

You'll save time from buying over building, which will ensure that you'll be floating that much sooner. Not to mention, the Float Tent comes with a 10-year warranty so if anything goes wrong, you're covered.

The other big advantage is that they are light and easy to ship, so it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. Plus, they're portable in case you need to move or relocate. 

 

Think the Float Tent may be right for you?

There are already thousands of people all around the world experiencing the life-changing benefits of float therapy from home, and you could be one of them too! Get more detailed info and download our brochure that covers all the aspects of owning a Float Tent to help you decide if it's right for you.


5 Signs You're Ready to Buy a Float Tank For Your Home

Buying a float tank isn’t exactly something you do on a regular basis.  So, naturally it’s going to require some research and decision making first. 

Maybe you’ve dreamed about floating at home.  Or perhaps you’re just tired of paying high prices at a float center. But are you really ready to take that next step?

Here’s a look at a few signs that you might be ready to become a float tank owner in the near future. 

 

1. You already float at least 1 to 4 times a month

The most obvious reason to buy a float tank: save time and money!  If you are already floating on a regular basis, you're likely spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year on floating.  

Years ago, the thought of buying a float tank for your home was impossible because of the high costs associated with doing so.  But the invention of the Float Tent™ has completely changed the game. Now, for less than $2,000 you can get started floating right from the comfort of your home. 

You'll also save time over driving to your local center. Even if it's just an extra 30 minutes or hour every week.

***Use this handy calculator to see how much time and money you could save by owning a tank.

 

2. You have the physical space for it

This one could be a matter of actual square footage in your home or just a matter of priority. Sure, it might mean giving up a spare bedroom or your man cave in the basement, but in almost all cases it will be worth it.  Having the space could also mean getting rid of the dining table you never use and floating in your kitchen instead.  

The important thing to realize is that you don't need an entire room dedicated to floating to get started. Just think, do I have enough space for a twin size mattress? If the answer is yes, you likely have enough space to fit a personal sized sensory deprivation tank.

 

3. You don't mind a little maintenance

Floating at home will require some obvious amounts of work: setting up the tank, regularly maintaining the water, cleaning out the UV filter, etc.  It’s not going to be exactly like showing up to your local spa where everything is done for you.  

The good news is that all float tanks usually come with some sort of filtration system that will help take care of a big part of the water maintenance. In addition, some knowledge on proper water care is needed for regular upkeep.  

 

4. You don't have a float spa near you

Float centers are popping up all over the world but there are still many places without a float spa for tens or even hundreds miles.  If this is the case for you, bringing the floating experience to your home might be the best and only solution. 

 

5. You want to get more into floating and take your practice to the next level

You might not be a regular floater but if you want to get more into floating, there is no better way to jump on in than getting started regularly at home.  Owning a personal floatation tank allows for deeper and overall more meaningful floats, as there is no time limit and you are naturally more comfortable in your home environment. The more you float the better you become at it, and the more you'll be able to reap the full benefits of the tank..

 

If you can relate to one or more of the signs above, you just might be ready to buy your own personal float tank.  There are already thousands of people all around the world experiencing the life-changing benefits of float therapy from home, and you could be one of them too! Download a copy of The Ultimate Float Tank Buying Guide and learn about all the different considerations that go into becoming a float tank owner!