Each person enjoys a different experience when they float in an isolation tank for the first time. The Simpsons offers a satirical take on isolation tanks when Homer Simpson gets to experience being in one for the first time in the 10th season episode “Make Room For Lisa.” Homer takes Lisa to a new age store to find natural remedies for stress-induced stomach aches. She is experiencing these stomach aches after her room is converted into a communication tower by a local cell-phone company. While in the new age store, the clerk offers time in the isolation tanks as a method for reducing Lisa’s stress and ridding her stomach ache. The experiences of Lisa and Homer in their respective isolation tanks are as different as night and day. Lisa undergoes a spiritual and mystical journey typical of what some people who float regularly report when they come out of a floatation tank. She sees an assortment of images and experiences life from the point of view of her cat Snowball and then Homer. Lisa learns to forgive his uncouth behavior and appreciate his efforts to bond with her by doing activities he doesn’t always enjoy. Homer, on the other hand, seems only concerned on whether he can pee in the tank before staring his floating session. Once inside, his isolation tank is seized by repo men and falls out of the back of their truck on a sharp turn. It is found on the road by Ned Flanders and he mistakes it for a coffin. Ned buries the isolation tank and it breaks through the top of an underground water pipe. The isolation tank washes ashore on a local beach and is returned to the new age store. Homer leaves the tank feeling impressed by his “journey.” Both experiences — one spiritual and the other comical — have positive effects on the relationship between Homer and Lisa. The same is true with others who float. They feel better about themselves and their loved ones.
Many people are drawn to floating because it sounds relaxing. Once inside an isolation tank, they realize that it indeed does feel relaxing. Why does lying on top of dense saltwater wash away all traces of stress and anxiety? The simple answer is that floating acts like a light switch. You can turn off the pressures of the outside world and turn on the peace that comes from exploring your inner self. One factor is the environment inside the isolation tank itself. When you are inside the tank, you no longer feel weighed down by gravity. The saltwater makes floatation possible and leaves you resting on top of the water instead of in it. It isn’t exactly like kicking it in outer space in a space shuttle. Still, it is the closest thing to a zero gravity environment that most people will experience in their lifetimes. The human brain undergoes significant changes inside the floatation tank. It releases powerful endorphins. These natural chemicals reduce pain and enhance a person’s mood. They feel better about everything. It allows healing to begin on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. When a person enters the state where this sort of healing can begin, this naturally makes them feel more relaxed. They are free from their normal lives – even if it is only the blink of an eye on the cosmic timescale. Floating is good for the body and soul because it is so relaxing to both parts.