Are you running low on funds, but you still want to build an isolation tank? Here is a creative way to get your tank built. Artists have always had a fascination with sensory deprivation and for good reason. Great art is created through focus and concentration, two abilities a floatation tank enables the user to harness with uncommon strength. However, due the cost of building a tank and the extra cost of having somewhere to store it, many people who would love to have a floatation tank simply cannot. This is where a bit of ingenuity comes in. (by the way, I know this works because I did it) Try contacting your local art gallery and propose an exhibit of work inspired by time spent inside a sensory deprivation tank. Trust me, they will jump on it. Galleries are always looking for some kind of hook to snag new visitors and nothing garners interest like a floatation tank. This idea first came to me from Float On, a brilliant float centre in Portland, who put together an exhibit and eventually published a book of floatation inspired art, “Artwork from the Void.” Check it out on Amazon. So how do you get the gallery to pay for the tank? Galleries often have funds put aside for exhibits and artists. Ask them to pay for the materials and tell them you will document the construction phase. This documentation, video and photos, can then be used for introducing your exhibit. If the gallery is strapped for funds, there is also the possibility of making the exhibit into a silent auction. As long as the art is tangible (sorry musicians) you can auction off the work to highest bidder. Artists are surprisingly open to this idea. Most are just excited about getting in the tank and don’t really mind what happens to their paintings. You can then use the funds from the sale of the art to pay for the construction of the tank. Or, if the thought of paying for the tank before you have sold any art makes you nervous, you can sell the art first by setting up a campaign on indiegogo or by advertising the idea to art gallery goers. Make a promise that donors to the project will receive a piece of art after the exhibit closes. The wonderful byproduct of this method is that everyone who sees the exhibit will want to get inside the tank. If and when you take the tank home, you will have a line up of potential clients for your float centre.
Many people have heard of a floatation tank, but the word usually conjures up thoughts of a huge iron lung looking contraption and William Hurt turning into a chimp. However, floatation tanks and the practice of floating have come a long way since the first time professor John Lilly proposed separating the mind from the body by suspending it upright in isolation chamber filled with warm salt water. Today’s tanks, although fundamentally similar, are comfortable and soothing and are used primarily for relaxation and healing. The float tank experience is increasingly marketed as a way to escape the sensory overload of the outside world. There is literally nothing on earth quite like floating in an enclosed, soundproof, and completely dark tank filled with ten inches of a water and Epsom salt solution. The buoyancy of this solution allows the user to easily float, removing any sensation of gravity. Proper float tanks removes almost all physical and sensory stimulation, resulting in a very interesting and relaxing experience. A therapeutic session typically lasts an hour. For the first half of the float, participants relax and allow their mind to wander, often organizing thoughts and memories. The last twenty or thirty minutes often end with a transition from beta or alpha brainwaves to theta, which typically occurs briefly before sleep and again at waking. In a float tank, the theta state can last for several minutes without the subject losing consciousness. Many use the extended theta state as a tool for enhanced creativity and problem-solving or for “super learning”. The more often the tank is used, the longer the theta period becomes. More experienced floaters attempt to extend this theta or waking dream like experience by floating for increasingly longer periods of time. Floatation therapy also offers numerous benefits by stimulating the body’s own power of healing and regeneration, strengthening the body’s resistance to the effects of stress, illness and injury. Blood vessels dilate, increasing cardiovascular efficiency and supply of oxygen and nutrients to each cell in the body. The effects are immediate and remain measurable for days or weeks after a float. Floatation is also cumulative – every time you float in a floatation tank you strengthen your body’s resistance. Participants experience intense relaxation, enhanced concentration, and a state of mental rest equivalent to a much longer period time spent sleeping.