Dreaming is a natural part of the human experience. The subconscious mind comes alive during REM sleep and bombards us with images of people, places and things that seem all so jumbled and random. People spend time and money trying to understand what influences their dreams and what those dreams actually mean. Others resort to the technique of lucid dreaming to control their dreams. The ability to lucid dream and floating in an isolation tank go hand in hand. Lucid dreaming differs from regular dreaming because the dreamer retains an awareness they are dreaming. In other words, a lucid dreamer knows they are dreaming and can control the dream through their thoughts, words and actions. Floating allows a person to explore their subconscious in a similar manner. The floater can choose to zero in on certain images that emerge when their mind becomes freed from the outside world. For that reason, using a floatation tank can be an effective tool in gaining control over your dreams. Controlling dreams requires active floating instead of passive floating. A passive floater is simply concerned with emptying their mind and reaching a point of simple relaxation in mind and body. An active floater looks to program their mind during a relaxed state. This can involve something as simple as meditation. It can be as complex as entering their own dreams and taking control of the direction of those dreams. If you want to be a lucid dreamer, the first step is learning how to master your subconscious mind. The best way to do that is to purposefully connect with it through a floating session.
One of the universal appeals of spending time in an isolation tank is that it just makes you feel like a brand new person. Physical, mental and emotional stress can accumulate from the wear and tear of living life each day. Quality time spent in a floatation tank offers a chance to unwind and make repairs on the deepest level. It is impossible to overstate the benefit regular floating sessions have on the human brain. A person who takes time to relax and meditate quickly rediscovers their inner self. Their spirit is freed from the shackles of the outside world. Their mind is opened to new ways of thinking. Consider floating a muse for your creative side. Where else can you take the time to focus on yourself and open your eyes to new ideas and new possibilities? When the mind is relaxed, that is when new ideas emerge. It can be a song, a poem or a story. Remove distractions and time really seems to disappear. A floating session can turn minutes into hours. Time has no meaning inside the isolation tank. That’s the way it should be. Time and space are simply limitations lifted through floating. The creative mind welcomes an environment where it can emerge free of restraint. If you are trying to decide if floating is right for you, consider that it may be just what your mind wants. Maintaining good mental health is vital to a happy life. And it starts by freeing your mind and letting it explore. Floating offers the key to unlock that mental door.
There are many small things you can do to enhance your floating experience during your first-time in a floatation tank. These things may not seem significant on the surface, but they can have a major impact on how much you enjoy floating and whether or not you will come back for more. Before floating – Avoid consuming energy drinks, coffee or caffeinated sodas. Caffeine is a stimulant and will make it more difficult for your nerves and muscles to relax inside the floatation tank. Cover any minor cuts or scrapes before entering. Open wounds will sting and can become irritated by the Epsom salt. If you wear contact lenses, remove them and put the lenses in a safe place outside the tank. During floating – Avoid touching your face. Saltwater can cause irritation if it gets in your eyes. Ease into the tank. Use safety bars to help lower your body into the tank and position it in the water to avoid injury. After floating – Sit up slowly and exit the tank slowly so your body can readjust to moving out of weightless environment. This will help you maintain your balance. Stand in the open tank for a few seconds and use a towel to wipe excess saltwater from your skin and hair. Shower as soon as possible to get rid of the remaining saltwater.
If you have never floated in an isolation tank, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start now. Floating is equal parts relaxing and therapeutic. The physical, mental and emotional benefits from this activity are countless. What should you know before you experience your first floating session? Don’t worry about claustrophobia: The tank is not as dark and cramped as you might imagine. There is plenty of room for comfort inside the tank. You can also leave a light on inside the tank so you are not immersed in complete darkness. The bottom line is you are in a place designed to calm you, not scare you. Give yourself time to relax: Some of your muscles may take a few minutes to relax. The human body needs time to adjust to new surroundings. Allow yourself time to soak in your new environment with your senses. The relaxation will come. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and let the tank do its job. Experiment with floating: Find the position where you will feel most relaxed and comfortable. Some people enjoy floating with their arms at their sides. Others prefer to put their hands behind their head. The most important thing is to relax your neck and shoulders and allow your body to assume a floating position that best promotes relaxation.
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.
The major obstacle keeping people from enjoying the benefits of floating is simply a lack of information. They are unaware of how safe and healthy floating can be for the human body. No one should miss out on spending quality time in an isolation tank. It is time to set the record straight and offer up some helpful answers to common floating questions – Q: How clean is the water in the tanks? A: Up to 1000 pounds of Epsom salt is dissolved into the water in a typical flotation tank. This is enough to prevent the growth and spread of microbes and bacteria. Water used in floating is filtered out and sterilized after each floating session before being reintroduced into the tank. Epsom salt is the perfect antiseptic and it makes a isolation tank cleaner than the average swimming pool or hot tub. Q: Is the tank dark inside? Isolation tanks are designed to provide an environment where a person can relieve stress through relaxation or meditation. Blocking out light helps the body to block outside distractions and reach a true relaxation point. Some people who feel nervous or scared in darkness can prop open the door to their tank with a towel to permit some sunlight to enter. Many tanks also feature a soft light below the water. Q: Is there any danger of drowning? No one should ever be afraid they will drown while inside an isolation tank. The high quantity of salt makes a person float on top of the water and stings the eyes when it comes in contact with their face. A typical flotation tank is filled with about 10.5 inches of water. It serves as a tool to relax the muscles and let a person float peacefully while meditating or relaxing. Q: Who can float? Flotation tanks are designed for people who are a variety of shapes, sizes and ages. It poses no danger to anyone, expect people with severe medical conditions. If you have a chronic disease or are pregnant, you should contact a physician before floating. Otherwise, hop in and enjoy.
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.
So.. for some reason salt water is hard to keep in the pipes. I’ve had my tank over a year and I’ve had two slow leaks. The leaks have both came from threaded unions, which are necessary if you ever have to replace anything. I was browsing Amazon for some sort of fix to this problems and I ran across Rescue Tape. Here’s a link: Rescue Tape This stuff claims to fuse into itself and permanently fix leaks. So… I bought some. I did some cleanup work scraping the old salt off the ground. I then wrapped the tape around the unions pretty tight. This stuff IS amazing! It honestly form fit and bonded while I was applying it! I wish I had video but it was just me. It’s been a few days now and I haven’t seen a drop of water. That’s a very good sign. If something changes I’ll update this post, but for now… This is the handiest leak stopper I’ve ever seen.
Many people ask me if I know a place to buy a used float tank. To be honest this is exactly what I was doing before I built mine. I was running into a few problems. First: Tanks are so EXPENSIVE! I was looking at really old tanks and they were wanting upwards of $4,000. I couldn’t see myself spending that much for an old tank. Second: Even if I found a deal where was I going to put it? Many tanks can’t be disassembled and moved into my home, so I was forced to use it in my garage. Didn’t sound private or ideal. Third: Shipping was EXPENSIVE! not only was it heavy, it was large. Just the dimensions alone made it expensive to ship. I finally had to give up on the “buying a float tank” idea, and look down a new road. I had to build one… in my basement spare bedroom. Luckily I had experience in building and creating so I gave it a good shot and documented my work. To be honest I spent months designing it in my head, and another month building and troubleshooting. It was expensive and time consuming. Don’t go through the same learning curve I did. I offer my plans for $24, and it should save you $100’s in errors. Here’s the link to buy the plans. http://www.isolationtankplans.com/sign-up-for-full-access-to-the-isolation-tank-plans/ So if you’re looking for a flotation tank for sale or isolation tank for sale.. etc. Don’t bother. Build your own!
Education is not the only avenue to building brain power. Meditation offers a hidden way of unlocking your mind and promoting a greater flow of creative juices. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. Our minds work best when our bodies are in a calm and relaxed state. We can pay closer attention to new ideas and concepts flooding our mind and we can find solutions to problems that might not have occurred to us in a noisy and stressful environment. Studies done on people who frequent isolation tanks show some impressive results. Their mental abilities are enhanced in every aspect. Creativity increases. Problem solving skills become enhanced. Awareness is made more acute. Time in an isolation tank or flotation tank boosts learning skills. It helps a person visualize things more clearly and promotes patience so they can meditate to find the right answer. The entire learning process becomes accelerated. All of this means positive things on an emotional level. Such a person becomes more motivated to do the things that will better their life. Depression, anxiety and fear no longer become roadblocks that halt progress. A person with enhanced brain power feels more alive than most people around them because they have freed themselves from the shackles holding down their mind. Do your brain a favor and spend some time in an isolation tank. It will mean happier days ahead.