First Isolation Tank Experience

  • May 21, 2014

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Just got back and feel extremely relaxed. Centered is more so the word. It has been difficult to unwind while moving around on the road for work. Truth be told I’ve been on the go and in a different place every two weeks minimum since I got back from Austria on Feb 24th. The moving around, coupled with a tendency to slip into obsessive workaholism that was conditioned by my previous place of employment which regarded and conditioned the workers to regard leisure time as unnecessary, has had me perpetually wound up. I immediately see the isolation tank being part of my life for the designated downtime. By the end of the session I had really let go and relaxed but then the music in the tank came on signaling the end of the 90 minute session in 5 minutes. It flew by. Self-report by floaters generally suggests that it takes 3 floats to really be able to learn how to let your mind go.

So getting there, we were greeted by a really friendly woman who was as enthusiastic about the tanks as we were about trying them out for the first time. She told us that we had to shower first and that there were earplugs that we could use. Also told us that if we notice neck pain about 15 minutes into the session, it’s likely because we are holding our head up. A natural tendency is to keep your head above water but with 1000 pounds of salt in the water you relax completely and your head will not sink. Next she advises us not to touch our faces because if the salt gets in your eyes it will burn painfully for about 5 minutes. Naturally I got water in my eyes twice in the session while wearing contacts.

So before entering I snap a shot of the tank because I know there are a lot of people who are curious about what the experience is like. Throw it on instagram, turn off my phone completely and start showering. Looking at the mouth of the tank admittedly I felt some nervous apprehension similar to when I was about to take my first hit of DMT in summer 2013. This kind of fear of the unknown, not sure if I would like where my mind takes me in the tank. I get in the tank and the water almost feels slimy because of all the salt but its not unpleasant. The water is warm and the same temperature as my skin. I close the lid of the tank and lie flat.

First thing was trying to find a comfortable position for my arms. I eventually found that kind of resting them above my shoulder line, like I’m doing a highfive with both hands was the most comfortable. Then I worked on positioning myself in the center of the tank because I was moving around a bit and bumping lightly into the sides which immediately distracted me from getting into the mindset. (Ideally I think a larger tank would be awesome as you wouldn’t have to worry about casually bumping into the sides). The air was pretty humid, again, not unpleasant. And then I just kind of waited. I caught myself thinking too much about what I would write about the experience rather than just being as present in the experience as possible and writing about it after. It is hard for me to let go of everything. I do manage to do it here and there but I don’t really have a system for unwinding yet. I didn’t have any hallucinations or semi-psychedelic experiences, but I felt my brain just letting go of the clutter. One thing I did notice right off the bat though was crazy libido. Work and obsessive focus on productivity keeps me from really acknowledging my libido, which as one of the cons of a long-distance relationship, is being suppressed.

Actually I did have some sort of visuals probably half an hour in, I saw all sorts of webs appearing, and what seemed to be spiders near my face but the reason I didn’t even remember until now was that it wasn’t for very long. I may have gotten the water in my eyes around then and once my eye started burning, couldn’t really think about anything other than that. The woman who worked there gave us fair warning but there was a drop of water on my nostril and it was driving my crazy I had to get rid of it. Well like a minute later a new drop from my hand had rolled down my nose and into my eye. Fuck. Yeah that definitely sucked. I closed it and after a few minutes it stopped burning, but then when I opened it again, I think some more drops that had been sitting on my eyelid came into my eye and burned AGAIN. Goddamn.

So not long after that, although its really hard to have a sense of time in the tank so to be honestly don’t know if it was long or not, the music started and it was time to get out. I had just gotten to this state of relaxation and then it was done. I’m really looking forward to doing it again and will almost certainly go again next week.

Then we got out of the tanks and sat in the lobby where the women that worked there had tea and water for us. Jordan and I were talking about our experience and when the women asked what we were doing in town and we told her we were with the fiber-optic project. One woman started asking more questions and naturally when Jordan and I left, I had given her the run down and gave her my work number to get her signed up on the optic network. SOLD.