Last week I went to my buddy’s bachelor party in OCMD. I wound up drinking liquor for a whole day and having one hell of a hangover. I felt under 100% for 3 days after that. It wasn’t the worst hangover I’ve ever had, but it was one of those hangovers that lasts and makes you ponder what the hell you are doing with your life.
I decided that I needed to go clean for a few weeks to get by body back in working order. I went about this by not drinking, juicing, going to the gym, and hitting the sauna hard. These all worked great, but I wanted to give something new a try.
I first heard about float tanks from Joe Rogan by watching his podcast. He talked about how you can hallucinate without taking any drugs by floating in this dark tank.
I looked more into it and found the benefits to using a float tank to be incredible. Unfortunately, it’s such an obscure thing that there aren’t many places in the US to go float.
Lucky for me, a business opened up around the corner from where I live that rents out float tanks to people. After years of reading about it, I gave it a try.
What is a float tank?
Float tanks were created in the 1950’s by John Lilly. He was doing experiments to see what would happen to the body when you eliminate all sensory input into the brain. As it turns out, all sorts of crazy shit happens.
A float tank is essentially a really big tank filled with water. The water is filled with a lot of epsom salts. The salts are put in to allow you to easily float on the surface of the water instead of sinking.
Usually the tank has some kind of hatch to pull down to create complete darkness.
The water in the tank is heated to the temperature of the surface of your skin. When you are floating, your brain can’t tell the difference between the edge of your skin and the water so it seems like you’re floating in space.
Less Stress, Less Tension
When you’re floating in a tank, your body enters a state of deep relaxation. Our brains are constantly dealing with the effects of gravity on our muscles. The tank takes the effects of gravity and throws them out the window.
As I was floating, I’d get to a point where I was extremely relaxed, and then I would move a little bit and notice that I still had slight tension in one of my muscles. I relaxed that muscle and went into even deeper relaxation.
I’ve never experienced this level of relaxation before. I don’t think it’s possible outside floating. Even when I thought I was chill, I was able to go deeper. It got to the point where I noticed I was even flexing my jaw unconsciously.
I have a lot of experience meditating. I have previously used meditation to cure anxiety attacks that I was having. I think meditation is an incredible tool to clear your mind of toxic sludge and heal your body. The problem is that it takes a little to get in the “zone”.
Using a float tank is like a cheat code to not only get in the zone almost immediately, but to get much deeper and reach a state not possible outside the tank.
This state is something like “ultimate relaxation”. Everyone should try this at least once to see just how relaxed you can actually get.
When you’re in the tank, your mind starts to produce theta waves which is the same that are produced when you are dreaming. It’s doing this when you are fully awake.
This creates a very strange feeling of being in a dream like trance while still awake. It let me really go inside and search through all my feelings that I’ve been keeping below the surface.
Stay in this zone for a while and a myriad of effects will take place.
I would meditate back in the day for a really long time in one sitting. I got freaked out one time because I started seeing lights with my eyes closed after about 40 minutes of meditating.
The same thing happened in the tank. I’m sitting there concentrating on my breathing and about a half hour into the session I see what seemed like a white streak flash across my eyes.
While this is far from being some crazy hallucination, it was really weird. I wasn’t sure if I was asleep or if someone turned the lights on really quick.
The astonishment of it took me out of the state I was in and gave me a little jolt.
I didn’t really start seeing any lights after that, but I could totally see how you could go further with more experience and start seeing light shows.
Where to Go?
Float tanks aren’t a super popular thing at this point, so you could run into trouble finding a spot to float in your area.
I live in Philly and there’s a few spots that popped up in the last couple years. If you’re in my area and are looking to float, check out Halcyon Floats. I went to the one in Roxborough as it’s right near my house.
A float session usually runs around 60 bucks. This is around the same amount for a massage or spa treatment, absolutely worth it.
If you’re out on the west coast I’ve heard that Float Lab is the best spot.
Anywhere else in America and you can use this handy site to find a spot: Where to Float
If you are in pain, and looking for an alternative way to heal your body, give floating a try. It’s an incredible experience.