My first float tank experience.

April 9, 2008

Showed up at 8:15pm. Got orientation, for a nice lady who showed us the tanks and how to work them from the inside. Very nice place. Kind of expensive, $60 for the 50 minute session.

This experience was analogous to meditation for me. It seemed to me like a meditation where I was much less bothered by body pains. I hoped to get into a deep meditative state. This didn‘t happen. My experience in the tank was very surface level. I moved around a lot trying to get comfortable, and couldn‘t really find a good balance.

I used ear plugs. The facility required this on their consent forms. Mike who I went with, didn‘t read that particular line, and didn’t use them. He had a couple complaints about not using them, but overall it didn’t seem like that big of a deal for him.

The experience started with me turning off the lights and fidgeting the music controls. My mind started going wild, and I kept trying to reign it back in unskillfully via mantra, or vipassana(awareness) techniques. I didn’t have enough will power to keep returning to the technique, so this didn’t work out too well. It was worth experimenting with, but I need to try harder next time if this is what I want to do.

At about 25 minutes I started to feel strange relaxation/soreness in my calves and other muscle groups. Hard to say if this was the salt acting, relaxation, or the sensory deprivation action at work.

After about what felt like 30 minutes in the tank I started experimenting with accelerated deep breathing through my mouth. This was interesting, tetani(misspelled) came on quickly. When I refer to tetani it is a mild to heavy pins and needles sensation occasionally felt all over the body when breathing is accelerated, it dissipates after a few minutes.

After I came down from the tetani, I kept moving around, because I couldn‘t get entirely comfortable.

Now I was able to really get into my head and think, to try and strategize about the rest of the time I had in the tank. My strategy was unsuccessful, my mind won…I turned my music on and off a few times to see what was better. I tried opening and closing my eyes to see what I could see. About 1 minute from when the lights came on automatically, I started seeing light/dark patterns with my eyes open, I couldn’t see any real pattern I could put a name to.

The lights came on, I got out of the tank, showered, and had some nice green tea.

Very nice experience. Refreshing and relaxing after a really psychologically hard day of work. I need to experiment with it further at Driftaway spas. If I happen to be in the vicinity of another float tank facility, I’ll check that out as well.

2 replies on “My first float tank experience.”

  1. Congratulations on your first float! I’ve surveyed 100s of people after their first float and I’ve come to the realization that the first float is usually the worst – it only gets better!

    I’ve researched floatation therapy since 2001 when I discovered that it could eliminate my debilitating sciatic pain. Now that I have problem under control, I continue to float for the deep relaxation and creativity-enhancing benefits.

  2. Thanks Frank. It was pretty cool. I’ll be doing it again soon I’m sure.

    I’m more interested in the “psychonautic” potentials of the tank than the pain relief, but floatation is a great technology that has many uses.

    You have a great float blog by the way, keep up the good work.

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