When you’re in a sensory deprivation tank, you’re floating in about a foot of water that’s saturated with Epsom salts or magnesium sulfate (up to 600 pounds worth of salt). The air is about skin temperature, as is the water temperature. This sensation of floating on water in a dark tank gives you sensory deprivation. This experience is compared to being in a kind of meditative state. So why would people lay in a sensory deprivation tank and what benefits would they get?
They actually have a name for the kind of therapy you experience in a deprivation tank. It’s called REST or restricted environmental stimulation therapy.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
A study showed that subjects with anxiety and stress-related disorders experienced significant reduction in the state of anxiety after one 60-session in a sensory deprivation tank.
Strong Concentration and Focus
Some people who use a sensory deprivation tank said they experience strong concentration and focus. This experience can carry over into daily life, so some people use restricted environmental stimulation therapy as a way to help improve their concentration and focus overall.
Better Athletic Training and Recovery
You may have heard of some professional athletes using deprivation tanks to help them train. Athletes have reported better physical and psychological recovery after competition.
Better Cardiovascular Health
Stress and lack of sleep can contribute to cardiovascular disease. Being in a sensory deprivation tank can help increase relaxation and lower stress levels. The overall effect can play a role in improving your cardiovascular health.
Reduction in Pain
People have also reported that effects of or restricted environmental stimulation therapy can help with reducing chronic pain. Some research seems to back this up.
You can experience a sensory deprivation tank at some spas and float centers. The average tank cost about $13,000 so if you have the deep pockets, you can own one yourself. The sessions usually cost about $50 to $100 at these centers, so that’s much cheaper to rent out a tank for yourself.
There are some “negative” side effects from being in a deprivation tank, including hallucination and feeling that you are going to “freak out.” It’s always recommended to talk with the experts before getting into one of these tanks and using it.