Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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Sensory Deprivation: What Is It And How Does It Work

Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) was created by neuroscientist John C. Lilly in the 1950’s.

He’s known for his work with dolphins (he believed they had supreme intelligence that humans should study in order to become better problem solvers.) He also experimented with altered states,  like the sensory deprivation tank, but also with psychedelic drugs like LSD.

Sensory deprivation tanks saw a decline in popularity in the 1980s due to the AIDS panic, when people didn’t know how the disease was contracted.

Sensory deprivations experience can be had in tanks, pods or rooms filled with shallow water containing 1,000 pounds of dissolved epsom salts.

It’s impossible not to float in a tank because the salt makes users incredibly buoyant. The water inside is raised to body temperature, and goes up to the ears, so the only senses you have are sight and sound. Oftentimes, in tanks and pods, there is a lid or door you can close, encasing you in complete darkness, so you are left without any senses at all. Rooms are set up to be open floatation spaces for the claustrophobic. Some pods have lights you can keep on and music you can listen to.

Sensory deprivation pods are designed to provide relaxation, alleviate stress and even put the mind in an altered state of consciousness.

Users commonly compare the experience to being in zero gravity. They report a feeling of immense calm after a flotation session. Some have out of body experiences or hallucinations.

Would you give a sensory deprivation tank a try?

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