• James Hewlett

On The Float

Nah, unfortunately I wasn’t on board a ship in space now under thrust. I guess I experienced the closest thing to that though!

I spent an hour in a sensory deprivation pod this morning. A friend wanted to try it out and we’ve talked about it before so she booked a session for each of us at a place in town.

For anyone who isn’t sure what it is, a sensory deprivation tank is basically a big pod filled with temperate water a bit deeper than a deep bath and full of strong salts so you naturally float without having to do anything. There is a lid you’re encouraged to close for full immersion but can choose to leave open as much as you’d like if you prefer. When closed and you turn the light off inside it is pitch black.

It’s a surreal feeling and many people have experienced a variety of things ranging from deep relaxation to visions and everything in between. It is used for all sorts of treatments or just as a relaxing time.

Many people fall asleep in the tank and as you’re naturally buoyant in the salt water there is no fear of drowning, although there is a call button if of course you do have any emergencies.

It’s not for everyone though; some people can, understandably feel claustrophobic or other negative effects. Thankfully this isn’t something I suffer from and I didn’t have to worry about that.

It was a very cool sensation, lying there in the dark, floating under no effort of my own, truly weightless. I didn’t experience any visions or anything, but I could imagine a sky full for stars and at a few points I wasn’t sure if I had my eyes open or closed.

My mind is naturally quite active though so I didn’t really switch off into a deep state of relaxation. Don’t get me wrong, it was very chill and I was relaxed, but no more so than lying in a nice bath at home. I think it was mostly because I was actively thinking about what a new experience this was more than anything and if I were to do it again I may be able to switch off more so.

I’m really glad to have tried it. I love checking out these sorts of things and having my own first hand opinion. It wasn’t life alteringly awesome, I didn’t come out a whole new person, but it wasn’t as bad as Homer’s time in one in that one episode of The Simpson’s either.

It might just be because I’ve been binging The Expanse again but it really did feel like being on the float in zero gravity, and that’s cool enough for me.


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