What is sensory deprivation? By just looking at its name, most people can guess exactly what it is. For those who can’t, it is the intentional removal of stimuli form the senses and can range from a simple blindfold to complex machines that eliminate all stimuli and gravity, resulting in complete isolation.
There are two kinds of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST). One is called Chamber REST, where someone is put in a completely dark and soundproof room for one day (everything needed is available for them). The other is called Flotation REST and this is where a person is put in a room that contains a pool of water for one hour. The water is at skin-temperature and the salts are put at a specific gravity so that the person can float without worrying. Flotation REST involves complete sensory deprivation and that is why it is normally only for one hour.
Scientific studies have shown that these sessions (mostly Flotation REST) can be used to treat high blood pressure, chronic pain, and motion disorders. They are also used for stress therapy and meditation.
Many people, after their first tank session, describe it as having, “zero thoughts.” In the beginning, there would still be thoughts in your head, but as one journalist once said after trying it, “my brain decelerated until its output also slowed, and then stopped. I was surrounded in a place with no space, or time, or purpose.”
Although there can be some negative effects if overdone, I would definitely try it if I ever had the opportunity. Who wouldn’t take the chance to understand their brain in an entirely new way and take a break from the stresses of the world?
By Ali Badr