Tripping in a Flotation Tank
Floatation tanks induce a journey into the deep void, dissolving the ripples of the restless mind. Add psychedelics into the mix and well… be ready for a real trip.
A floatation tank, also known as isolation tank, is a light and soundproof cabin which holds a pool of very highly concentrated salt water at body temperature. The salt concentration is so high, you actually float on it - there is no contact with the floor or wall. Floating slowly dissolves the boundaries of awareness, between inside and outside.
They were originally created and used by John C Lilly in order to test the effects of sensory deprivation in consciousness exploration. The sense of relaxation they provide rapidly became sought after, and by now flotation tanks can be found in every major city.
Floatation therapy has you floating in a completely encapsulated environment, where you can neither hear, see nor feel any outside stimulation. This has an effect on the brain, calming it, and triggering a transition into a state of meditation. The brain will shift from using either alpha or beta brain waves, to theta brainwaves. Theta brainwaves are most commonly associated with the time just before you wake naturally from sleep - when you are in a Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep, and dreams are at their most vivid. The difference with a floatation tank is that there is no loss of consciousness. This allows for extended periods where the theta state is used for creativity, problem solving or deep relaxation.
Art & Zero Gravity - Sébastien Barré
Generally speaking, floatation tanks are used for either passive or active brain activity. Passive activity simply has a goal of using the tank to enter a meditative state, relaxing and clearing the mind. An active state is as outlined above, where the state of brain relaxation is taken advantage of for other means.
Just on their own, the deep meditative state they induce can be profoundly altering, but John Lily went one step further: add psychedelics.
PSYCHEDELIC TRIPS IN A FLOTATION TANK
The discovery of the flotation tank came just before the psychedelic renaissance of the 1960‘s. But it wasn’t until nearly ten years after Lily invented the tank, that he was actually introduced to LSD and magic mushrooms. In his quest to explore the nature of the mind, the famously used LSD and Ketamine in combination with the tank. He described his first experience doing so as entering a “profoundly altered state”, in which he travelled the universe, communicated with otherworldly beings and even gave birth to himself.
People have died from doing Ketamine in floating tanks! Do your research, and be careful - we don‘t take any responsibility.
Using a floatation tank can be a very trippy experience by itself. The tank is a powerful tool to unlock profound relaxation and access dormant creative energies.