When studying psychoanalysis at the United States National Institute of Mental Health in the 1950’s, John Lilly and Dr. Jay Shurley M.D., were interested in the origins of conscious activity within the brain. They wondered if the brain needed external stimuli to stay in the conscious state. This sparked the first experiments with sensory deprivation. Lilly tested the absence of stimuli on the brain by creating an environment completely and peacefully isolated, the first isolation float tank was born. A person would float upright, in a vertical tank, with a breathing apparatus and mask covering the head. Over the years, Lilly improved the tanks design. Now the person floats horizontally in an Epsom salt solution, without the distraction of a breathing mask, allowing for the deepest state of relaxation possible.
Float tanks are used for meditation, relaxation, visualization, and consciousness exploration. In this video, Lee and Glenn Perry, owners of Samadhi Tank Company, describe their experience in the tanks.
In this video, Joe Rogan talks about his floatation tank experience. He says, “You start to lose your sense of being human.”
Matthew Ciniello describes his first experience in a floatation tank in Toronto.
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