How to stay off Facebook for an hour: The flotation tank A comedic review
“Living” can be stressful and we all need, nay deserve, a little time out. Some people try yoga, some go for a casual walk or read a book, some still even try to meditate or “nap” as I call it. While all of these things are very nice in their own unique way, it’s not a complete switch off. There are still vast amounts of stimulation distracting us whilst we do these things. The smells from the other people in the yoga room or the bird that just crapped on your shoulder on the beach or the meditation tape you listened to that sounded like a bunch of whales having an orgy. Plus there’s that constant pull to check all forms of your social media just in case you missed something.
It’s tough. That’s why I gave a flotation tank a crack. I know, when you think of flotation tank you think words like “occult” or “is that from the Simpsons” and that’s totally fair enough. Invented by Dr John Lily in the 1960’s and made famous for their appearance in the film Altered States, flotation tanks have slowly become something some people do to feel like they’re doing good for themselves when all the other fads they tried to make themselves feel good, failed. But it really is a pleasant experience, a nice little reset and a great way to stay off Facebook for an hour.
Here’s how you do it.
- Google ‘flotation tank’ and your suburb and see if a centre is close by to where you live. Living close by means you wont get stressed out in traffic on the way there and especially on the way home, which would defeat the purpose of relaxing in a flotation tank and you may as well have just sat in your bath with an eye mask over your face and ear plugs in your ears instead … don’t tell the tank people I said that.
- Call and make a booking. I know! I totally thought I could just walk off the street and get in a tank too but apparently these things are more popular than I ever dreamed possible.
- You don’t need to take bathers. You do it in the nude. Don’t walk in to the centre in the nude though. This isn’t the 60’s man. Wear your normal clothes.
- Once you’ve entered the room. Take a shower in the shower provided. Not too hot. It’s preferable that you have it slightly cooler than normal as the water in the flotation tank is set perfectly to match our body temp. You don’t want to get in after a hot shower and feel cold and uncomfortable or you won’t travel to the other realm to meet your spirit animal, Zoren, the translucent salamander.
- Turn the night light off in the room, put the ear plugs in your ears and get in the tank. The water is about a foot deep and you can leave the door to the tank open if you’re afraid of monsters. It’s preferable that you close it the whole way. It can be opened and closed easily so don’t freak out.
- Lie back on your back. Don’t lie face down because drowning. The water has half a tonne of Epsom salts dissolved in the water so it’s incredibly buoyant and will support your whole body and the weight of your head. It’s impossible for your head to go underwater unless you really, really try. Believe me, I really, really tried.
- Don’t worry if you think you’re claustrophobic. Apparently people who are claustrophobic can thrive in the float tanks, as “the psycho-visual effect of floating is one of being in unlimited space rather than confinement.” Basically the warm water, plus the floating in the darkness make you feel like you’re floating in unlimited space … until a water droplet falls from the roof of the tank and gently hits your genitals which really knocks you back in to the now.
- If you do start feeling a little anxious just do some deep breathing exercises. Not really fast either as that will upset the water and you could get a little seasick. In one, two, three and out one, two, three like a good human should do it. Allow yourself to drift off with either your eyes open or closed. After a while you’ll find it hard to tell if you’re doing one or the other anyway. If you see any colours or shapes or dragons or aliens, don’t freak out. Welcome them to our planet and offer yourself to them in return for your life.
- Don’t masturbate in there. Ever.
- At 50 minutes some music will play which is nice and also a reminder that you have 10 more minutes before your session is up. You aren’t hallucinating the music. It exists. Trust me. When you’re all done, have another shower to wash all the salt from your body. It’s not like the ocean; it doesn’t feel like you just stepped out of a great surf once you’ve dried off. It’s a half tonne of salt that leaves on a hell of a crust. Once you leave your room, they’ll offer you a free tea. Take it and say really nice affirmations about your experience whilst holding eye contact with the people who work there because they truly believe in this and book yourself another session because, come on, you actually really liked it. Just don’t tell anyone you did.
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