If you’re looking for an out of the ordinary activity to do, why not try a Sensory Deprivation Tank?
Claimed in the past as an alternative medicine for hypertension and stress management, the floatation tanks are now used for a recreational and relaxing experience.
Activity: Sensory Deprivation Floatation Tank
Location: Spas and other places with a Floatation Tank
Duration: 50 minutes
Price: 45 euros (~48 dollars) per person
How we discovered this?
It was December, we had just finished our biggest college exam and we were excited to get out of our house and start doing different activities other than studying. We bet you can relate!
We started searching for places in Portugal, where they had the floatation capsules needed for the bath.
We found a place called Float In, in Picoas, Lisbon. Immediately, we sent an e-mail to book two floatation tanks for us to float at the same time.
The Day of the Sensory Deprivation Bath
The day arrived. We had a quick breakfast and head on over to Float In. Two lovely ladies greeted us and gave us slippers to wear. They brought what would be our first tea of the whole experience, a tropical fruit infusion, as we waited for the capsules to be available.
One of the ladies showed us the locker rooms and then guided us to our individual rooms, to explain how everything worked.
The Floatation Tank
At the centre of the room you have a floatation capsule, filled with water and Epsom salt, a salt that will allow you to float. Now here are four things you need to know before you go inside the capsule:
- The salt is really salty (mind the alliteration!), so you might want to put some vaseline in case you have some kind of a cut or wound, because it will hurt a lot! On the other hand, since it is so salty, it will avoid bacterial growth. You also have to put earbuds to avoid the water from entering your ear;
- There are 4 buttons inside. One to close the capsule shut, one to turn off the lights, one for the music and finally one in case of an emergency. You can control all these features at any time and you can even float with the capsule open;
- You can go inside with a bathing suit or totally naked. You usually are advised to do the latter, as the fabric from the bathing suit might not let you be fully immersed in the experience;
- Finally, DO NOT PEE in the water! Epsom salt is very expensive, so you don’t want to pay for the damage!
Once alone in our rooms, we took a shower, put on the earbuds and entered our individual capsules. A relaxing music, typical of spas, filled our rooms.
Here is when our experiences began and diverged.
The Floatation Experience
I went inside the capsule and closed the lid. At first I left the lights and the music on, so I could adapt. I was scared I would feel claustrophobic, but I didn’t feel that at all. I immersed myself in the water and started to relax. Eventually, I turned off the lights and focused on the music.
Once your body adapts to the warm water you start to feel really free, like you’re flying. You have all this time to yourself and you just let go, like you have no troubles at all.
I might have dozed off by the end of the experience, I’m still not sure, but it shows how comfortable you get inside the floatation tank.
After the 50 min, the capsule automatically opens. I took a long shower, put on my robe and went to meet Rosy in the tea room.
My experience started almost the same.
I put some Vaseline on a cut I had on my leg and went inside the capsule (it still stung a bit, but after a couple of seconds it goes away). As I immersed myself, I noticed my neck hurt a bit, as I tried to float. No worries. There is an inflatable pillow for people that have the same problem. Phew, at least I’m not alone in this!
The water was very warm inside the closed and blacked out tank. Still, I couldn’t quite relax with the spa music, so I turned it off. I wished there were some Pink Floyd playing in the background.
Wouldn’t it be amazing? A fully psychedelic experience!
I started to imagine my body floating in outer space, surrounded by far away galaxies, and it was really fun. Since there was no music, I started singing to myself Breathe from Pink Floyd, which made the experience so much greater.
I waited to see if I could actually see stuff like Rhett and Link did, but it didn’t happen. Nevertheless, as the lid opened, I thought how it was very relaxing day. Now, time to go to the tea room.
The Tea Room
We were led to a small room and were offered a second tea, this time chamomile. Although really pleasant, it was maybe too much tea for a day. Too much tea? Is this a crime to say? ahah
There was a super cool book from National Geographic, called Destinations of a Lifetime. We flipped the book together as we talked about places we’ve been and where we would go next.
Finally, we finished our tea and went home.
If you are looking for a cool activity to do, definitely try Sensory Deprivation Bath. It is a very relaxing experience, some even say psychedelic! It is strangely fun to float with your whole body, because you really feel like you’re flying.
And, if you are a fan of the Netflix series Stranger Things, you can even imagine you are Eleven. Just try not to cross to the Upside Down World eheh
Have you ever went inside a floatation capsule? Would you dare to try this?
Tell us about it in the comment section below!