The value of floating naked in a pitch black tank
Suedfeld’s studies have, over the years, shown that tank sessions can be used to treat autonomic nervous system problems like chronic pain, high blood pressure, and motion disorders. They can improve perceptual and motor skills in athletes, and creativity in artists. Suedfeld also claims that the tank shifts our brain’s focus from its dominant to its nondominant hemisphere, which has various benefits. “But God only knows why hemisphere balance is affected,” says Suedfeld. “We can’t yet fit a brain scanner in a tank, or get the scanner wet for that matter.”
For a tank newbie like me, not looking to cure physical disorders or win an Olympic medal, the more intriguing aspects of floating include 1) its possibly imagined, Lilly-Esque potential to reveal hidden layers of consciousness within, and 2) its proven capacity to chill people out. Suedfeld happily acknowledges point two. “Anything related to psychological stress,” says Suedfeld, “whether it’s chronic tension headaches, insomnia, things with no known physical cause … after several floats, they really seem to improve.”
Interesting how what is old (Medieval monks meditating in silence and darkness) becomes new again (1960’s era sensory deprivation) which itself becomes old and now is published by Business Insider as new again…
Perhaps if anything can last over a thousand years, it’s worth listening to?