The concept of the sensory deprivation tank or isolation tank was invented by a neuroscientist Dr. John Cunningham Lily in the 50s, the idea behind was to disengage the brain from its surrounding or external stimulations by floating an individual in a salt water solution (that allows the body to float effortlessly) that is placed in a dark sound proof tank in order for individuals to remain in sensory isolation for long periods of time.
Overtime the activity picked up pace as a trend more than it was due to health factors as very little was known about brain waves during that time and the intelligence behind how the sensory deprivation tank affected the human body was also in its infancy stages. However, as it was about to become popular due to the sharing of ‘user experiences’, the world was thrown into the ‘AIDS fear’ era which saw many of these ‘floating futuristic spas’ shutting down as people were not well informed on how AIDS was transmitted.
As time passed researchers involved in neurological activities revisited the floatation tanks and started conducting experiments on how these devices ‘freed brain resources’ as external stimuli was eliminated and found out that the disengagement of the brain from its surroundings, the brain practically ‘inverted’ its focus on inner healing. The results of their experiments were astounding in terms of the medical benefits that people gained by floating regularly. Different medical fields came to concur with the fact that the floatation tanks were not only beneficial mentally but also physically.
Mentally, people who subject themselves to isolation tank therapy regularly became, more active, had better moods, better problem solving abilities, enhanced creativity, lesser stress and close to zero anxiety. Basically, the tanks were able to reset the entire range of mental processes that regulated emotions, behaviour and reactive processes. From a physical perspective, floatation therapy promoted physical healing that range from better blood circulation, removal of toxins, muscle relaxation (which is why it is popular among athletes), faster injury recovery, skin disease (Epsom salt which contains magnesium and sulphate is extremely good for the skin), skin texture (some users float in isolation tanks for the sole purpose of beauty care) and even pain reduction due to the natural release of endorphins.
The isolation tank is even getting more popular these days as physicians start introducing them to patients as part of their therapy for a variety of reasons. The fact that float tanks have a remarkable effect on the human body is not an illusion that marketers are cooking up to sell their floating pods or market their float products, these tanks actually work, and they work well, people have come to look upon it as a the ‘one hour vacation’ based on some researches that indicate an hour in a floatation tank provides the same benefits an individual gets from a weekend escape to an island paradise.
To add to it, these tanks are completely safe and does not have any negative side effects!