Isolation Chambers: Healing for the Mind and Soul

advertisement - learn more

The sensory deprivation tank, also known as an isolation chamber, is a modern day relaxation therapy that has been gaining widespread attention for its remedial and healing benefits for the mind and soul. The concept of the isolation tank is a take on the practice of mediation, for it forces the participant to let go of all external sensory stimuli to focus on the infinite universe that is within.


The tank is filled with water which is harmonized to the same temperature as the surface of the skin. The water is heavily salted with Epsom salt, making it extremely dense and allowing for the person to float on their backs with their nose and mouth above the water to allow breathing. The participant enters the tank nude, and because of the precisely correlated temperature of the water and the skin the person is led to feel as though they are floating in mid-air. There is no light that enters the chamber, and likely there is no external sound that can be heard. The user is cut off from outward sensory stimuli, and after relaxing into the environment is absorbed into a concentrated mediation.

The environment allows for the person to easily slip into an altered state of consciousness, and with practice through successive sessions users report being able to explore deeper and deeper aspects of their psyche and consciousness with improved efficiency each time. As a person gets better at letting go a bit more each time, they come to a point where they release the attachments to identity, and by doing so become connected to a source of energy and awareness like never before.

Within the first 15-20 minutes users report experiences wherein they observe themselves and their lives with a new transparency, gaining clarity on things such as their behavior, relationships, and thought patterns. As time goes on within the chamber, the mind and soul become completely segregated from the body, wherein some can experience the `god-head`, or the feeling of complete oneness with the universe and the source of love and light.

The tank provides a helping means for anyone to practice meditation, whether they are completely new to the exercise or whether they are a master. The benefits can be substantial for people who are experiencing stress and who wish to escape their busy lives, for people who have difficulty meditating in their normal environments, or even for people who wish to simply gain clarity on issues in their daily lives.

In today’s society a vast majority people search outwards for help and assistance, and the common vices that are promoted through mass advertising and media include pharmaceuticals, therapists/counsellors, alcohol, and television to name a few. Modern day therapies such as the isolation chamber may be the future of psychotherapy, which focuses on ridding oneself of external distraction while empowering oneself  to heal by means of personal observation and conscious awareness.



Free Happiness Training!

Do you want to bring more happiness into your life?

Happify's activities and games are based on a decade's worth of cutting-edge research by psychologists and neuroscientists from leading academic institutions around the world.

Happify's exercises are personalized directly for you based on your unique goals.

If you are looking to bring more peace and joy into your life this year Start out with Happify for FREE!

advertisement - learn more

More From 'Health'

CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. I have been an avid floater in my life and experienced some of the deepest states of rest I could conceptualize-a true tonic for helping me both process anything cluttering the different parts of my mind and then (expectation free) lead me into places of quiet and reverie that I consider as the building blocks for practicing meditation. To practice floating “successfully” is simply to observe and witness and experience the moment. Which can be deeply provocative for the wherever one gets sticky in stories and identity and expand consciousness where surrender is allowed. It is the only place to be stimulation and gravity free, in the portal of the cosmos….the void or no-thingness which then allows the pineal to open and the Innerverse to unfold like a flower. I am very interested in knowing what particular tank is being shown with this article. I had a tank built in Bali and I would consider buying one for here in the bay area. Thank you for the excellent video. Floating = Heaven.

    • Hello Akasha – that’s an i-sopod floatation tank – – we manufacture this pod exclusively here in England and export across the globe – we have our tanks in over 26 countries and would be happy to hear from you. Unfortunately a couple of unscrupulous people we’ve sold our pods to have made cheap copies… so be aware of inferior products.

  2. carlos Macias

    WATER, The equalizer.

  3. Jpex

    SCUBA diving and finding neutral buoyancy seems very similar to the experience described, a loss of gravitational pull and total weightlessness. Albeit you need to close you eyes…:)

  4. I find meditating by the waters or just meditating daily to be just as effective and more cost-effective =D

    • Meditators often use floatation tanks……… and they are always left blown away by the results.

      • True Samadhi Requires No Devices

        Experiences during meditation are more powerful, lasting, and beneficial than anything a float tank can offer. Floating brings no release. I meditate and float on a daily basis, and floating is never what blows me away.

        • fabled02

          Interesting conclusion. How did you come into that conclusion? Reply would be most valuable. :)

          • True Samadhi Requires No Devices

            Hello there!

            I came to that conclusion after helping open a float center while practicing meditation, over the course of 7 months last year.

            I continually noticed how my co-workers–who were also floating every day–were complaining of relationship problems and issues in their personal lives, seemingly unable to effectively respond to the ethical pivot points presented to them. The conversations over this time period were almost solely focused on the pain of divorce and break-up. In conjunction, drugs and alcohol were used frequently amongst this group.

            This puzzled me, as it seemed that the members of my Sangha who were struggling with many of the same issues were responding in proactive ways, with healthy attitudes and less complaints. The conversations over the same time period were almost solely focused on how to offer more compassion and understanding in our relationships. In conjunction, relationships grew stronger.

            And so a question inevitably arose: why are those who meditate daily so much better at solving important life problems than those who float everyday?

            I let that question hang for about a month, stupidly hoping that an answer would come later. I became distracted in this period and let my practice slip to only a few sits a week. It was then that I noticed how my float sessions were becoming markedly less orgasmic. Floating in the months prior was akin to being on a roller coaster of bliss, where every breath felt indescribably refreshing from the moment I entered the water. Now it was more of a process, more of a “figuring out” of things. Something was off, but I was still floating everyday. What kind of practice do you get worse at the more you do?

            The difference, of course, was that I was not meditating daily.

            It became clear that my meditation practice was informing my floatation sessions, just as it was informing every single thing in my life.

            And so I found the answer that was there from the start: people who meditate–those who realize–are settling down and directly confronting their suffering in a way that allows immediate release and a path to walk through life that ends that suffering. To meditate everyday requires discipline and faith, no matter how you shake it. To float everyday does not require discipline, it does not require faith, and it does not prescribe a path to walk that ends our fundamental dissatisfaction.

            The biofeedback machines are doing what everything in this universe is doing: pointing us back to the cushion.

            I’ll end with a little story. In Fairbanks, Alaska they have a tourist attraction called “The Fridge” that looks like a big freezer laying on its side. People come up during the summer and pay $5 to spend 10 minutes inside “The Fridge” where things are “just like winter time in Fairbanks!” It’s really great! Many come out saying, “Man! I know what it’s like to live in Alaska during the winter!”

            Be well my friend.

          • fabled02

            I am grateful for your reply. It gives me pleasure to read one so thorough as yours is. Thank you. :)

            In other words floating is a form of relaxation of the body and meditation is of the mind. While body needs to relax every once in a while, floating does just that, but to relax the mind, meditation is the key to patience and thus we are more likely to focus on how to solve our social puzzles rather than the puzzles of the body. In other words floating helps our body to focus on what it does best and meditation helps our mind to focus on what it does best.

            I wonder if it is probable to be able to float and meditate at the same time? Even if not at the same time, still they could be valuable in ways, to practice both in regular basis in order to overcome many kind of obstacles in our lives. What do you think?

            Best of Day!

  5. Actually, we had our own Floatcentre now since February 2011 and we have still 100% satisfied clients. How often can anyone say 100%? It’s a real experience for people and many, even first time trying out floating get the feeling of that they are rotating horizontal and and also vertical since the brain have no reference where it is. Very nice feeling.

  6. Jill Coblentz

    If you have Tinnitus, I would think it would be so loud while you are in there. I don’t know for sure, I would like to try it once. I am pretty curious.

  7. Tinnitus

    • sjjl

      qringing in the ears

    • Alex

      Tinnitus tinnitus tinnitus. Looks funny now.

  8. The tank is an amazing tool for anyone who is open for an new experience. Its a safe environment, that can be compared to the womb (Dark, warm and safe). One essentially, unplugs from the outside world for 60 minutes or longer, allowing their body and mind to relax and let go (the mind can take a little longer to relax than the body). Travis McLaren @ Cloud 9 Float Spa

    • Laurence

      I still need to know how you go about healing the Soul. By the way the body will not be relaxed until the mind has performed this function. Pity you don’t know what you are talking about Travis

      • Questioner

        Laurence are you a troll?

        • Laurence

          If you are going to make speculative allegations please do so without hiding behind a pseudonym, what do you have to hide, not normally reliable, insecure, no self confidence, jealous, inadequate, please let us know. Perhaps you would like to tell us why the Soul needs healing, at least you would be the first. Be constructive at least.

          • Gooba

            Troll-ville, population Laurence. And now Gooba. But Gooba the mayor.

      • Freeing your body for the effects of gravity has a profound physical relaxation effect

  9. Nate Ramirez

    I think this would be good for everyone. The pod is cut off from external stimuli. So one that floats in silence will stay in silence and be able to meditate. However the Epson salt filled water, no matter how dense, would still splash and make noise, giving people who are prone to panic some worldly stimulus to fall back onto.

    • Laurence

      I think at this point in time, that I require a description of the Soul, if only to qualify what we all think we are referring to and talking about and how may this part require healing.

      • Gooba


  10. joe

    Altered States, anyone?
    I wish everyone had a supervised vacation in one of these, just so long as you trust those outside and inside ur bubble ;P

  11. ann

    Like what, Laurence? Could you give details on negative effects that it could possibly cause? I’d like a different viewpoint. from where I stand, there are no negative consequences to “awakening” (other than some frustration due to others not being on the same level)

    • Agreed. It’s exactly the same with Psychedelics.

      • Laurence

        Then from where you stand Ann if any problems arise they will be a surprise to you which you will carry without responsibility as you will not have seen it coming.
        Aaron, it make have some similar outcomes, but drugs wear off, no stable state can be guaranteed after the experience unless certain parameters have been met prior to the experience. Under standing cause affect and affectation really is key. Few are capable of seeing it in themselves others will be under risk from the blind.

        • Gooba

          This is really good. Great point here.

  12. El Lime Head

    And so the Matrix begins…

  13. sammy

    What does it cost, and …..more importantly, “Could it have saved Michael Jackson ????”

    • Laurence

      If it does what is say on the tin it will create some very serious psychological states for its users. It’s use should be servilely restricted. Experiencing that sort of energy for the unprepared is extremely dangerous. The people that buy this unit are unlikely to understand the problems that it can create and will certainly be unqualified to deal with the problems that it is capable of creating.

      • larissa

        I 100% agree. This sounds great if used with the right knowledge and caution.

        • Laurence

          At least someone has their head screwed on.

      • Jill Coblentz

        I agree Laurence, while I was reading about this, I was thinking about my mental health patients. I think most of them would be totally “freaked out” and the results could be very damaging. For some people this may be a wonderful thing, how do you know which people would benefit though?!

        • Laurence

          Jill, it is the potential energy levels that can be generated when one is able to let go, that can be as destructive as they can be good. It is not the sort of energy that one needs to experience with out being mentally prepared, this experience in most cultures takes years of preparation, however in the West immediate gratification rules and the understanding of this sort of unfettered power should not be available over the counter. practitioners offering this sort of energy release have done a lot of damage in the past but much of it has never been recorded. Who records their failures?
          Yes this experience has the potential to change your life but one will require a guiding hand from an enlightened source, not some alternative practitioner who is out to make money by offering this option as a therapy. Many will make money but those who pay will find that when things go wrong the practitioner is unlikely to want to be responsible for inflicting an altered unstable mental state. if thus should occur, there is no doubt that it will not be fixed, you may have an adverse mental reaction for the rest of your life. I have seen it happen. I am not saying that this therapy should never be used but the band wagon will role and shit happens.

          Asking how you would know which people would or would not benefit would you to be sufficiently knowledgeable about altered states of mind, how they occur in each individual and what would trigger these activities in each person that was offered this therapy. Should you have reached this understanding of other human beings behavioural patterns you would hardly be asking. It is not those that may or may not benefit it is those that you may harm. Not knowing this does not give you a licence to harm anyone, unless of course that you think that this does not matter.
          I have options and safeguards that would make using this equipment less of a potential threat, I hope you have some too.

          • There is no existence which is either positive or negative. Existence is both. Maybe not at the same time, but between regular intervals and gradual change of pace. Even the enlightened source needs to realise it through first time experience. The risk is there too and it won’t go away no matter how we try to prepare someone who needs to try out themselves to really understand how this works. We can decide to use this either for the good of us all or we use it for meager gains of one. Our call, our decision. :)

          • Molly

            Immediate gratification.. I’m glad you mentioned that. This state of consciousness is reserved for those who have practiced meditation for years and years..

        • Jill in 20 years and 1200 customers a month from every walk of life we’ve yet to have anyone freak out. Floatation puts you in to a meditative state, you relax, your brain waves slow and you drift off to beautfil and profound states,

      • Laurence – I have been running a floatation centre for 20 years – we have 9 tanks and we administer 1200 sessions each month. No one has had a bad experience of freaked out. We have people who are stressed, people who are anxious, people who are depressed and they all get benefits….. I think you are an attention seeker who sadly has no idea what they are talking about.

  14. Eliot Estep

    Wow! This looks amazing, I would love to try this sometime. Thank you for sharing this! Is there some kind of database or site where we can find the nearest float chambers? That would be a useful resource! :-)

Leave a Reply

Featured TEDx Talk

TEDx - Agents of Change

Free Exclusive Film Screening!

Free Film Screening
advertisement - learn more
Connect, Inspire, Chat & Share!
CE Radio - Listen now!
advertisement - learn more
Subscribe to CE Magazine Monthly For Exclusive Content!
The Mind Unleashed

We Recommend

Trending Now


Why We’re All Deficient In Magnesium, The Many Signs & What To Do

Signs of magnesium deficiency are everywhere in the United States, if you know what to look for. Unfortunately, the symptoms are so incredibly common that they constantly slip under the radar! Hardly anyone, especially doctors, notice that the ailments we…