“When one or more senses are restricted, the sensitivity of the others senses is expanded.” – The Book of Floating by Michael Hutchison
The floatation tank makes use of this sensory deprivation effect to bring about a gentle, pleasant, controllable, and temporary shift in consciousness in anyone who floats. This shift in consciousness is healthy, educational and can be manipulated, explored and used in such a way as to cause positive changes in attitude, physiology, and behaviour that persist even after the float.
While floatation tank is the best modern tool for cutting down the amount of external stimuli, humans have been using a variety of tools and techniques to achieve sensory deprivation for many years. Here are just some of them:
It is clear by now that the use of sensory isolation has a long history. Sensory restriction is an effective way of turning toward reality, of increasing our sensitivity to and awareness of the world as it is. People who emerge from floatation tank are often delighted to find that the world seems to have changed while they were away. They speak of seeing things anew, and describe the world as fresh, glowing, bright and more vivid.
– Summary of Less is More – The Sensory Restriction Tradition from The Book of Floating by Michael Hutchison
Down a dusty side street in Central Auckland lies Float Culture, a sensory deprivation centre dedicated to physical relaxation and mid expansion. Alone in the dark I left my body. It was a directionless exit. More of an expansion in all directions. Perhaps influenced by having just read a copy of the Bhagavad Gita(forced upon […]Read more
If you’re new to floating or find it hard to unwind, then you might be awfully familiar with the perception of ‘mind speak’ whilst attempting to relax. A regular battler – even with the physical and mental exhaustion I feel after a day’s work – I often struggle to completely rest at night, battling with […]Read more
Sensory deprivation (in psychology) is an experimental situation in which all stimulation is cut off from the sensory receptors. What we know about the benefits of floatation continuously leaves us amazed by the power of the human body. Not because of the states of relaxation and elation that floating can endure. No, rather the body’s […]Read more
To most people, the idea of floating in a tank at Float Culture connotes feelings of calm, serene silence, quiet introspection and the occasional moment of epiphany. The aesthetic of the whole experience is undeniably flavored by Zen influence; it seems like the sort of place you’d go if you had to figure out the […]Read more