Last Friday I did an hour in an isolation tank at Float Seattle. I heard Joe Rogan raving how powerful the experience of being in a sensory deprived chamber, so when I learned there was a place just a few miles away from me where I could try it, I went.
In this clip Joe Rogan explains how the tank works and why he likes them.
According to Rogan you need to do the isolation tank several times before you can begin to experience the true benefit. I’ll take his word for it, because my experience was rather unremarkable. It didn’t relax me or energize me. It was a big nothing for me.
The day after the tank experience I was suppose to report to a friend my thoughts. Even though I spend over an hour with my friend on both Saturday and Sunday, I didn’t bring it up. I had completely forgot about the experience. I almost forgot to do this blog post, but had written a note down so I wouldn’t.
To trust that Rogan is correct, would require a big time and money commitment. With round trip drive and parking, each session works out to two hours. Although the price for the first float is a fair $39 plus tax, the price goes up to $69, but they do have a monthly membership plan for $49.
Compare this to my recent 8 days of sauna and steam room visits. The sauna was immediately calming and my sleep quality was amazing. I could be wrong, but if I’m going to spend $50 a month to relax, I am more likely to pick the sauna gym over the isolation tank membership.
Jul 5, 2013 — 12:28 pm
Frank Zane was a big believer in this some years back.
I really enjoy your experiments and the clear reports you post here.
Jul 6, 2013 — 10:05 am
It seems you have started listening to some of Rogan’s ramblings 🙂
His enthusiasm for the floating tank is very deep and I think it takes a certain background of past “spiritual experiences” and a special mindset to use the floating tank to one’s advantage.
While the sauna and the steam room have an instant effect on one’s physical state (i.e. better sleep etc), I guess the tank is more effective at allowing the individual to find out about his own psyche.
Jul 6, 2013 — 10:14 am
Sounds like what might be at play in the isolation tank is more of a meditation experience? I wonder if you just sat in a dark room for an hour over and over again, if you might get a similar experience, with far less financial investment?
Thanks for this post – I always wondered about those things. You’ll have to try one of those salt rooms next. My mom took me to one, and I thought the whole thing was a bit silly. Not to say that there isn’t something to it – who knows? But sitting in a room that had a crapload of salt on the floor just seemed a bizarre way to spend an hour.
Jul 6, 2013 — 10:19 am
@Stephan – Possibly. It is a huge investment just to see if Joe is right. I suppose if I had more money to throw around, I’d go for it. My inner economist says that if this ends up being as cool as Joe makes it out to be – the popularity will rise – and costs will come down.
@Jillian – I like your thinking. Dark quiet room. Work on the “free” senses first.
Was unaware of Salt Therapy. Just looked it up.
Maybe I’ll go to Whole Foods and dump the bulk salt on the floor and sit for a while. 🙂
Jul 6, 2013 — 10:26 am
I built one in my basement in the late 70s and spent countless enjoyable hours floating but as much as I love the experience I balk at going to a float center. At the prices they’re charging the money meter in my head would be too constantly ticking for me to relax.
There’s another place that recently opened in Seattle (Fremont dist.) that wants $89 for an hour float. Yikes! That’s a lot of dough to spend for an hour of nothing. Not that there can’t be value in taking time out and effortlessly floating in a body temperature epsom salts bath in pure pitch-darkness but I think it is something that needs to be done more regularly and for longer than an hour at a time to really appreciate what it has to offer, or at least find out if it has anything to offer you. But at these prices? Not so doable for the average person.
So though it is something I’d absolutely recommend anyone try if they haven’t before I’m also not too greatly surprised at your underwhelming experience.
Jul 6, 2013 — 10:54 am
@Richard – Agreed. There were a few moments during my hour where I was trying to figure out if I was getting my money’s worth. I tried my best to eliminate the thoughts, but they still surfaced.
Jul 6, 2013 — 7:18 pm
Joe Rogan is a stoner.
Unless you smoke an ounce of medical grade marijuana from a six foot bong before you do the isolation tank you can’t expect the same results.
Jul 8, 2013 — 2:37 pm
I tried the isolation tank back in the early 90’s, I enjoyed it but not as much as I enjoy a sauna or steam room. It was relaxing but not in a unique way.