Sunday, January 9, 2011

#147: Float Lab--Sensory Deprivation Float Tank

The idea of sealing yourself up in a pitch black chamber and floating in salt water for an hour and a half might not appeal to everyone, but the adventurous at heart will love their experience at Float Lab. Located in Venice just off the Speedway, Float Lab offers a unique and relaxing sensory deprivation experience for just $40 cash.

I called the float lab a couple of days earlier and the only times they had available were 8:30 am and 6:30 pm, so we took the 6:30 pm slot. We made sure to hydrate and eat a snack so that we weren't hungry or thirsty for those 90 minutes.

Once we got there, the owner let us try these Turbo Sonic machines that vibrate your body at various frequencies to accelerate healing and exercise your muscles without you moving. It felt like I was standing on top of a washing machine, only ten times more intense. My sides started hurting after a few minutes, so I stopped, but Brad lasted the whole session.

Then he showed us the two chambers. The whole lab is just one big room divided into a waiting area and two areas consisting of the flotation chambers and showers. He instructed us to take a shower first, put in our earplugs then go into the flotation chamber. He told us that we could stay as long as we wanted.

When I stepped into the chamber, I was surprised how thick the water felt. Lying down, I closed my eyes, then opened my eyes, and could sense no difference in the two. The water was warm, and only 10 inches deep, and the whole chamber was like a giant bathtub. It took no effort to float due to the large amount of Epsom salt dissolved in the water, but my neck started hurting a bit so I put my hands behind my neck for support.

Before we got to the lab, I joked with Brad that this was gonna be an extreme form of meditation. With nothing in there to distract me from my thoughts, I thought I would either be bored or anxious. I was actually neither.

The only thing I didn't enjoy about my experience was how sore my neck and shoulders felt at some points even with my hands behind my head. Your experience may be different though--I have a weak neck. I kept alternating between a sitting and lying position to alleviate the discomfort. Once I was out of the chamber, however, I felt great and it didn't bother me anymore.

Once out, I also noticed that my skin was super soft. We felt really mellow for the rest of the night into the next day, and I slept like a baby. This was a great way to relax, "detox" and meditate.... like a mini-vacation. Check it out!

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