(THE GUARDIAN) — Depending on who you ask, spending an hour floating naked in a soundproof, lightproof tank with only your own thoughts for company sounds either like a soothing respite from everyday life, or a nightmarish punishment devised by a uniquely devious and vengeful deity.
Personally, I yearn for the void. So I signed up for a session in a float tank. These used to be called sensory deprivation tanks, but the term has fallen out of favor because your senses aren’t fully deprived; the terms of art are flotation therapy or flotation Rest (restricted environmental stimulation therapy).
An illustration showing a woman performing various movements involved in face yoga.
Isolation tanks were first developed in the 1950s by John C Lilly, a neuroscientist who used them to enhance his psychedelic experiences. They didn’t become commercially available until the 1970s but their popularity quickly grew.
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