Sensory deprivation tanks - Use this great tool!
In our blog 10 Jan 15 we started to explore the truly amazing ways that sensory deprivation tanks can be used as a tool by so many different people in so many different ways.
Sensory deprivation is how float tanks create the experience that is liked by almost everyone who tries it. In a float tank the sensory input is deliberately restricted by removing as much light, sound and skin sensations. Hence REST restricted environmental technique. This effortlessly allows the brain to switch gears. One of the effects as mentioned in a previous blog is the increased activity of the right brain which has long been associated with creativity and imagery.
Radio DJ Floats
There have been studies on this some can be found at this Ocean Floatroom research resource but here I would like to share an example drawn from running the London Float Centre. In London UK one of the most popular radio stations is Capital Radio. We got a call one day from a Capital Radio DJ who said his boss had told him to try floatation so it could be the topic of one of his programmes. He admitted that he was reluctant to try it as he didn't like the idea of getting into an enclosed space but was fine when he was told it was a large spacious float room.
After his float session he came out quite excited. He explained that his father had been an advocate of using visualisation techniques to achieve goals and he thought he would try it whilst floating. He was excited because he said he had found it very easy indeed to visualise whilst floating in the sensory deprivation tank, that the visualisations were vivid and compelling and that he wanted to float again as soon as possible.
A week and 3 float sessions later his initial reluctance to float had changed to a being a complete floatation convert. He was feeling great, mentally clearer and sleeping better and YES he had really achieved the goal he had been visualizing.
For years he had wanted to move from the radio to TV and he had now actually been offered a job in TV. He said that the positivity, focus, clarity and motivation he had gained had "catapulted" him into a job. Needless to say he frequently talked about floatation in his radio programme until he moved on.
How does sensory deprivation visualisation work?
Visualization is a powerful tool that works on the body and mind. The effect on the mind is really enhanced in sensory deprivation not only because it is such a perfect distraction free environment but the enhanced right brain makes it much easier to visualise but probably even more importantly the openness of the brain to ideas is not blocked by the left brain's often inappropriate judgements about ideas and one's ability to achieve ambitions, goals or even minor changes. Another aspect of this is the hugely important aspect of being in a positive frame of mind to achieve goals in sport and in life generally. Floating on it's own helps you feel positive about yourself so imagine how effective visualization together with that feeling of well-being that floatation gives is to achieving goals however grand or small they may be.
Powerful yes! That's just the mind side of the benefits of visualization.
What about the direct effects on the body?
This is most easily demonstrated in the professional sports world where performance is so pressured and is why so many athletes have used and still use sensory deprivation tanks. US teams have included the Eagles, Sea Hawks and the Cowboys, the captain of the England rugby team, famous UK football players. The list is extensive. It is well known and encouraged by sports trainers that by repetitively visualizing yourself doing the perfect action in your sport is a type of virtual learning for your muscles. Visualizing yourself doing the perfect tennis stroke or throwing the perfect ball will allow and encourage your body to do it right automatically and naturally when you need to.
Sensory deprivation tanks can also used to achieve these goals by a person watching video in-tank that has been previously taken of themselves doing that perfect action.
So to sum up visualize whilst floating in a sensory deprivation tank to achieve mental and physical goals. Visualising whilst floating has multiple and enhanced benefits.