An isolation tank, also called sensory deprivation tank, float pod, float cabin, sensory attenuation tank, or flotation tank, is a soundproof dark tank filled with a maximum of one foot of Epsom salt water which is heated to the same temperature as the skin. The salt helps to lessen gravity which makes the individual effortlessly float. This tank is utilized in restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) which seeks to enhance relaxation by reducing external sensorial stimuli.
According to several studies, some of the effects include increase in creativity, induce psychosis-like experience, muscle relaxation, sleep improvement, recovery from physical training or exhaustion, lessening of chronic pain, help in reducing anxiety and depression, and promoting an overall sense of well-being. An individual who uses an isolation tank first needs to remove his jewelry and clothing, take a shower, and finally enter the tank and turn off the light or close the lid/door. Music is usually played for the first 10 minutes while the client is adjusting to the dark and buoyant environment. Most clients sleep for the next 50 minutes and are roused by the music which plays during the last five minutes. The first tank was developed in 1954 by John C. Lilly, an American neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, psychonaut, inventor, and philosopher. Commercial isolation tanks were then developed in the 1970s for relaxation, better sleep, and stress reduction. A one-hour float session may cost from $50 to $100 dollars.