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Although the construct of sensory deprivation could reach to the complexities of quantum physics from some aspects, the fundamental mechanics are quite simple. Starting from the moment that an individual is placed in a sensory deprivation tank that is filled with water saturated with Magnesium Sulphate which allows the individual to float naturally in a dark, soundproofed tank to the moment he exits the tank, what actually happened was that the individual simply took a trip back into his or her mother’s womb.
This is simply because; sensory deprivation tanks actually mimic what goes on within a mother’s womb. For starter, the temperature of the Epsom salt solution is preheated to body temperature and the salinity of water which prevents the individual; from submerging completely create a feeling of weightlessness for the individual who would feel exactly how a baby would feel in the mother’s womb.
This scenario has a tremendous impact on the brain as observations at clinical trials have revealed that during sensory deprivation therapy, our brain goes into an intensely deep state of relaxation and operates at lower frequencies which are similar to the frequency or brain waves of Yogis who have been practicing the art of meditation for years. In these states, the ‘fight or flight’ responses which involve the production of adrenaline are tremendously ‘toned down’ along with the production of stress hormones such as cortisol.
The elimination of external stimuli such as sound, light, smells, temperature, and gravity also encourages the production of ‘feel good’ hormones such as dopamine and endorphin, this coupled with the tremendous amount of brain processing power is then diverted towards our biological components as our brain attempts to recalibrate our biological sequences at cellular levels. This means that sensory deprivation therapy works not just from a physical aspect, but it also works from a mental perspective.
What happens inside the mind during sensory deprivation therapy is the actual ‘magic’ so to speak as this is where things start to happen biologically as the brain goes about amending circulation cycles, oxygenation levels, reducing the production of stress hormones and enhancing production of ‘feel good’ hormones during each session. Therefore it can be said that it is the mental intervention that transpires during sensory deprivation therapy that is the main reason for subjects who attend floatation tank therapy to become healthier from a variety of different perspectives.
It has been recorded time and time again based on feedback given by subjects who were subjected to sensory deprivation therapy in Melbourne that even days after a therapy session, ‘floaters’ feel better, think better, focus better and perform better at work, home or play. This can be directly attributed to the fact that their stress hormones are kept at bay while the feel-good hormones which are critical to overall wellbeing are enhanced at each session. As the old adage goes ‘a healthy mind, leads to a healthy body’ and when this adage is linked to sensory deprivation therapy, I guess we could say that it is all based on actual fact!