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Finding my center through sensory deprivation

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Darkness. Silence. Nothing but you and your thoughts floating on seemingly nothing. In retrospect, that seems absolutely terrifying; however, it was one of the most enlightening things I have ever experienced.

Sensory Deprivation: a process by which someone is deprived of normal external stimuli such as sight and sound for an extended period of time. I had the utmost pleasure of experiencing this while on Spring Break, bringing to light an entirely new level of relaxation to a time that is meant just for that.

To achieve this I visited True REST Float Spa while in Sedona, Arizona; a chain that will hopefully be coming to Michigan soon. Upon walking in, I was immediately welcomed by a man talking in a relaxing tone offering me water or tea and inviting me to take off my “street shoes” and slip on a pair of their flip flops. After filling out a short waiver, I was ushered into a second room where I watched a short video explaining the process of sensory deprivation. The room was very relaxing; filled with salt rocks and dim blue lighting. Upon laying in a comfortable lounging chair, the video told me that soon I would be taken to a third, private room that would contain a shower and the pod. The pod would be filled with ten inches of water that had over 100 lbs of Epsom salt dissolved in it. The water would then be heated to 93.4 degrees, extremely similar to the average body temperature.

After the video was over I was taken to that room. I was given further instruction on the logistics of the pod and how to open and close it and how to put the earplugs in that would prevent my ears from getting salty. Then I was left alone to undress, shower, and get in the pod.

While I had the option to leave dim lights or music on in the pod, I chose not to. I was floating in complete dark silence. At first, my mind was rolling in hundreds of directions and I found it hard to quiet it, but then all of a sudden it was nothing. My skin had gotten used to the temperature and it felt like I was floating. I have never felt anything like it. Shapes flashed across my vision as I fell into a state in between alertness and slumber. It was peaceful; it was me, my mind, and no one to bother me.

When my 60-minute flotation was up, the lights slowly came on in my pod signaling it was time to get out, shower the salt off, and enter reality once again. This time left a lasting impact on me for days after as I truly felt more in center with myself. If you find yourself with the opportunity to take a float out of reality, I would highly recommend it as it has left me feeling much calmer, more alert, and all around a happier me.

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