An isolation tank, sensory deprivation tank, float tank, float pod, float cabin, flotation tank, or sensory attenuation tank is a pitch-black, light-proof, soundproof environment heated to the same temperature as the skin. Flotation tanks are widely advertised as a form of alternative medicine. The tank is filled with 10 inches of water which contains enough dissolved Epsom salt to create a specific gravity of approximately 1.25–1.26. This environment allows an individual to float effortlessly on the surface of the water. The primary function of the isolation tank is to eliminate as many of the external senses as possible.
People turn to floatation therapy for a host of reasons including pain, anxiety, burnout, and high-blood pressure. According to neuropsychologist Justin Feinstein, floating could even replace medication for anxiety as he noticed in his current study, “Essentially what we found in the preliminary data is that the amygdala is shutting off post-float. It’s nice to see that that can be done in a way that doesn’t require medication.” He is one of the researchers bringing sensory deprivation tanks, or floating, into the light.