An ambiguous answer. Yes and no. Float Tanks and Sensory Deprivation Tanks are not the same; each have their own unique characteristics. However you can achieve the same results in a Float Tank as you do in a Sensory Deprivation Tank.
Sensory Deprivation practices started as a therapy that attempted to provide the individual with Sensory Deprivation. The best way to enjoy Sensory Deprivation was by being inside an isolation tank or isolation chamber. Tanks provide auditory and visual isolation, blocking outside stimuli while the individual floats in Epsom Salt and enjoys zero gravity. Isolation of the senses and zero gravity. Tanks definitively provide this Sensory Deprivation.
As time went by, many individuals began to appreciate the benefits of floating in Epsom Salt and zero gravity. Individuals with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, stress, anxiety, and addictions began to seek Float Therapy as an alternative therapy.
As the needs of the population changed, so did the industry. Different Float Tanks appeared to fulfill those needs. Float Tanks provide individuals with the same benefits of an Isolation or Sensory Deprivation Tank with some added features that cater to those individuals not necessarily looking for sensory deprivation or that want to ease slowly into it.
Float Tanks, just as the Sensory Deprivation Tanks, provide auditory and visual isolation, block outside stimuli and allow floating in Epsom Salt at zero gravity; however, Float Tanks provide additional features that can be controlled by the floater and give the floater a sense of empowerment.
- Lights that can be turned on and off from inside the tank by the floater
- Music that can be programed in advance for the whole session or for part of it
- The possibility to float with the lid completely open or half way open. Ideal for those that are claustrophobic
Back to the initial question “Are Float Tanks and Sensory Deprivation Tanks or Sensory Deprivation Chambers the same?
Yes and No