Episode 126 Show Notes
In this episode, Grant and Heavey are doing something Heavey has been wanting to do for some time now – get inside a float tank! Originally called a sensory deprivation tank, a float tank is a room filled with Epsom salt-dosed water and these guys are going to share with us their thoughts and feelings during and after this whole experience.
[01:25] Expecting the Outcome
Grant has basically figured two possible outcomes – (1) He is going to be alone in the tank for an hour with nothing to do, causing him to get bored. (2) He is alone in there with nothing to do and then he’d start thinking about crazy stuff and go crazy. Either way, he thinks every possible outcome would be negative. We’ll see!
[01:55] It’s Not Just Woo-Woo!
Heavey, on the other hand, has always wanted to do this in his quest for mindfulness since this is in line with the meditation habit he has been working on. This is not just a hippie dippy stuff. In fact, the Patriots have actually made float tank a regular part of their routine for the last few years.
The longest time Heavey has ever meditated is 15 minutes. It’s hard to stay put for 5-15 minutes if you’re distracted by all the other stuff you want to do. With a float tank, you have no other choice but to sit inside a tank and not do a single thing except for being left alone with your thoughts. Heavey thinks it’s going to be crazy at first but after 15-20 minutes, people who have experienced this noticed feeling calm and having a peaceful experience.
[03:25] What is a Float Tank?
Twelve years ago, Heavey read the book, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! written by Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Richard Feynman, where he talked about isolation tanks.
A float tank is a room filled with water (about a foot deep) heavily dosed with Epsom salt which allows the body to experience a feeling of weightlessness while you’re laying on it. In the absence of lights and the water set at your body temperature, it’s supposed to feel like you’re floating on cloud.
[05:11] Float and Sleep
Heavey has read some of the experiences of the Patriots players saying that a lot of them enjoying it because they’re able to get good sleep in it. Plus, they found out that the effect on their sleep rippled out the next night, getting better sleep at home as a result of doing the float tank the night before.
While Grant poorly planned for this having had three cups of coffee this morning, Heavey feels he’s going to get in there and is just going to zonk out in 5 minutes. Interestingly, their friend, Jason, actually had a holy, emotional experience when he did this a few years back that as he got out of the tank, he was drawn to call the people he cares for and just let them know he appreciates them.
[07:13] Clothes Off, Lights Off
The ideal scenario is to not wear any clothes on to avoid any perception of it. Whereas laying on salt water where you’re floating and all naked, set at body temperature, and with no light, you simply won’t have any perception of anything.
Oh and just in case panic strikes, there is a button found in the tank that will let you turn on a little bit of light if not having any light is something you’re not comfortable with.
[07:57] Just Float
Located in Pasadena, Just Float is the world’s largest float tank operation. The facility has ten rooms. They give out discount to first timers at $40/hour per person. Regular price is $70. Check here for other pricing options.
So Grant and Heavey have booked separate rooms at Just Float where they’re doing this float tank experience. By the end of the session, they’re going to be led into a little tea room where the two will meet and share their experiences.
[10:50] The Actual Experience
After getting into the float tank, Heavey is feeling pretty relaxed while Grant is feeling tired and relaxed. Grant also came out feeling slightly anxious because he felt like he lost an hour. While in there, he was counting the whole time. Both of them felt the time was shorter than they expected.
While Grant kept waiting for a revelation to occur or for him to hit something different than him just laying there, Heavey had a few moments where he went back to his meditative practice and felt a deeper meditation. In the contrary, he also felt fidgety about things where he kept wanting to push himself off the sides of the wall to know where he was and he felt having awareness of his muscle tensions.
Grant found it to be “crazy comfortable,” feeling like being completely suspended. The problem he found, however, was that he could feel all the soreness and tightness of his muscles all over his body that he wanted to move and stretch it out. He felt like he needed a massage while he was in there.
[13:10] The After Experience
Heavey thought he would be a lot more calm but there was still a lot in his mind and he felt fidgety. But when he got out and took a shower afterwards, he felt it was one of the best showers he’s ever had in his life and it made him appreciate the shower.
When Grant went out of the tank, he was bored but he did feel more calm and centered. It wasn’t until he started thinking about the next things they had to do that he got a little anxious about their lost time. So while he was in there not feeling in a zen experience, coming out of it, he did actually feel a “layer off.”
[14:34] A Few Discomforts
The craziest thing for Grant is not being able to tell if his eyes were open or closed. Heavey thought the same. Also, it was funny how the top half of the body is a little bit above water so he had to dip his hips down and adjust.
What Grant found physically uncomfortable was feeling the tiny, little cuts and scrapes on his body from being in the salt water. They found the water to be a little bit cold too.
[16:30] Would They Do It All Over Again?
Grant would want to do it again but he wished there was a 25 to 30-minute option where he could get those 100-200 breaths in, relax, float, and then go on with his day. An hour felt like more than necessary.
Heavey, on the other hand, is definitely going to do it again in June. This time, minus the caffeine in his system since he thought that affected him 100%.
Obviously, this affected Grant too (remember he had 3 cups in the morning) and he wants to do this without caffeine. While he was in the tank, could basically feel his heart beating faster and harder. So maybe doing it after a day of no caffeine would give him a more enriching experience.
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman
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