I don’t know about you, but I could use a break. With the pandemic sadly picking up in Japan as of late, a trip to the hot springs or the hands-on attention of a masseuse might not be the best way to unwind. Perhaps a dip in an isolation tank is a viable alternative.
For those unaware, isolation tanks are a relaxation and meditation device gaining traction in recent years. In short, an iso tank is a capsule in which light and sound are blocked. Filled with water densely saturated with salt, they allow the user to float peacefully and in absolute silence. As a user lays in the tank, they gradually feel dissociated from physical sensations. By and by, they enter a deep meditation state.
Overall, being in an isolation tank must feel similar to being in the womb. With this in mind, the Human Miracle Co. recently opened a cutting-edge retreat lounge they are calling "UNBORN." Opened in January 2021, the lounge offers a creative space, a meditation room, and, of course, is complete with an isolation tank.
Those who regularly practice mindfulness using an isolation tank are quick to outline the benefits. By limiting one’s physical senses and experiencing a type of “sensory forgetfulness,” users become more sensitive to their everyday mental state. The practice provides some the opportunity to discover new mental states and develop new ideas. Moreover, isolation tanks are also thought to affect the autonomic nervous system beneficially. With repeated experiences, a state of increased awareness can continue throughout one's day outside of the tank.
At the Human Miracle’s lounge, users can follow their iso-tank experience with "color sound meditation." There, meditators can enjoy a calming light show accompanied by a soothing voice offering a guided meditation. Indeed, this is the world's first color-sound meditation performed by bathing a practitioner’s entire body in sound and light. Users can close their eyes for the best experience while relaxing their minds and bodies by focusing inwards. In so doing, they can focus on their breathing and the sensations of their body while listening to the guidance and experiencing the calming environment.
Finally, users are led to the "creative lounge," where they can feel the energy of art in their relaxed and, hopefully, mindful state. Overall, the experience aims to help visitors escape the litany of information and thoughts that cloud their typical waking mindset.
If anyone is worried about the cleanliness of such an experience, typical bacteria cannot survive the high concentration of Epsom salts in the tank water. The filter system, which operates after each flotation, also filters microorganisms that are 100 times finer than a human hair to keep the tank clean. Interested readers can find more information on the lounge’s website. (Membership is required and, at the time of writing, there's a waiting list for registration.)
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