Isolation Therapy - A short-term escape for today’s hyper-connected generation.
While catching up with my sister the other day, she started telling me about this friend of hers who has a very interesting method of relaxation and stress relief. He visits a spa retreat that specializes in isolation therapy.
It involves is stepping inside a chamber called an isolation tank. An isolation tank is a lightless, soundproof tank inside which subjects float in salt water at skin temperature. When you lie back, you float effortlessly on it due to the density of the salt water. The body is perfectly supported by the solution which therefore creates the feeling of weightlessness. From what I’ve read, isolation therapy provides an environment that frees the mind and body from all external stimulation. The mind is therefore left free to drift into the deepest state of relaxation possible. With the body in such a relaxed state it will cleanse itself from stress related chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and lactic acid and replace them by beneficial endorphins. The body has the chance to restore its natural powers of self-regulation and healing.
Isolation therapy was conceived in the 1970s, but it never really took off. At the time, it was seen as a fad and slightly extreme. However in the last year it’s been making a big comeback all over the world. You’re probably thinking that all of this sounds a little extreme. I did. Especially considering that my sister’s friend is only 20 years old. But when you think about it, it’s pretty easy to see why isolation therapy is starting to make a comeback.
Today’s young generation is surrounded by more stimuli than any previous generation. Information is all around us, and we’re ALWAYS connected. We’ve got multiple social media accounts that are constantly bombarding us with notifications, and our smartphones keep us connected to the workplace at all hours of the day and night. Quite simply, we’re hyper-stimulated. And all this stimulation takes its toll on the mind and body.
This is why many city folk are drawn to holidays that take them away from the bright lights of the big city and into areas that deliberately cut them off from their normal, hyper-stimulated lives. Think of holidays to the country, to rural beach towns, and even into the jungles of the Amazon. Why are more and more people are going camping than ever before? Why are spa/spiritual retreats all the rage today? It’s because all these things are a form of ‘escapism’. They offer complete or partial ‘disconnection’.
So when you think about it, stepping into an isolation tank might sound a little extreme at first, but it makes complete sense. It’s a short-term disconnection from our crazy ‘connected’ worlds. Just another method of escapism.