Step inside an isolation tank (sensory deprivation tank) and leave behind all thoughts without distraction of sight, sound, and gravity. Let the warm water densely saturated with epsom salt wrap you around gently and take you back to when you were in the womb. Feeling “Unborn”, a cutting edge retreat lounge was opened in January 2021 to offer relaxation and mediation for those mindfulness seeking people who need some moment of peace to revitalize their energy.
What is an isolation tank (sensory deprivation tank)?
Isolation tank, also known as sensory deprivation tank, is a tank filled with warm water heated to human temperature with epsom salt mainly used for therapy. The tank shuts out light and sound to make people fall deeply under a meditative state to revitalize the mind and the body. At Unborn, guests can either keep the light on or off, and even have the lid of the tank open. However, they recommend turning all the lights off to pitch black for better treatment. Whichever best comforts, the tank is up to the guest’s preferences.
Unborn: Retreat Lounge
Newly opened somewhere in Tokyo (the place is told only to the customers), the lounge offers two private rooms equipped with isolation tanks (sensory deprivation tanks), a creative lounge, and a meditation room. The guest will first be accompanied to the creative lounge to prepare for their treatment. After a cup of still water to moist the throat, guests will be able to choose from three different types of aroma to help unwind to relax. The staff will then drop a few droplets of aroma onto the hand so the guest can put their hands to their nose and enjoy the soothing smell of aroma for a while. By adding extra yen, a drop of CBD oil can be added to the still water to help boost the meditation too.
Once ready, guests can enjoy a calming light show floating on warm water densely saturated with Epsom salt. After taking a shower to thoroughly cleanse off any hair wax, sunscreen, and makeup, guests are then ready to enter the tank. Ear plugs are prepared to protect the ear from infection, and vaseline and band aids are provided to cover any cuts or weak skin from stinging.
Just like in the Dead Sea, the high concentration and the buoyancy of the salt in the water makes people float. The water is soft and gentle and you can feel the thickness.
Accompanied by a soothing voice offering a guided meditation at the start, guests will soon fall under a meditative state. (Guided meditation is offered only in Japanese, but the music will still help to start the meditation even unfamiliar with the language) By removing the stimuli from the senses, guests will feel zero gravity with no real concept of up, down, time, or space inside the tank. With continuous practice on mindfulness using the isolation tank, it is believed that awareness can be increased and users become more sensitive to their everyday mental state. Also, the epsom salt is said to be good for coldness, swelling, and making the skin beautiful. Once out the tank, guests can see the leftover salt on their skin and will need to take a shower to get it off before leaving. Including a bottle of water, all other amenities are being prepared so guests have no trouble coming here empty handed.
At the far end of the corridor, the world's first color sound meditation is offered at the Unborn Meditation room. Bathing under soothing sound and light using the latest technology, KISSonix Immersive 4D Sound, introduced by Kazuyuki Ito, a pioneer in stereophonic sound, guests can be enveloped in an immersive sound meditation. By listening to the guidance along with the various colors of light that cover the space, guests can focus on their breathing and sensations of the whole body to be free of disturbing thoughts.
Tracing A Memory of Time on Earth
The creative lounge where guests are first being led to and will come back after their treatment is a “space created by humans who have moved into space, as if tracing their memories of their time on Earth”, argues The Human Miracle Inc who produced this retreat lounge. It is also a place to observe one's senses and see how they feel about the arts and the space in general, before and after the treatment.
The quiet sound of water droplets in the dark and calm space will soothe the mind and bring you to a deep meditative state. By sitting on any of the couches here, you will be in a relaxed mode and will naturally close your eyes. Especially the zero gravity chair specially designed for the Unborn is nothing ever experienced. It is said that by making the knee and the heart at the same height, people feel zero gravity. This is recreated in this special couch and as if to think of the earth once people lived, guests can stare through the round window like lighting on the ceiling or simply close their eyes for one final round of meditation before going back into the hustle and bustle city.
Prior to becoming a member for a continuous treatment, all guests can give it a try once. To make reservations, please email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to mention that you saw this article on Navitime. Then the staff will be able to guide your way smoothly. After making a reservation, guests will then know the location of the retreat lounge which is located somewhere in Tokyo.
How to Experience the Isolation Tank
Here is a simple run down of how to enter the isolation tank (sensory deprivation tank)
Arrive at the retreat lounge, Unborn
Key in the counselling form and have a sip of water at Retreat Lounge. With extra, all guests can add CBD oil for better mediation.
Go to the private room equipped with isolation tank (sensory deprivation tank)
Remove all clothing and jewelry
Shower before entering the tank (make sure to cleanse off all makeup, sunscreens, hair lotion, etc.) Do not use hair treatment as it will damage the tank. Only use shampoo and body soap equipped in the shower room
Enter the tank, close the lid and the light (recommended but, can keep the lid open and light on too)
Gently lie back and let the buoyancy of the water help you float
Headrest is provided for those who need help floating
Music and a soothing voice starts for a few minutes to help you relax at the start of the session (The voice is only available in Japanese)
Float for an hour
Music plays for the last few minutes of the session
Get out of the tank once your session has ended
Shower again to thoroughly cleanse off the left over salt. At this time, hair treatment can be used which is provided in the shower room
Get dressed and return to the retreat lounge
※Once staff leaves you alone in the private room, guest have 8 minutes to shower before the music plays to announce the start of the session.
※Guest can stay in the private room for meditation, shower and enjoy the amenity for a total of 90 minutes, including 1 hour of floating in the tank