13 In Life

One Hour in a Sensory Deprivation Bath

As a gift for Christmas, I got myself and my parents an hour spa bath at Spa Ovarium in Montreal. They both had talked to me about it on different occasions, so I thought it would be the perfect moment. That’s how I came to experience a sensory deprivation bath for the first time.

On the day of our appointment, we arrived a a bit earlier than our allotted time slot. My parents said they offer nice herbal teas when you arrive, so we took advantage of that and read while we waited.

Perhaps because we were at the end of the day, we ended up waiting longer than expected. Our appointment was at 9pm and we didn’t end up being called up until at least 9.15-9.20. It wasn’t a big deal, but since the baths last 1hour, it meant we came out nearing 10.30pm. Since that is their closing time, we were told to leave right away. It’s truly my only complaint as it was the least relaxing way to leave a spa.

Anyway, back on track…

The room consists of a shower and an individual tank – shaped like an egg (hence ovarium). I decided to go at it naked, but I expect you can probably go in your bathing suit (don’t quote me on that). You must take a quick shower to rinse beforehand and then head into the tank.

I took forever to figure out the shower (and so did my mom as we found out afterwards) so when the little music and introduction speech started I started panicking. I didn’t pay to spend 20 minutes figuring out this darn shower! But it seems panic works for me and I ended up figuring out the shower at that exact moment. Then into the tank I went!

The water felt a little tingly and yet very silky. I shut off the top of the egg completely and laid down in the bath, floating right away. What a weird feeling! I used the little floating pillow they gave us to rest my head and then relax. I decided I was going for full on sensory deprivation and so I shut down the light of the room and the bath as well as the music. It was then completely dark and silent. It felt as if floating naked in the universe. I know it sounds trippy and I am not a trippy person haha so I can tell you it was an amazing experience. When I laid down in the complete darkness, it felt just like it does, laying in the darkness in the country side, before my eyes get used to seeing the dark sky. Except there are no stars to see in the bath.

About Spa Ovarium baths

Spa Ovarium is situated in Montreal, right next to metro Beaubien, which is 10-15 minutes by public transport from the city centre. Their ‘floatation baths’ are individual tanks for sensory isolation. A bath contains on average more than 2,000 cups of Epsom salt, which makes floating effortless. The water is kept at body temperature so it feels perfect once you’re in. There are a lot of health benefits, please click here for more details.

Here are 10 thoughts I’ve had while experiencing total sensory deprivation:

1. Wow it truly floats in here, so cool. Is that how it’s like to be in the Dead Sea?
2. Oh, gross, I can feel the water slither into my ears.
3. I don’t think I locked the door, if someone walks in they will be greeted by my hoohaa
4. My body feels really silky.
5. How long have I been in here?
6. It feels like I’m floating in the universe.
7. My nose is itchy, damn it!
8. I can’t actually tell which parts of my body are in the water and those that aren’t.
9. How long have I been in here?
10. I really should have left the music on, it kept my mind of all these thoughts…

And I will spare you all the blog ideas and chapter ideas for my book I had while in the bath.

Top tips for going into a sensory deprivation bath:

1. Don’t eat too close to your bath time, or eat anything outside your normal diet that could upset your stomach.
2. Go to the toilet, even if you don’t need to, before going into the bath.
3. If you have a cut of any kind, talk to the staff, they will provide vaseline to cover the cuts so that they don’t burn in the salty water
4. Go in naked. It’s liberating and probably the best experience.
5. Use the head pillow they provide, it will help you relax your neck into a perfect position.
6. Experiment with closing all the lights and the music. You can turn them back on if it’s not how you prefer it. I liked all the lights turned off, but I realised that the music helped keep my mind occupied, which in turn helped me relax.
7. Experiment with putting your arms up and stretching your legs. It helps figure out if and where you’re still tense. Floating in total abandonment truly should release all your tensions.
8. Do not touch your face. Your face may itch, but don’t touch it. Work on that self-control.
9. When it’s time to leave, take your time, put a foot on the ground and hold on to the side of the bath. I was really dizzy and it took a moment to be able to stand.
10. They say to rinse your ears at least 3 times to make sure there aren’t residue and crystallisation in your ear after the bath. Make sure to really take care of your ears.

My final thoughts

What an amazing experience. It’s funny how long and yet how short an hour passes when you’re alone with your thoughts. I think the idea of a sensory deprivation bath is that you aren’t too aware of things – a meditation of sorts – but I took it to another extreme of being fully aware of my body. This means that for me this experience was a great first time, allowing me to learn how to relax, and that the next time will be even better.

If you’re in Montreal, I highly recommend trying out Spa Ovarium. Their prices seem a bit steep, but if you can get a discount (which we got for Christmas) it is worth it. Also, I would advise not to book late at night. It’s really great to be able to head home and sleep (best sleep I had in ages) but being told to leave right when I came out wasn’t very relaxing.

Have you ever experienced total sensory deprivation?xx

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