You can hardly tell if your eyes are open or closed, it’s so dark. It’s also the kind of absolute silence you’re just not accustomed to in New York City. If it weren’t for the gentle lapping sensation at your ribcage that occurs with every inhale, it would be impossible to tell you’re in salt water. This is what’s known as flotation therapy—a one-hour session inside a sensory deprivation tank with myriad benefits if you’re brave enough to try it.
Also known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (or R.E.S.T), studies into flotation therapy have concluded it reduces anxiety, depression, stress and pain. Meanwhile, sleep quality and a general sense of optimism are increased. Some advocates even claim they have psychedelic experiences in the tank, but even if you don’t find it transcendent, an hour’s break from the constant sensory bombardment of everyday life is calming to say the least. Here’s where to get your flotation fix in NYC.