The 1980 sci-fi movie Altered States introduced many people to the concept of sensory deprivation tanks. In the film, John Hurt's character is a psychopathologist who begins experimenting with "other states of consciousness," and starts to see disturbing visions while using the tanks.

But that was just a fabricated Hollywood production. What is being in a sensory deprivation tank REALLY like? If you're brave enough, there's a place in Syracuse you can find out.


In today's modern society, with everything beeping and buzzing for our attention, it's become harder than ever to quiet the mind. BodyMind Float Center in Syracuse helps people achieve this by shutting them in a tank.

BodyMind Float Center via Facebook
BodyMind Float Center via Facebook

Sound like something out of Star Trek? It's actually not as weird as it sounds, and the people that do it swear by it.

Ultra-salty water in the tank keeps people afloat without effort. A lot of Epsom salt is needed to achieve this. Just how much? Try several hundred pounds worth. When the tanks are closed, it's completely pitch black and quiet inside. Clients pay to spend 90 minutes floating in these zero-G-like conditions. Unless you're a billionaire aboard the Bezos rocket, it's the closest you can get to floating in space.

People who practice floatation therapy equate it to the feeling of a really deep nap, or coming off the massage table after a 90-minute session.

BodyMind Float Center via Facebook
BodyMind Float Center via Facebook

Claustrophobics are often hesitant to try it because of the enclosed environment. But because you're weightless in pitch darkness, you sort of lose your sense of space. Occasionally you may nudge the side of the tank when you're floating there, which is the only reminder. Clients can also activate a small light inside if that's better suited to their comfort. And to be clear, you're in complete control of the experience. People can open and close the tank at any time.

If you're looking for an outside-the-box way to grab a little relaxation, floatation therapy might be worth a try. For more info, or to book a session, visit

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