Our mission at Groupon is to highlight unusual and exciting things in Chicago, and make them available at a price that makes them hard to pass up. Today, we've achieved that mission in spades.
This very special Groupon gets you 1 hour in a sensory deprivation floatation tank and 30 minutes with a Light/Sound machine at SpaceTime Tanks Floatation Center for just $25. That's half-off the normal price of $50, and you can redeem the 2 services on different days, if you choose. SpaceTime Tanks are located at 2526 N Lincoln (map) and have a stellar rating of 4/5 stars on their Yelp page, including this user review:
An AMAZING experience! If you have not been here yet, you are doing yourself a great disservice! I went in slightly skeptical & walked out a lifelong convert who's been floating ever since (more than a decade now). You will not be disappointed. The experience is worth every penny.
Certainly an impressive endorsement, leaving us with just one question - what in the world is it? Glad you asked.
Sensory Deprivation Tank?
SpaceTime's floatation tanks are 8'x4'x4' enclosed structures that diminish light and sound. These Samadhi-brand tanks are filled 10 inches high with water and dissolved Epsom Salts. This enables the human body to float effortlessly, and since the water is heated to skin temperature (93.5 degrees F), you can hardly feel the sensation of touching water, or anything at all. So while you're floating with minimal sensory input, your mind is freed of worldly distractions, allowing you to reflect, ponder, and creatively explore your deepest thoughts. Benefits include profound stress relief, athletic performance enhancement, original thinking and "super-learning", recovery from fatigue, and more. Many have successfully used floatation tanks to help quit long-time habits like smoking. Research shows that a 2 hour float is equivalent to 8 hours of sleep.
Are you an obsessive compulsive hygiene worry wart? You're in luck, because the tanks are fully ventilated and the water/salt solution is sterilized after each use. Read more about the tanks here. SpaceTime is the world's oldest, active floatation center, and it's the only one in the Midwest.
The brain operates by sending signals between its over 100 billion neurons. This electrical activity can be recorded and measured by electroencephalogram (EEG) machines, which show that different mental states are associated with different "brain wave" lengths. The Light/Sound machine consists of goggles with LED lights and audio headphones that rhythmically pulse light & sound at frequencies that eventually match up with the desired brain wave frequencies for states of relaxed wakefulness. When the brainwaves match up with the external stimulus, it produces an "entrainment" effect in the brain which has benefits including increased energy, enhanced learning ability and relaxation. It's all explained clearly here on SpaceTime's website.
Famous Light/Sound machine users include Robocop and Star Trek's Jordi LaForge. Their Light/Sound Machine headsets were not only styling - they put them in alert but relaxed states, enabling them to make clear-headed decisions under pressure and accounting for much of their success.
OK...but who is the guy in the Blackhawks jersey?
That is American counter-culture icon Timothy Leary, looking into a sensory deprivation tank while wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey. We're not sure how this happened, but we're glad it did.
So get your Groupon, and we'll see you in the tank. Just kidding, it's only one at a time in there!
SpaceTime Tanks Floatation Center
As you float weightless in the darkness, your mind begins to wander. Your breathing slows, and your thoughts quiet as you sink into a state of meditation. These sensations might not occur for all visitors to the isolation tanks at SpaceTime Tanks Floatation Center, but there's a good chance the process will at least help them relax. Technicians start by filling each eight-foot tank with 10 inches of water heated to the average temperature of human skin. Then they add 800 pounds of Epsom salts to the mixture so that the human body floats effortlessly on the water's surface. Between each session of blissful sensory deprivation, the technicians sterilize the ventilated tanks with a mixture of ozone, hydrogen peroxide, and diatomite earth filters.
Outside the tanks, the staff eases customers' tension with more hands-on techniques such as Swedish and deep-tissue massage. They can also fit clients with headphones and LED light goggles for light and sound therapy, during which rhythmic visual and aural stimulation synchronizes brain waves to basic mental states, such as relaxed wakefulness or sadness that Friends is over. Building on the idea of soothing sound, the NexNeuro system uses motion, acoustic vibration, and music to promote calmness.