In my last year in college (yeah, deal with it) i didnt know what to do about my thesis. Thoughts swarmed in my head, nothing i liked very much, and trust me, you do want to fucking love what is going to take one entire year of your life n' money. One day, i was playing pool with a friend, while we smoked and talked about movies. I remembered an old scifi movie that i watched when i was a kid called "Altered States". Basically, its about a scientist that does research on balltrippin mexican shaman mushrooms, who "finds" a tool for the exploration of the mind, a float tank.
(float tanks are filled with one foot of a solution made out of water and epson salt, this makes you float like a cork. The conditions are of total reduction of environmental stimulation: no sound, no light, no sense of touch due to the warmness of the water, that is the same as the skin temperature. It has appeared in the simpsons and house)
....so, this guy finds a super shroom somewhere in mexico, and takes a sample back to his lab. He then eats some of the shrooms and enters the tank. As a result, he de-volves into a sort of goat eating caveman. Its a good movie, and if you havent seen it, you should. I was telling my friend that i loved that movie, and that i would like to try out this "float tanks" and check them out. I started by doing some google research, seems that the person that developed the tanks in the 60's, a psych. called John Lilly, went crazy, cuz he started to take ketamine to the vein, along with 8 hours floating sessions! no wonder.
I started to take all the float tank business very seriously, i managed to find books, papers and articles about it; the only problem was that there was no float tanks where i lived, so i built my own. After a few months and lots of hard work, I finished the tank and the thesis. Here's the abstract:
"The study of anxiety in psychology has been extended over the years, giving place to a large theoretical background about the psychobiological and social causes of this emotion, on account of the disorders that derive of it when it extends in time and it passes from an adaptive response to pathology. The flotation restricted environmental stimulation technique or REST, consisting of sensory isolation by means of a floatation chamber, has proven effective for the treatment of stress related disorders in investigations made by professional of mental health in Sweden and the United States. In this investigation, the goal is to reduce the anxiety levels in a 24 years old female, subjected to stressful activities. A single case design is used, A-B-A type. The analysis of the obtained data by statistic analysis and averages comparison, show significant differences in the anxiety levels of the study subject, in the different phases. The effectiveness of this technique suggests its utilization in a clinical context, and the possibility of further, more specialized investigations".
Here is where the fun/not so fun part begins...