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A room for relaxation [Oct. 21st, 2008|09:11 am]
So, scientists have designed the world's most relaxing room:

Sounds lovely. Except of course, because you're supposed to relax in it, I would be filled with anxiety about my need to relax and therefore, unable to relax. Relaxation, like being ticklish, apparently are things that I can NOT make myself do at will.

I mean, I do have a whole basket of relaxation techniques that keep me from rarely, if ever, having bouts of insomnia and if I get myself all wound up and there's no purpose to be served, by it, I can dump it -- but if I made a special effort to go to a room that someone had specifically designed to make me relax...well, that's just too much damn pressure.

Like the time I tried the whole sensory deprivation thing...

So, it was all the rage, sensory deprivation tanks, when I was in college. You know, back when there were pterodactyls and stuff. Okay, I was in central Pennsylvania, so I'm sure that the trend was OVER by the time we had a shop open up, but hey, the cutting edge is sharp, so I'm okay with being a little behind the times. The blunt edge is easier to perch on, trust me.

So, couldn't wait to try it out, hearing stories from friends of how their minds just expanded, they had these great visions, yada, yada. I was a little concerned about my own head, since it's such an ADD bull in china shop, but it behaved itself when, um, trying certain, um, substances not to be mentioned, so what's a little dark and quiet?

Personally, as an apprentice-hermit living in a dorm, I was ready for the dark and quiet. Thirty minutes of being completely, totally alone was sounding downright delicious.

For those of you who missed out on this "experience", the sensory deprivation tank is a big coffin, if coffins were tic-tac shaped, that's lined with rubber padding, filled with salt water. You get in, close it and it blocks out all sound and light -- and of course, you're floating. So if you lay very, very still, you're getting no sensory input at all and your mind can just go play with the lack of input.

Now, you could ask them to pipe in whale sounds, or dolphins or music, but I wanted to go hardcore - NOTHING.

So, I got in, they shut it, and there I was. Took me a few minutes to get everything all settled, in a comfortable position, hair floating down and not tickling me, exhaling, starting my relaxation thing -- going boneless, exhaling out the energy...

But I must have been relaxing too hard, because I'd occasionally bump a limb into the side of the tank. Ick. Rubber. But eventually, I figured out the range of motion and convinced myself to stop twitching and went back to relaxation. But my big problem with relaxing, is when I finally do relax, I...yeah, so I like to sleep on my side, and I don't know whether it was the water up my nose when I started to roll over or the snoring echoing off the sides of the tank, but then I had to settle down all over again, this time resolving to relax, but not fall asleep. (I can fall asleep in an MRI machine...)

So I manage it. I'm weightless. Can't see a thing. Bored. Bored, bored, bored, bored. No, don't think about that, think about nothing.

Bored, bored, bored. Oh, c'mon, let's try visualization, think of dolphins swimming....Ack! Apparently all of that energy releasing I was doing earlier has caused some condensation on the inside of the tank. And let me tell you, the underwater might be exactly body temperature, but the drops of water from the ceiling were most decidedly NOT.

Hey, I'm my own weather system...and then I started thinking and well, that was the end of that. Because I started re-designing the tank -- for starters, it needed to be larger, because needing to stay very still so that you didn't bump the sides was really crashing my joy and...

And I was so busy re-inventing how it SHOULD be done, that the rest of the half hour passed in a flash. Needless to say, not very relaxing. Especially since, on a college budget, it wasn't exactly cheap.

I can just see myself in the most relaxing room in the world...you know, this music isn't bad, but it's a little repetitive and a light blanket would....

That's why I like sex so much -- it's relaxing, but you keep busy at the same time.

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-10-21 01:51 pm (UTC)
the world's most relaxing room is a hotel room with a cushy king-sized bed paid for by someone else.

Hell, I'd settle for a double bed as long as there wasn't a litterbox in the bathroom that I was responsibile for scooping.
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