Flotation Tank

Floating with Duncan Trussell

Photo by  DeviantArt

Photo by DeviantArt

The Duncan Trussell Family Hour is a weekly podcast where comedian Duncan Trussell explores the outer reaches of the multiverse. Visit his website and listen to his podcasts in case you want to discover out more about what his shows entail. Duncan is also a frequent guest on the Joe Rogan Experience and is a regular home floater. 

Recently, Duncan had Shane on his podcast to talk float tanks and it was such a powerful episode we wanted to share it with all our friends and readers here on the blog. We've highlighted the best parts of the show below for you to listen to. Enjoy!


0:58 – Intro: Duncan introduces Shane to the show and gives his testimonial on his Zen Float Tent

19:36 – Duncan asks Shane, "What is your theory about what is happening when a person lays in a float tank for an extended period of time?"

21:37 – Shane talks about what it feels like once you get out of a float tank after a session.

22:53 - Duncan and Shane discuss the history of John C. Lilly, inventor of the first float tank

28:07 – Duncan asks Shane if he's ever felt a presence in the tank with him.

32:33 – Duncan and Shane discuss the effects and benefits of floating once you float for longer than hour.

38:05 – Duncan admits his most intense and strange moments inside of a float tank.

44:41 – Shane talks about the importance of floating more than once to really get the full effects of the experience. 

46:12 – The state of float.

51:03 – Duncan talks about John C Lilly's book, "Tanks for the Memories,

53:17 - Duncan talks about how he used floating for mental visualization and help him through a stand-up comedy performance that he was nervous about performing in. 

107:13 – Duncan asks Shane where he foresees the floating industry heading in the future. 

117:13 – Duncan asks Shane if he plans to make commercial or higher grade versions of the Zen Float Tent.


Takeaways We Enjoyed

We love how Shane compares your body to a running phone or computer. "It's like our bodies have all these apps open and running all the time. Floating is like closing all the apps so you can run at a better speed.  It's a powerful place to be. "

Another great point is that, "Most of the benefit of floating comes from outside of tank - once you get your float habit your life starts to change a little bit. You approach life from a calmer more relaxed place and therefore it makes your life a calmer and more relaxed place."

Floating is like riding a bike, you just have to let go and trust, and learn to do it. You won't be great at it the first time but each time you float you get better and better at it.  



Duncan Trussell Family Hour Website

Duncan Trussell on Twitter

Shane's New Book on Floating: The Float Tank Cure



- Have you ever felt a presence in the tank like Duncan and Shane talk about in this episode?

- How many float session did it take for you to let go and really relax? 

- What part of the show did you enjoy listening to the most? 


Share your answers with us in the comments below!


Does floating equal brainwashing?

Floating and brainwashing have some unusual historical connections.

Will floating open the door to brainwashing?

Seems like a crazy concept at first thought. Brainwashing conjures up all sorts of negative imagery. The concept of brainwashing is associated with spies, assassination plots and other sorts of intrigue you would find in a good political thriller. Is it that true to life?

Early uses of flotation tanks did include brainwashing experiments. Fears spread during the Korean War that North Korean and Soviet communist leaders engaged in brainwashing captured American soldiers to embrace communist propaganda. This sparked an interest in the U.S. Government finding ways to control a person’s brain to counteract such brainwashing attempts.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) first used isolation tanks forbrainwashing experiments in 1954. People participating in these experiments were submerged in sensory deprivation tanks for extended periods of time. The results were startling.

Participants reported experiencing everything from vivid hallucinations to blank periods where they were unable to form cognitive thoughts after less than two hours in the tank. Depriving them of senses for longer periods boosted their cravings for any form of sensory stimulation. These desires made them more willing to mold their behavior to get what they wanted.

NIMH researchers concluded a person who underwent extensive sensory deprivation could be influenced into making profound changes in their values and behavior. Essentially, an isolation tank could be used to strip a person of free will for a short time.

It sounds scary. The good news is that such forced changes were temporary. A person changed back to their normal personality and behavior once returning to their normal environment. This made the idea of using isolation tanks for long-term brainwashing impractical and the concept was abandoned.

There is nothing sinister about floating these days. Regular sessions in an isolation tank can be quite therapeutic. Floating can help people find solutions to many problems affecting their lives. It has been used by people who are looking for ways to treat anxiety, depression, stress and even curb addictions to drugs or alcohol.

Brainwashing isn’t an appropriate concept to associate with floating. Nothing about floating is predicated on a loss of free will. The brain can be changed through doing it, but the changes are through a conscious choice made by the floater.