Sensory-Deprivation Therapy Comes To Westchester

Floatation therapy, also known as sensory-deprivation therapy, is nothing new. The first isolation/floatation tank was developed in 1954 by neurophysiologist John C. Lilly, who often used it in tandem with—surprise!—LSD to conduct experiments on the effects of sensory deprivation on the mind. By the 1970s, sensory deprivation in floatation tanks was being used therapeutically. 

In July, Westchester’s first float center, Rise Above Floatation, opened in Mount Kisco. But unlike the tanks of yesteryear, in which users were nearly fully submerged and had to wear a cumbersome (and scary-looking) “blackout mask,” Rise Above uses state-of-the-art lightproof and soundproof tanks designed to free users from outside stimulation—without scaring them to death. Tanks contain about 10 inches of ambient water, made buoyant with Epsom salts—so fear of drowning (not conducive to relaxation) is eliminated. 

For some, floatation therapy can induce a meditative state, and studies have shown that it can help people manage pain, anxiety, and depression. It’s been shown to enhance athletic performance, too. 

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Rise Above has a spa-like atmosphere and three float tanks of different sizes. One, called the womb, looks like a space-age pod and offers the most intimate float experience. If you’re claustrophobic, you can opt for one of the larger tanks, which are more like large bathtubs. 

Rise Above’s co-owner, Micah Saccomanno, assures new or nervous clients that they are “in total control” of their experience; the tanks’ doors don’t lock, and there’s plenty of air flowing in and out. Sixty-minute float sessions are $85; 90-minute sessions are $110.     

Rise Above Floatation
111 E Main St, Mount Kisco
(914) 241-1900

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